Preparing the Legal Foundations for U.S. Cyberdefense

Preparing the Legal Foundations for U.S. Cyberdefense

In late-September, Sen. Joe Lieberman detailed a significant and sustained Iranian attack on U.S. banks in retaliation for the Stuxnet virus, which the U.S. all but admitted had been used to attack Iran's nuclear program. In October, Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, spoke circumspectly about a new cyberthreat from an “unusual source.” Then, on Oct. 11, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta warned of America’s unpreparedness for a major cyberattack, raising the specter of a cyber Pearl Harbor.

The message was clear: The United States is engaged in a cyber conflict. Alarmingly, however, the U.S. private sector lacks an adequate approach to defending itself against such cyberattacks, in large part because Washington has yet to prepare a firm legal foundation for doing so.

This is not for lack of trying. Members of Congress spent much of 2012 arguing about three different legislative models for cybersecurity. Lieberman led a group promoting a regulatory model, but critics argued that the proposed regulatory process was extraordinarily burdensome and convoluted, and would undermine the speed of decision-making and implementation needed for private firms to fight fast-changing cyber threats.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review