Attorneys: Obama’s secret cybersecurity law may allow ‘military deployment within the US’

The White House on Wednesday received a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from two attorneys with the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), demanding that President Barack Obama release the text of what they called a “secret” new cyber security law that appears to enable “military deployment within the United States.”

The FOIA was filed in response to an article that appeared in The Washington Post this week, claiming that Obama issued a secret directive shortly before the elections that empowers the military to “vet any operations outside government and defense networks” for cyber security purposes.

However, because the exact text of the directive remains a secret, nobody can really say exactly what it does. That was somewhat disconcerting to American Civil Liberties Union legislative counsel Michelle Richardson, who told Raw Story on Wednesday that without the text, “it’s hard to see what they mean.” Raw Story


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 U.S. 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. RT

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. RT

Opponents expressed concern about whether the government should impose cyber security mandates on private-sector infrastructure Relevant Products/Services operators and whether the military or Department of Homeland Security should take the lead in civilian cyber security.

A cyber security bill backed by the leader of the Senate Homeland Security committee was voted down for a second time on Nov. 14, probably kicking any possible congressional action on the issue into next year and setting the stage for an executive order aimed at bolstering critical infrastructure networks.

Senior defense officials have been extremely vocal this year in pushing for cyber security legislation, warning that unless something is done to increase the cyber security of America’s banks, utilities, energy companies, communications providers, and transportation firms, the nation faces a “cyber Pearl Harbor.”



ALSO SEE: Secretary of Defense: Will it Take a ‘Cyber Pearl Harbor’ to Break Congressional Deadlock?



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