Cyberwar is all-but-officially the new Cold War. In its third major scoop in three days, and just hours before President Obama was set to sit down at the Sunnylands estate in California with Chinese President Xi Jinping to talk about cyberwarfare, The Guardian reported that Obama ordered national security agents to compile a list of targets for preemptive Internet-based disruption, similar to the military's long-standing list of nuclear weapon targets. What's more, the directive includes targets within the United States.
Glenn Greenwald reports:
The 18-page Presidential Policy Directive 20, issued in October last year but never published, states that what it calls Offensive Cyber Effects Operations (OCEO) "can offer unique and unconventional capabilities to advance US national objectives around the world with little or no warning to the adversary or target and with potential effects ranging from subtle to severely damaging".
It says the government will "identify potential targets of national importance where OCEO can offer a favorable balance of effectiveness and risk as compared with other instruments of national power".