The federal government has watched the hacks of Twitter and the sites of The New York Times Co. (NYSE: NYT) and Washington Post Co. (NYSE: WPO) and is ready to defend America against any further attacks — as long as they involve federal agencies. Other corporations and enterprises are on their own. According to The New York Times:
A secret legal review on the use of America’s growing arsenal of cyberweapons has concluded that President Obama has the broad power to order a pre-emptive strike if the United States detects credible evidence of a major digital attack looming from abroad, according to officials involved in the review.
That decision is among several reached in recent months as the administration moves, in the next few weeks, to approve the nation’s first rules for how the military can defend, or retaliate, against a major cyberattack. New policies will also govern how the intelligence agencies can carry out searches of faraway computer networks for signs of potential attacks on the United States and, if the president approves, attack adversaries by injecting them with destructive code — even if there is no declared war.
Clearly, the review is no longer secret.