Thursday, December 29, 2016
Obama’s Russian Hacking Retaliation Is Biggest “Since the Cold War”
SINCE US INTELLIGENCE agencies in October identified the Russian government as the source of hacker attacks that breached the Democratic party organizations and leaked private email conversations, President’s Obama’s White House has been searching for an appropriate response. Now, the administration has finally shot back, deporting Russian officials and calling out the individuals and organizations responsible for that hacking, in a set of measures never before seen in America’s digital diplomacy.
The White House on Thursday announced a severe series of measures aimed at punishing Russia’s state-sponsored political hackers and deterring further meddling in US elections. One element of the response, laid out in an executive order, includes sanctions against a handful of Russian organizations and individuals targeted by name. The US will expel 35 Russian diplomats believed to have acted as intelligence agents, and ban Russian personnel from two Russian-government compounds that the White House says were used for Russian intelligence gathering from American soil. Finally, the White House has expanded the scope of the president’s powers from an earlier executive order, giving the president the power to impose sanctions not only in response to cyberattacks that affect national security, but also against anyone “determined to be responsible for tampering, altering, or causing the misappropriation of information with the purpose or effect of interfering with or undermining election processes or institutions.”