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house Bill H.R. 5220

Do the Feds Need a Policy for What an Act of War in Cyberspace Is?

Argument in favor

The U.S. needs to have a policy for what makes a cyberattack an act of war so that it can respond accordingly to attacks rising to that level of severity.

Gary's Opinion
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10/15/2016
There needs to be solid criteria to define this as both branches have a propensity for fearmongering with vague terms such as "cyberwarfare." If such a thing exists and can be considered an act of war, everyone, including potential adversaries, needs to know where the boundary is between, say, "routine" espionage (theft of information) versus warlike acts (disrupting or destroying critical systems). Currently, "cyberwarfare" is whatever the politicians want it to be based on whatever is happening at the moment. This will lead to disaster at some point.
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Cory's Opinion
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10/16/2016
Yes but I don't trust 50 year olds to comprehend cyber attacks. Would DDoS attacks be considered terrorism? I would need to know what they had in mind before I ever voted on something like that.
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Cameron's Opinion
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10/15/2016
We have a definition for "an act of war" in all other military mediums, (land, sea, air, space), we should also have one for cyber, as it is a growing threat to our national security and our interests in cyberspace must be defended.
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Argument opposed

When there is a cyberattack severe enough to be considered an act of war, it will be clear to everyone so a predetermined policy isn’t needed.

Timothy's Opinion
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10/15/2016
Upon realization that a cyber attack is occurring, those in charge of network defense/offense will do what they can to isolate the attack and trace it back to the users carrying out the hack. Once the attacker is discovered, our government will take appropriate diplomatic measures, i.e. sanctions, cussing matches, declaring war, whatever. We will know when the enemy has crossed the line when they've crossed it, and defining it will simply let our enemies know just how much they can get away with before entering "act of war" territory.
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Peter's Opinion
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10/15/2016
An act of war is "armed conflict" with another nation, and "armed conflict" has been defined through the Geneva convention... so if we want to redefine how wars start, we need to do it through international agreements and not just come up with it on our own, or we would be the aggressor. So let's get to it! (Spoiler, we would probably have started a couple dozen wars with the cyber warfare we conduct already)
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Mart's Opinion
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10/15/2016
The Feds, if you mean congress, they already are in charge of war, let them decide. There can never be a "policy" for war.
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    There needs to be solid criteria to define this as both branches have a propensity for fearmongering with vague terms such as "cyberwarfare." If such a thing exists and can be considered an act of war, everyone, including potential adversaries, needs to know where the boundary is between, say, "routine" espionage (theft of information) versus warlike acts (disrupting or destroying critical systems). Currently, "cyberwarfare" is whatever the politicians want it to be based on whatever is happening at the moment. This will lead to disaster at some point.
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    Upon realization that a cyber attack is occurring, those in charge of network defense/offense will do what they can to isolate the attack and trace it back to the users carrying out the hack. Once the attacker is discovered, our government will take appropriate diplomatic measures, i.e. sanctions, cussing matches, declaring war, whatever. We will know when the enemy has crossed the line when they've crossed it, and defining it will simply let our enemies know just how much they can get away with before entering "act of war" territory.
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    Yes but I don't trust 50 year olds to comprehend cyber attacks. Would DDoS attacks be considered terrorism? I would need to know what they had in mind before I ever voted on something like that.
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    We have a definition for "an act of war" in all other military mediums, (land, sea, air, space), we should also have one for cyber, as it is a growing threat to our national security and our interests in cyberspace must be defended.
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    You can't plant a home garden by throwing seeds into the back yard. Different seeds needs require space. And you can't go hunting without a plan and equipment. So now we hear that Obama and the Democrat party doesn't like being spied on and humiliated. So let's have a cyberspace war. Maybe an adult should be in charge and some planing. Apparently our Federal Government doesn't like being exposed as hustlers and fabricators claiming world peace while China encroaches into the South and East China Sea, Russia moves into the Ukraine and Syria and Iran attached US warships in the Red Sea. I guess waving a white flag around the world wasn't the best idea. Oh don't get me started… Planing begins first, then implementation.
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    The Feds, if you mean congress, they already are in charge of war, let them decide. There can never be a "policy" for war.
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    An act of war is "armed conflict" with another nation, and "armed conflict" has been defined through the Geneva convention... so if we want to redefine how wars start, we need to do it through international agreements and not just come up with it on our own, or we would be the aggressor. So let's get to it! (Spoiler, we would probably have started a couple dozen wars with the cyber warfare we conduct already)
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    Yes we need this defined, however, don't assume that because Hillary Underwood and her minions are using the Russians as an excuse for her criminal activities that they are guilty. It may just as easily be the Iranians regardless of the "great" deal we have with them thanks to Thurston Howell III, aka John Kerry. Our good friends the Chinese might be guilty too. It saddens me to see this country being humiliated on the world stage due to Dear Leaders lack of leadership and disdain for America.
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    I'm a 74 year old retired military with a masters in computer science. I agree that most persons in senior positions haven't a clue about computers. The whole Hillary email scandal is a perfect example. Neither she nor her accusers have a clue about the subject. I'm for this idea, but it MUST NOT be implemented by the 'clueless' who had us chasing imaginary WMDs.
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    This bill should be passed as it provides a clear and distinct policy that defines what a cyber act of war is and sends a clear message to the world that cyber attacks will not be tolerated.
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    BREAKING: Julian Assange Is Under Attack… Loses Internet Link After Bizarre Tweets • Considering that the Obama administration has made it clear it intends to declare cyber-warfare on those they believe responsible for the leaks — essentially putting the power of our military behind the Clinton campaign — it’s almost as if we’ve been told to expect this from the government. After weeks of releasing damaging information that has put Hillary Clinton’s campaign on the defensive, WikiLeaks tweeted that founder Julian Assange has had his “internet link … intentionally severed by a state party.” http://conservativetribune.com/wikileaks-exposes-real-hillary/ The tweet came after a series of cryptic messages on Twitter that had many believing that Assange may have been killed, but were instead cryptographic keys to ensure that information released by the organization had not been interfered with. The cryptographic messages, according to The Gateway Pundit, were tweeted by WikiLeaks on Sunday afternoon. Many originally mistook them for so-called “deadman’s keys” — essentially, codes to open up damaging information to be released upon Assange’s death. Such damaging information would normally be considered an insurance policy against his assassination or capture by state actors. http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2016/10/going-viral-unconfirmed-rumors-assange-dead-wikileaks-posts-deadmans-keys/ [IMAGES: WikiLeaks tweets] However, while rumors exploded that Assange had died, tech website Gizmodo shed more light on what the codes actually were. http://gizmodo.com/these-cryptic-wikileaks-tweets-dont-mean-julian-assange-1787866602 “Much as these tweets provide great fodder for conspiracy speculation, the secret to their meaning is hidden in plain sight. ‘Pre-commitment’ in this case is a references to a cryptographic scheme to prevent unreleased information from being tampered with,” Gizmodo contributor Bryan Menegus wrote. “Essentially those unique codes are proof to anyone reading the documents in the future that their contents remain unchanged: alteration to the leaks will likewise alter those 64-character codes.” However, later in the day, it was reported that something had happened to Assange, although of a different nature: [IMAGE: WikiLeaks tweet] Assange has been in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since June 2012, as he faces extradition on rape charges in Sweden that he says are politically motivated. In February of this year, a United Nations group found that Assange was being arbitrarily detained, essentially lending credence to his claim. http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=53170#.WASxw-ArKUk While neither WikiLeaks nor Assange made any direct accusations regarding who might be behind the interference with Assange’s internet access, one look at the subjects of the pre-commitment codes and his recent focus on the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party infrastructure leave little doubt as to whom WikiLeaks believes the “state party” to be. And, considering that the Obama administration has made it clear it intends to declare cyber-warfare on those they believe responsible for the leaks — essentially putting the power of our military behind the Clinton campaign — it’s almost as if we’ve been told to expect this from the government. http://conservativetribune.com/cia-made-against-russia-trump-win/ In fact, Obama and his administration are now increasing tensions with Russia over the Clinton leaks, although we haven’t seen a whole lot of evidence from them that Putin’s regime is behind the attacks. It does rather neatly demonstrate the priorities of the administration, though. Invade Crimea, get a half-hearted talking to by Obama. Shoot down a plane, get some mostly useless sanctions slapped on you. But don’t you ever, EVER tell America and the world about just how the Democratic Party talks behind closed doors, or else it’s GO TIME! http://conservativetribune.com/camp-clinton-dumps-catholics/ While it’s way too early to say with certainty that Obama or our government played some role in this, if they did, those same priorities seem to have spilled over to this administration’s treatment of WikiLeaks. And if you think this is the end of it… well, you clearly don’t know this president. Read more at: http://conservativetribune.com/julian-assange-under-attack/ UPDATE: “Multiple US sources tell us John Kerry asked Ecuador to stop Assange from publishing Clinton docs during FARC peace negotiations…” Oh please, like the release of said documents has such an impact on FARC and Ecuador. They always try to dress their fascism up in the most absurd excuses ever. This was about censorship, it is that plain and simple. Washington Examiner: WikiLeaks claimed on Tuesday that Secretary of State John Kerry personally appealed to Ecuador to stop WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from publishing information damaging to Hillary Clinton. “Multiple US sources tell us John Kerry asked Ecuador to stop Assange from publishing Clinton docs during FARC peace negotiations,” WikiLeaks said in a message on Twitter. Kerry was involved with negotiations aimed at ceasing hostilities with the Marxist guerrilla group. WikiLeaks added in a second message, “The John Kerry private meeting with Ecuador was made on the sidelines of the negotiations which took place [principally] on Sep 26 in Colombia.” More. http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/wikileaks-kerry-appealed-to-ecuador-to-stop-assange/article/2604840 BREAKING: Multiple US sources tell us John Kerry asked Ecuador to stop Assange from publishing Clinton docs during FARC peace negotiations. — WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 18, 2016 http://patriottribune.com/44779/kerry-appealed-ecuador-stop-assange/
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    When there is a cyber attack that is severe enough to be labeled "an act of war" then it will be clear enough to the nation and so no predetermined policy is needed.
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    It's up to congress to decide.
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    I agree this is important, but I don't trust Kerry with the responsibility
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    This bill is Teutonic one more attempt by the UD House of Representatives to interfere with the President' authority to determine such policies. And Surprise, surprise it comes in the midst of a Presidential election campaign. The bill should die.
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    This is a waste of time trying to define something that is constantly changing and will continue to do so. Leave discretion to make decisions based on facts at hand rather than preemptively trying to draw lines in the sand that we might later realize don't make any sense.
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    1. An act of war is obvious, if it is up for debate then we should always air on the side of peace. 2. Our government just makes shit up. As soon as the dnc email are leaked, 5 minutes later the dnc and Hillary blame Russia without a shred of evidence. now the rhetoric for war with Russia is ramping up just to avoid account for their illegal behavior. 3. People pulling off these attacks are very sophisticated and could make it look like whoever they want to pin the blame on is responsible. You can track missiles, but you can't always track hackers. 4. This is a blank check for declaring war on anyone we want to punish for disagreeing with our policies, be it citizens, foreign individuals, governments, or corporations. There were no wmds, and there might not be a hack, just an excuse which conveniently will be a national security secret that the public cannot verify. Our government has been taken over, our military is for defense.... Not for the thuggery and bullying of the planet. Don't give the elite carte blanch for murder and genocide. 5. Spare our humanity, find it and start using it people. You want to regulate our rights to defend ourselves away, but then use fear to infer the world is out to get us, well.... If the world is so dangerous then we need to retain our freedom to protect OURSELVES. You can't have it both ways, are we safe enough to violate the second amendment? Or is the world out to get us? You can't have it both ways.
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    Cybercrime is the modern nuke weapon. In the smartphone age information is as valuable as valid government issued ID... I consider ID theft a form of terrorism against the victim. Therefore i think that Cybercrime is the wild west of the modern age. Being unprepared for hostile cybercrime against our government, corporations, and private citizenry is a special kind of stupid...
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    Stay out of our business and run the govt. develop public policy for the common good instead of stomping out all dissent.
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    This bill will be a source of excuses for certain government agencies to initiate war by claiming to blame a country for an attack (i.e blaming Russia or China everytime we are hacked).
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