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.
Pro-Israel bias: BBC admits editorial breach in interview with Israeli defense chief 2015-05-23 7:58
The BBC has reached a â€śprovisional findingâ€ť to uphold complaints made by Palestinian activists that the broadcaster breached its editorial guidelines in a â€śsoftâ€ť interview with the Israeli defense minister.
Complaints focused on BBC journalist Sarah Montagueâ€™s alleged failure to challenge controversial claims made by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaâ€™alon.
Journalist Amena Saleem, who works with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), wrote ...
41% of Americans Support Criminalizing "Hate Speech" 2015-05-23 7:31 The following are from a recent poll about what some are calling on for "hate speech"
1. Support for Hate Crimes Legislation
Do you support or oppose the federal law that requires increased penalties for hate crimes committed on the basis of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, or gender of any person?
2. Support for Expanding Hate Crimes
FBI Admits No Major Cases Cracked with Patriot Act Snooping Powers 2015-05-23 7:36
FBI agents canâ€™t point to any major terrorism cases theyâ€™ve cracked thanks to the key snooping powers in the Patriot Act, the Justice Departmentâ€™s inspector general said in a report Thursday that could complicate efforts to keep key parts of the law operating.
Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said that between 2004 and 2009, the FBI tripled its use of bulk ...
Sweetener Stevia Was Once Hailed As An Anti-Fertility Agent for Population Reduction 2015-05-23 7:13
Maybe it's not so sweet now... If you've thought stevia, the natural alternative to sugar and artificial sweetners with aspartame, et al., is too good to be true, there may be a catch. Check out this textbook written in 1970 by Paul and Anne Ehrlich, the precursor to the textbook Ecoscience they wrote with Obama Science Czar John P. Holdren ...
TPP Aproved: Senate Republicans Give Obama New Powers - Details Remain 'Classified' 2015-05-23 6:43
President Obama won a big victory for his trade agenda Friday with the Senateâ€™s approval of fast-track legislation that could make it easier for him to complete a wide-ranging trade deal that would include 11 Pacific Rim nations.
A coalition of 48 Senate Republicans and 14 Democrats voted for Trade Promotion Authority late Friday, sending the legislation to a difficult fight ...