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 an elusive 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 to “finalize 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.” 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 it’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 may enable “military deployment within the United States” by way of a “secret law” that lets the National Security Agency and Pentagon put armed forces in charge of protecting America’s cyberinfrastructure and crucial routes of communications.
“We don’t know what’s in this policy directive and we feel the American public has the right to know,” 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 NSA’s tendency to keep these sorts of things secret.
“The NSA’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,” Stepanovich adds. “[That makes it] very difficult, we believe, for Congress to legislate in this area. It’s in the public’s best interest, from a knowledge perspective and from a legislative perspective, to be made aware of what authority the NSA is being given.”
The potential of martial law became a topic actually discussed by Congress last year when lawmakers first considered provisions for this year’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, another provision was almost put on the books that would have essentially allowed for military rule during some situations.
The NDAA’s S. 1867 would “basically say in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a supporter of the bill, said last year.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H) agreed with his colleague’s claim, telling Congress that “America is part of the battlefield” suggesting that the laws of war are applicable anywhere, even in someone’s own backyard.
EPIC writes that PPD 20 “may violate federal law that prohibits military deployment within the United States without congressional approval” if their worse fear prove correct.
According to the Post’s tale on the directive, the Pentagon now has blueprints to wage more offensive cyberassaults on entities that may be jeopardizing the cybersecurity of domestic computer systems. How they do that, however, remains an issue that the FOIA request will have to coerce from Washington.
Worker fired over hospital's hardline vaccination policy 2015-08-04 20:55
Three others suspended under Waikato DHBâ€™s new rule requiring staff to be vaccinated or wear a mask.
One worker has now been sacked for defying a new hard-line policy forcing unvaccinated Waikato District Health Board staff to get flu jabs or wear masks.
A number of staff at the DHB have come forward with concerns since the Weekend Herald revealed that three ...
Bulgaria keeps out migrants with a 50 mile razor wire fence along Turkish border 2015-08-04 20:27 Keep out: Police chief Ivan Stoyanov at the fenceStretching far into the horizon, this is the super-fence blocking thousands of migrants hoping for a new life in Europe.
As police in Calais struggle to contain thousands trying to storm the Eurotunnel in their desperation to get into Britain, the Bulgarian authorities are shoring up their border with Turkey.
The barriers around the ...
DF wants video to tell refugees to stay away 2015-08-04 20:59
“If you want to seek happiness in Europe, Denmark is not the right place.”
That’s the message that the anti-immigration Danish People’s Party (DF) wants to send loud and clear to asylum seekers.
DF spokesman Martin Henriksen is calling on Denmark to replicate Australia by releasing a video in English and Arabic that will discourage asylum seekers from making their way ...
Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state 2015-08-04 18:26
King Willem-Alexander delivered a message to the Dutch people from the government in a nationally televised address: the welfare state of the 20th century is gone.
In its place a "participation society" is emerging, in which people must take responsibility for their own future and create their own social and financial safety nets, with less help from the national government.
Why a Caucasian-Japanese is not Perceived as Japanese 2015-08-04 2:15
The Japan Times has a hilarious article about a White guy who is angry and upset at the horrible and racist world we live in because customs agents and border agents are questioning his "right to be Japanese."
It's seems that Debito Arodou's experience at border crossings suggest that no one takes a White guy seriously, for claiming to be Japanese.