NSA Refused to Disclose Obama's Secret Cyber Security Directive

NSA Refused to Disclose Obama's Secret Cyber Security Directive

The cyber security directive of United States President Barack Obama has been twisted a little as the National Security Agency (NSA) has refused to release details of a secret presidential directive document that would establish a broader set of standards that would guide federal agencies in confronting Cyber threats. Several experts are presuming that the cyber security directive could allow the military and intelligence agencies to operate on the networks of private companies, such as Google and Facebook. According to the last week report by Washington Post, cited several U.S. officials saying that Obama signed off on the secret cyber security order, believed to widely expand NSA’s spying authorities, in mid-October. “The new directive is the most extensive White House effort to date to wrestle with what constitutes an “offensive” and a “defensive” action in the rapidly evolving world of cyber war and cyber terrorism,” the report states.  
The Electronic Privacy and Information Center (EPIC), filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to make the document public because it said the measure could expand NSA’s Cyber security authority. “Transparency is crucial to the public’s ability to monitor the government’s national security efforts and ensure that federal agencies respect privacy rights and comply with their obligations under the Privacy Act,” said EPIC’s request.
EPIC said that NSA denied the request on Nov. 21 arguing that it doesn’t have to release the document because it is a confidential presidential communication and contains information that is classified “Secret” and “Top Secret” by the agency. NSA said disclosure of the order could “reasonably be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security.” The agency said EPIC could file an appeal with the NSA/Central Security Service denial and EPIC said it plans to do so. The privacy group said it is litigating similar FOIA requests with NSA, including the release of NSPD 54, a 2008 presidential directive setting out the NSA’s cyber security authority. The group called NSA a “black hole for public information about cyber security” in an official statement to Congress earlier this year. National Security Agency whistle blower William Binney said in Mid July that the U.S. government is secretly gathering information “about virtually every U.S. citizen in the country”, in “a very dangerous process” that violates Americans’ privacy.
Former President George W. Bush signed a presidential order in 2002 allowing the National Security Agency (NSA) to monitor without a warrant the international (and sometimes domestic) telephone calls and e-mail messages of hundreds or thousands of citizens and legal residents inside the United States. The program eventually came to include some purely internal controls -- but no requirement that warrants be obtained from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court as the 4th Amendment to the Constitution and the foreign intelligence surveillance laws require.

-Source (GSN Magazine & Press TV)


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