Obama Cyber Security Directive Could Unleash Army IN US
The White House is being asked by attorneys to explain a top-secret presidential policy directive signed last month that may allow for the domestic deployment of the US military for the sake of so-called cybersecurity.
Lawyers with the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) have filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the office of US President Barack Obama in hopes if hearing more about anÂ elusiveÂ order signed in secrecy in mid-October but only made public in an article published this week in the Washington Post.
According to persons close to the White House who have seen the order and spoke with the Post, Presidential Policy Directive 20 (PP20) aims toÂ â€śfinalize new rules of engagement that would guide commanders when and how the military can go outside government networks to prevent a cyberattack that could cause significant destruction or casualties.â€ťÂ Attorneys with EPIC are now demanding that they see this secret order to find out what exactly that could mean, citing the possibility of putting boots on the ground in the United States if the government argues itâ€™s imperative for cybersecurity.
In the FOIA request, EPIC attorneys Amie Stepanovich and Ginger McCall ask to see information about PP20 because they fear it mayÂ enable â€śmilitary deployment within the United Statesâ€ťÂ by way ofÂ a â€śsecret lawâ€ťÂ that lets the National Security Agency and Pentagon put armed forces in charge of protecting Americaâ€™s cyberinfrastructure and crucial routes of communications.
â€śWe donâ€™t know whatâ€™s in this policy directive and we feel the American public has the right to know,â€ťÂ McCall tells Raw Story this week.
On her part, Stepanovich adds that getting to the truth of the matter could be a nightmare given the NSAâ€™s tendency to keep these sorts of things secret.
â€śThe NSAâ€™s cyber security operations have been kept very, very secret, and because of that it has been impossible for the public to react to them,â€ťÂ Stepanovich adds.Â â€ś[That makes it] very difficult, we believe, for Congress to legislate in this area. Itâ€™s in the publicâ€™s best interest, from a knowledge perspective and from a legislative perspective, to be made aware of what authority the NSA is being given.â€ť
The potential of martial law became a topic actually discussed by Congress last year when lawmakers first considered provisions for this yearâ€™s National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA. Before the House and Senate agreed on including a section to the law letting the White House arrest and detain any US citizen indefinitely without trial or charge, anotherÂ provisionÂ was almost put on the books that would have essentially allowed for military rule during some situations.
The NDAAâ€™sÂ S.Â 1867 wouldÂ â€śbasically say in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefieldâ€ťÂ Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a supporter of the bill, said last year.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H) agreed with his colleagueâ€™s claim, telling Congress that â€śAmerica is part of the battlefieldâ€ť suggesting that the laws of war are applicable anywhere, even in someoneâ€™s own backyard.
EPIC writes that PPD 20Â â€śmay violate federal law that prohibits military deployment within the United States without congressional approvalâ€ťÂ if their worse fear prove correct.