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Air Force Subjecting Cyber Capabilities to Legal Review

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The Air Force will subject its cyber capabilities for use against enemy computer systems to legal review, according to an order from Air Force Secretary Michael Donley.

Lt. Gen. Richard Harding, the judge advocate general, signed the directive dated July 27 and first reported by the Secrecy News blog.

The judge advocate general will review all cyber capabilities acquired by the Air Force, except for those in a special access program, for compliance with the Law of Armed Conflict, domestic law and international law.

The Air Force general counsel will review capabilities in a special access program.

“For the purposes of this instruction, an Air Force cyber capability requiring a legal review prior to employment is any device or software payload intended to disrupt, deny, degrade, negate, impair or destroy adversarial computer systems, data, activities or capabilities,” the order says.

Cyber capabilities not subject to legal review include devices or software solely intended to gain access to an enemy computer network for data exploitation, the directive said.

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