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In the forthcoming National Defense Authorization Act the House Armed Services Committee — specifically the Subcommittee on Intelligence and Emerging Threat Capabilities — seeks to amend the annual legislation to ensure that Congress is informed when the executive branch executes offensive or defensive cyber operations.
The bill defines offensive or defensive cyber operations as a “sensitive military operation.” The goal of this shared information is additional oversight, especially given the newness of cyber tactics.
As reported by journalist Derek B. Johnson of FWC.com, two covert cyber operations have taken place since POTUS announced the new policy. The first was in October 2018, a cyber operation with a goal of informing Russian operatives not to meddle with the midterm election. The second took place the following November in which the U.S. Cyber Command blocked access to Russian Internet Research Agency post election.
While these two operations have been called “mild” in some critiques, former White House Director of Cyber Infrastructure Protection under President George W. Bush, Jason Healey, believes this highly specialized tactic is ideal since it presents the least potential for collateral damage. While Healey warns against grand and overt attacks, he states that sometimes “conflict is straightforward and you just have to stop adversaries from punching you in the mouth.”
Read the complete post by Derek B. Johnson on FCW.com here.