War Powers Resolution and Cyberwar

If you’ve been following the war in Libya and the Obama’s report to Congress in June, you’ll know that the administration is claiming that our military actions in Libya are not covered under the War Powers Resolution which would require them to be terminated after 60 days. To get around this window, there must be an authorization for the use of military force by Congress or a declaration of war.

The reasoning in the White House report is basically that since the action in Libya involves drones, no soldiers are being put in danger, so the War Powers Resolution doesn’t apply. The reasoning also follows that we are acting in Libya under limited circumstances, only going after specific targets.

What does this have to do with Information Security you ask? Since Clinton ignored the Resolution in 1999, and other presidents have argued that the War Powers Resolution is unconstitutional, the conspiracy theorist in me wonders if the intent in this report wasn’t to set a precedent in order for future actions to follow the same model. It seems to me that the same reasoning could be applied to Cyberwarfare. Soldier/Hackers are essentially the same as drone pilots. Cyberwar, if such a thing ever happens, will also most likely be fought in small theaters and in limited circumstances…not an all out world Cyberwar. Cyberwar actions would by definition also only be directed against specific types of infrastructure.

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