Senators Demand Answers on U.S. Cyber Warfare Policy

Wednesday, 20 Jul 2011 05:21 PM


  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

July 20 (Bloomberg) -- The Defense Department has failed to deliver to Congress a report on U.S. cyber warfare policy that would clarify the legal authorities and rules of engagement to be used in the event of a cyber attack, the leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee said today.

“The continued failure to address and define the policies and legal authorities necessary for the Pentagon to operate in the cyberspace domain remains a significant gap in our national security that must be addressed,” wrote Senators Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat, and John McCain, an Arizona Republican, in a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

By law, the Pentagon was to report to Congress by March 1 on its cyber warfare policy, outlining a number of “critical questions” that must be addressed in the new battlefield of cyberspace, the senators said.

The Defense Department last week released a new “Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace” that focuses on improving defenses instead of threatening retaliation for attacks.

Levin, the committee chairman, and McCain, the ranking Republican, said the policy fails to answer all the questions demanded by Congress.

Among the unresolved issues, they wrote, are how to preserve the president’s freedom of action in a crisis, the rules of engagement for commanders, and what would constitute an act of war in cyberspace.

Major Breaches

Congressional interest in cyber warfare has been growing as reports proliferate of major breaches in cyber security. Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn disclosed last week that foreign hackers stole 24,000 U.S. military files in a single attack on a defense contractor in March.

Panetta, who took office this month, warned at his confirmation hearing in June that “the next Pearl Harbor we confront could very well be a cyber attack.”

Levin and McCain told Panetta in their letter that he should explain why their unanswered questions are not yet resolved if no report is forthcoming.

“We are aware of the letter and are reviewing for comment back to the Senate,” said Lt. Col. April Cunningham, a Defense Department spokesman.

--Editors: Steven Komarow, Terry Atlas

To contact the reporter on this story: David Lerman in Washington at Dlerman1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net.

© Copyright 2014 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

GOP Frustrated With Iran Nuclear Talks

Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 22:08 PM

Republican lawmakers are venting their frustrations with Secretary of State John Kerry's admission that the United State . . .

Britain: 40 Terror Plots Thwarted Since 2005

Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 22:04 PM

British security services have blocked 40 terrorist attacks in the past nine years, according to Home Secretary Theresa  . . .

Obama Takes on Hecklers Over Immigration Policy

Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 20:00 PM

Taking on the hecklers who've been interrupting his speeches lately, President Barack Obama argued back Tuesday with a p . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved