Presidential directive updates military rules for cyber warfare

President Barack Obama has signed a directive that allows the military to take specific offensive and defensive actions necessary to nullify cyberattacks on the nation's government and private-sector computer networks, reports the Washington Post.

Presidential Policy Directive 20 sets forth a broad and strict set of standards to guide the operations of federal agencies in confronting threats in cyberspace, according to several U.S. officials who have seen the classified document and are not authorized to speak on the record. The president signed the secret directive in mid-October, the story said.

The directive makes a clear distinction between network defense and cyber-operations in an effort to guide military officers and commanders responsible for making rapid decisions in the face of such threats, the story said. The directive also seeks to clear up confusion among federal government agencies as to which ones are authorized to take action and what kind of action they should take to thwart cyberattacks. 

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