The White House is being asked by attorneys to explain a top-secret presidential policy directive signed last month that may allow for the domestic deployment of the US military for the sake of so-called cybersecurity.
Lawyers with the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) have filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the office of US President Barack Obama in hopes if hearing more about an elusive order signed in secrecy in mid-October but only made public in an article published this week in the Washington Post.
According to persons close to the White House who have seen the order and spoke with the Post, Presidential Policy Directive 20 (PP20) aims to “finalize new rules of engagement that would guide commanders when and how the military can go outside government networks to prevent a cyberattack that could cause significant destruction or casualties.”Attorneys with EPIC are now demanding that they see this secret order to find out what exactly that could mean, citing the possibility of putting boots on the ground in the United States if the government argues it’s imperative for cybersecurity.
In the FOIA request, EPIC attorneys Amie Stepanovich and Ginger McCall ask to see information about PP20 because they fear it may enable “military deployment within the United States” by way of a “secret law” that lets the National Security Agency and Pentagon put armed forces in charge of protecting America’s cyberinfrastructure and crucial routes of communications.
“We don’t know what’s in this policy directive and we feel the American public has the right to know,” McCall tells Raw Story this week.
On her part, Stepanovich adds that getting to the truth of the matter could be a nightmare given the NSA’s tendency to keep these sorts of things secret.