The New York Times reports today that the “Obama administration has adopted new procedures for using the Defense Department’s vast array of cyberwarfare capabilities in case of an attack on vital computer networks inside the United States, delicately navigating historic rules that restrict military action on American soil. . . . Under the new rules, the president would approve the use of the military’s expertise in computer-network warfare, and the Department of Homeland Security would direct the work.” The story makes pretty clear that the Defense Department capabilities in question lie in the National Security Agency (NSA).
This is the latest in a series of government disclosures over the last eighteen months that clarify the NSA’s growing role in domestic cybersecurity, including a growing role working with the private sector to address cybersecurity problems.