Counterattacking the Comment Crew

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Volume 15, Online Edition (Jan 2014)

Presidential Policy Directive 20 authorizes the United States government to counterattack state-sponsored hackers who target America from overseas, such as recent malefactors from Syria and China. However, despite actively legislating in the field of cybersecurity, no act of Congress authorizes or rejects Presidential Policy Directive 20. Because an execution of the directive could cause collateral damage to domestic computer networks, the Supreme Court’s balance-of-powers precedents, such as Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer and United States v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corp., question the constitutionality of any cyberattack the President orders as domestic, rather than foreign policy.

Nicholas Ryan Turza, Recent Development, Counterattacking the Comment Crew: The Constitutionality of Presidential Policy Directive 20 as a Defense to Cyberattacks, 15 N.C. J.L. & Tech. On. 134 (2014), available at

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