A 2018 directive by President Donald Trump has allowed the CIA to conduct more than a dozen cyberattacks against Iran and other American foes without approval from the White House.
Yahoo News published a lengthy report on the practice, saying the presidential finding — the technical term for Trump’s order — allows the CIA to target Iran, China, Russia, North Korea, and likely others.
A former U.S. government official called the finding “very aggressive” and said it “gave the agency very specific authorities to really take the fight offensively to a handful of adversarial countries.” Another former government official added, “The White House wanted a vehicle to strike back. And this was the way to do it.”
The cyberattacks in question involve actions like cutting power to facilities and leaking sensitive documents, and also more offensive moves like destroying equipment and facilities — all without having to ask the White House for authorization.
Further, the finding made it easier for the CIA to target via cyberattacks charities, businesses, religious institutions, and even media organizations suspected of working with the intelligence services of America’s foes. Read more at Newsmax.