US cyber attack rules relaxed by Trump administration

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that President Trump has signed an order relaxing rules around the use of cyber weapons.

With the US under pressure to deal with the growing threat of state-sponsored hacks, the paper says that the order, which reverses guidelines previously drawn up under President Obama, remains vague as specific details of what the new rules will be remain classified information.

Speaking to the BBC, Prof Alan Woodward, a computer scientist at the University of Surrey, said: “We are in a era when certain governments are acting aggressively in cyber-space, and that is rightly condemned by governments such as that in the US. To respond in kind is not necessarily the way to de-escalate the situation. You wouldn't allow a pre-emptive physical attack without thorough analysis and approval at the highest levels, so why would cyber attacks be any different?”

 

Obama’s cyber rules were leaked in 2013 by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, and were deemed by many at the time as being too bureaucratic.

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