Congress Authorizes Pentagon to Wage Internet War
By Ryan Singel
December 14, 2011
The ancient art of war is coming to the internet.
The House and Senate agreed to give the U.S. military the power to conduct “offensive” strikes online — including clandestine attacks, via a little-noticed provision in the military’s 2012 funding bill.
The power, which was included in the House version but not the Senate version, was included in the final “reconciled” bill that is all but guaranteed to pass into law.
Congress affirms that the Department of Defense has the capability, and upon direction by the President may conduct offensive operations in cyberspace to defend our Nation, Allies and interests, subject to–
(1) the policy principles and legal regimes that the Department follows for kinetic capabilities, including the law of armed conflict; and
(2) the War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1541 et seq.).