Wars and Rumors of War

Where war in the past involved the difficult to hide transport of personnel and large, noisy weapons to the point of conflict, a new face of war — cyberwarfare happens mostly in secret. In fact, if executed successfully, the general public may not be aware of a threat or even that we are in a battle. And, the nature of the cyber world is that these threats and attacks — wars and rumors of war, can be nonstop.

Cyberwarfare is still war and, like other wars, would give the president powers that are unconstitutional in peacetime. The war powers and their extension — the emergency powers, have been used as the legal authority for many controversial executive orders in the past and present including censoring free speech, taking private property, suspending domestic free trade and growing government for war time efficiency. The war powers have also been used by presidents to forward their own non-war related agendas, often in the name of keeping America safe and the economy booming.

As the current administration defines (and it must) the new, highly classified, rules of cyberwarfare, the broad new powers that may be given to the president to involve the US in cyberwarfare are of great concern. That many of the rules will be highly classified, means that the president can exercise expanded authority for undisclosed reasons. Both cyber threats and cyber attacks are often not quickly provable or disprovable, yet can result in a vast set of wartime and emergency powers to the president while suspending the constitutional rights held by the people.

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One Response to Wars and Rumors of War

  1. dukeshoward says:

    I think this is a legitimate issue. Cyber war can be waged by governments and by non-state actors. Also cyber war can involve using worms and viruses to damage equipment, and other methods to track and take data. The entities who use these methods can also find common cause in the targeted country among those who believe that the government is acting in unconstitutional ways. That’s what’s going on with Wikileaks. Cyber war and the government and private industry’s response to it places the nation in a gray area.

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