Cyber warfare rules for military still pending

The Defense Department is still struggling with how to write the rules of cyber warfare, particularly the offensive portion involving when and how to respond to a major cyberattack, senior military leaders told Congress July 25, reports the Associated Press.

The DOD originally intended for the rules to be ready by early summer, but that self-imposed deadline has slipped as military leaders try to deal with the amorphous cyber realm that lacks the physical characteristics of kinetic warfare, the story said.
Senior officers from the military services who are responsible for cyber operations told the House Armed Services emerging threats subcommittee that they are still working out the details and continue to struggle with the evolving nature of cyber operations, the story said. Their goal is to develop a framework that would allow the military to stop a breach while it was happening and take the necessary steps to ensure a successful counterattack.

Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) chairman of the subcommittee urged the officers to take prompt action to put rules of cyberwarfare in place because once a major cyberattack happens there won't be enough time to pass a traditional declaration of war.

President Barack Obama in 2011 signed executive orders that set forth how far U.S. military commanders can go in using offensive cyberattacks and also stipulated that the miliitary must seek presidential approval for a specific cyber assault.


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