On May 15, 2019, President Donald Trump signed Executive Order 13873, “Securing the Information and Communications Technology and Services Supply Chain” (Federal Register Vol. 84. No. 96, page 22689-92).
Supported by various laws and regulations, the president determined that the United States’ information communication technology systems are increasingly under threat from “foreign adversaries,” defined as “any foreign government or foreign non-government person engaged in a long-term pattern or serious instances of conduct significantly adverse to the national security of the United States or security and safety of United States persons.” These systems and services are targets for “malicious cyber-enabled actions, including economic and industrial espionage” as they “store and communicate vast amounts of sensitive information, facilitate the digital economy, and support critical infrastructure and vital emergency services.”
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Intelligence agencies of the United States and the Department of Homeland Security in particular have accused Russia publicly of internet espionage intended to interfere with the US presidential election. In the wake of this accusation, the Obama administration has assured a retaliatory response designed to protect US interests. But if and when would this take place, and what are the governing international rules of this game?
Such a retaliatory response might await the outcome of the presidential election and the swearing in of the new president. Continue reading “International Law in the Era of Cyberwar”
Unless you are a hermit hiding out in an undiscovered cave, you are well aware that we have been in the thick of an acrimonious and difficult election cycle for the highest office in the land — the Presidency of the United States. Presidential campaigns and campaigns for other elected offices have been a struggle in prior years — given all the competing interests, priorities and strategies that constantly have to be juggled. If that were not enough, now candidates have to deal with the new reality of cyber warfare.
We have been learning from recent press reports that Russia apparently has been active in its efforts to disrupt the current presidential election in the United States. Indeed, according to a recent report by NBC News, Russia’s “cyber-espionage campaign against the American political system began more than a year ago and has been far more extensive than publicly disclosed, targeting hundreds of key people.” Continue reading “Politics and Elections in the Era of Cyberwarfare”