A new executive order signed by President Obama today declared a “national emergency” related to sabotage attacks and commercial espionage on the Internet, and empowered the Treasury Department to impose massive sanctions on foreign suspects.
The order effectively brings foreign hackers and cyber spies into the same realm once reserved purely for terrorists and nuclear arms smugglers, a move the White House conceded was “broad brush.”
At the same time, officials insisted the move was necessary because of a “policy gap,” and that the Treasury Department needed to be empowered to sanction random hackers over future attacks.
Not that it’s only future attacks, as officials conceded likewise that this is an ex post facto law, which will empower the Treasury Department to impose sanctions on people accused of hacking attacks years ago.
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