Trump Has Cleared the Way for Russian ‘Hacktivities’ (Op-ed)

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP/ TASS

The White House is creating the illusion being proactive on cyber defense. But that alone won’t stop Russia from meddling.

Over the past two weeks, the Trump Administration has rolled out a flurry of cybersecurity strategies and executive orders, including the latest Cyber Strategy by the Department of Defense and, most notably, the first White House National Cyber Strategy in 15 years. The U.S. government has unveiled what it calls “offensive” and “deterrent” security measures against its cyber adversaries, including Russia. But the devil is in the detail — and details are largely absent from these new documents.

While former U.S. government officials and even political opponents of this administration have praised the leadership for taking a step forward on the cyber front, many have also criticized the administration for a continued lack of clearly defined roles and responsibilities between U.S. federal agencies on identifying and prioritizing critical functions and missions of federal cybersecurity initiatives. But beyond those directly working on cybersecurity-related matters, this new cyber strategy has drawn almost entirely no attention from the American media and electorate. It is almost as if the Trump administration is reluctant to be seen publicly confronting something that is a much greater threat to national security than, for example, immigration or trade deals, two subjects about which the President never tires of speaking, or Tweeting.

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