1st Amendment News

Cyberwarfare cloaked in secrecy

A review of the legality of using pre-emptive cyber attacks gives President Barack Obama wide powers with a set of rules that are highly classified. The announcement of the review came just after The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post reported cyber attacks most likely from China on their computer systems. (The New York Times, February 3, 2013, by David E. Sanger and Thom Shanker)

Government officials have stated the President would not act in the case of attacks on private companies and that threat justifying a pre-emptive strike would have to constitute a major type of cyberattackbut have not defined what they would consider “major.” (The Verge, February 4, 2013, by Chris Welch)

“[Granting pre-emptive powers to the President] is a very dangerous, and very undemocratic power grab,” argues Matthew Rothschild in The Progressive, February 4, 2013. “There are no checks or balances when the President, alone, decides when to engage in an act of war.” -db

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