Monday, December 30, 2019

U.S. Congress Wants To Know More On White House Policies When It Comes To Using Cyber Weapons

Wall Street Journal: White House Expands Use of Cyber Weapons but Stays Secretive on Policies

Congress remains largely in the dark despite bipartisan criticism of President Trump’s stance

WASHINGTON—In his three years in office, President Trump has overseen an escalation in the U.S. military’s deployment of cyber weapons as a way to engage forcefully with adversaries around the globe without provoking all-out war.

But the White House hasn’t made the same effort to inform Congress and the public about its rules for using these new cyber capabilities, lawmakers and experts say, prompting a bipartisan push to demand more transparency from the administration.

President Trump issued a classified directive nearly a year-and-a-half ago that outlines new, less restrictive rules for the military’s use of cyber weapons. Approved efforts can range from a temporary network disruption to long-term degradation or sabotage of an adversary’s computer systems, officials have said.

That more-aggressive posture has largely paid off, current and former officials say, as it has allowed the administration to rely on cyber operations to confront a broader array of threats and to react more nimbly to changing circumstances, including during a peak in hostilities with Iran this summer and Russian election interference attempts during last year’s midterm elections.

But the White House hasn’t let members of Congress see the directive, known as National Security Presidential Memorandum 13, the lawmakers said, leaving them with little understanding of a key element of American warfighting capability.

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WNU Editor: Congress understandably wants to know more. U.S. Cyber Command is already making it public that they are going to be playing an aggressive role in defending U.S. elections (see below).

More News On U.S. Cyber Command Protecting U.S. Elections

U.S. Cybercom contemplates information warfare to counter Russian interference in 2020 election -- Washington Post
Washington Post: US eyeing information warfare tactics against Russia in 2020 -- CNN
CyberCom mulls aggressive tactics if Russia interferes in next election: report -- The Hill
US military cyber officials 'are developing plans to target the personal data of Russian politicians and oligarchs should the country interfere in 2020 election' -- Daily Mail