We are publishing the following Press Release due to the importance of the issue and the crucial timing of the message.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
26 September 2016
For more information contact: Jody Westby at 202-255-2700 | [email protected]
NATIONAL SECURITY PROFESSIONALS AND CYBER EXPERTS CALL FOR PENTAGON INTERVENTION ON SURRENDER OF THE INTERNET
Washington, D.C.: Dozens of experienced national security professionals and experts on cyber threats and warfare joined forces today to urge the Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to oppose the transfer of the last vestige of U.S. control of the Internet to a non-profit organization in less than a week.
As things stand now, on 1 October, President Obama intends to transfer all responsibilities for naming and numbering domain addresses on the Internet to a non-profit organization known as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Should that happen, the United States will no longer have any control over the addresses that serve to make all websites accessible and allow users to connect to the Internet. Currently, the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) reviews all new addresses and authorizes them to be posted to the authoritative root server (the "A Server") by Verisign.
In the attached letter to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, current and former leaders in industry, national security, homeland and cyber security express strong concerns about the likely implications of such a step and seek a one-year delay to allow full consideration of these issues:
The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority function is critical to our nation's ability to effectively defend our national assets and civilian population and ensure integrity in our cyberwarfare capabilities….DoD is reliant upon private sector critical infrastructure for its operations, and the integrity and security of the IP addresses associated with these assets are equally important to the protection of the American people.
Of…immediate concern to us…is the prospect that the United States might be transferring to future adversaries a capability that could facilitate, particularly in time of conflict, cyberwarfare against us. In the absence of NTIA's stewardship, we would be unable to be certain about the legitimacy of all IP addresses or whether they have been, in some form or fashion, manipulated, or compromised. Given the reliance of the U.S. military and critical infrastructure on the Internet, we must not allow it to be put needlessly at risk.
The signatories, headed by storied leaders of the defense industrial sector and cyberspace, CACI International's Executive Chairman, J.P. "Jack" London, and the former Chairman of Network Solutions, Michael A. Daniels, represent several centuries' worth of experience in safeguarding America and its computer systems. They conclude with the bottom line: "There is, to our knowledge, no compelling reason for exposing the national security to such a risk by transferring our remaining control of the Internet in this way at this time."
To learn more about what is at stake and the necessity of the executive branch and/or the Congress preventing this needless and avoidable disaster, contact Jody Westby, CEO of Global Cyber Risk LLC, at 202-255-2700 or [email protected]
Here is the letter:
September 26, 2016
Hon. Ashton B. Carter
Secretary of Defense The Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20301
General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr.
Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff The Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20301
Dear Secretary Carter and Chairman Dunford:
As individuals with extensive, first-hand experience with protecting our national security, we write to urge you to intervene in opposition to an imminent action that would, in our judgment, cause profound and irreversible damage to the United States' vital interests.
On October 1st, the contract between the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will expire. Upon expiration, the President will allow the Government's remaining control over the Internet to transfer to ICANN. This includes the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) function and NTIA's review of all Internet Protocol addresses and authorization for them to be placed on the authoritative root server (the A Server). In simple terms, nothing now is accessible on the Internet until it has undergone an IP address assignment and NTIA review and NTIA has authorized Verisign to post the address to the A server.
The IANA function is critical to our nation's ability to effectively defend our national assets and civilian population and ensure integrity in our cyberwarfare capabilities. As Congress has considered this transfer of authority, it has stated that ICANN should ensure that .mil and .gov remain exclusive to DoD and that all IP addresses assigned to DoD are used exclusively by the Government. That ignores the fact that DoD is reliant upon private sector critical infrastructure for its operations, and the integrity and security of the IP addresses associated with these assets are equally important to the protection of the American people.
In the absence of U.S. Government involvement in IANA, it seems possible that, over time, foreign powers – including potentially or actually hostile ones – will be able to influence the IANA process. Even coercing the delay in approving IP addresses could impact military capabilities. From a broader view, given the well-documented ambition of these actors to restrict freedom of expression and/or entrepreneurial activity on the Internet, such a transfer of authority to ICANN could have far-reaching and undesirable consequences for untold numbers of people worldwide.
Of more immediate concern to us, however, is the prospect that the United States might be transferring to future adversaries a capability that could facilitate, particularly in time of conflict, cyberwarfare against us. In the absence of NTIA's stewardship, we would be unable to be certain about the legitimacy of all IP addresses or whether they have been, in some form or fashion, manipulated, or compromised. Given the reliance of the U.S. military and critical infrastructure on the Internet, we must not allow it to be put needlessly at risk.
Indeed, there is, to our knowledge, no compelling reason for exposing the national security to such a risk by transferring our remaining control of the Internet in this way at this time.
In light of the looming deadline, we feel compelled to urge you to impress upon President Obama that the contract between NTIA and ICANN cannot be safely terminated at this point. At a minimum, given the irreversible character of this decision and its potential for grave and enduring harm to our national security and other vital interests, the decision should be delayed.
J.P. "Jack" London
Executive Chairman CACI International, Inc.
Jody R. Westby
CEO, Global Cyber Risk LLC & Former Chief Administrative Officer & Counsel, In-Q-Tel
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.
Former Assistant Secretary of Defense (Acting)
Hon. Pete Hoekstra
Former Chairman, House Intelligence Committee
Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney, USAF (Ret.)
Former Asst. Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force
Rep. Brian Babin (TX-36)
Chairman, House Space Subcommittee on the Science, Space and Technology Committee
Dr. Lani Kass
Former Director, Air Force Chief of Staff's Cyber Task Force
Lt. Gen. C. E. McKnight, Jr., USA (Ret.)
Former Director, Command and Control Systems for Nuclear Forces, Joint Chiefs of Staff
Lt. Gen. Robert J. Elder, USAF (Ret.)
Former Commander, U.S. Air Force Network Operations
Vice Adm. Robert R. Monroe, USN (Ret.)
Former Director, Defense Nuclear Agency
Michael A. Daniels
Former Chairman, Network Solutions
Adm. James A. "Ace" Lyons, USN (Ret.)
Former Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet
Lt. Gen. William G. "Jerry" Boykin (Ret.)
Former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence
Oliver "Buck" Revell
Associate Deputy Director (Ret.) Federal Bureau of Investigation
Hon. Michelle Van Cleave
Former National Counterintelligence Executive
Hon. Jon Kyl
Former Senate Minority Whip
Hon. Charles E. Allen
Former Under Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security for Intelligence and Analysis
Hon. John G. Grimes
Former Assistant Secretary, Networks & Information Integration and DoD, Chief Information Officer
Rep. Dave Brat (VA-7)
Maj. Gen. Henry Canterbury, USAF (Ret.)
Former Operations and Readiness, Air Staff Pentagon
Daniel J. Gallington
Former General Counsel, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
Maj. Gen. Kenneth R. Israel, USAF (Ret.)
Former Director of Defense Airborne Reconnaissance Office
Hon. Paula A. DeSutter
Former Assistant Secretary of State and Professional Staff Member, U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
Rear Adm. Pierce J. Johnson, USN (Ret.)
Former Chief of Staff, U.S. Regional Headquarters, Lisbon (Portugal)
Former Director of the Office of Strategic Competitiveness in the Office of the Secretary of Defense
Vice Adm. Edward W. Clexton, Jr., USN (Ret.)
Former Deputy Commander, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, Commander, Carrier Strike Group, and Deputy Commander in Chief, US Naval and Marine Forces, Europe
Rear Adm. Albert A. Gallotta, Jr., USN (Ret.)
Vice Commander, Naval Electronics Systems Command
Lt. Gen. Bennett L. Lewis, USA (Ret.)
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Mobilization and Director, Defense Mobilization Systems Planning Activity
Rear. Adm. Charles R. Kubic, CEC, USN (Ret.)
Former Commander, First Naval Construction Division
National Security Advisor to Sen. Ted Cruz
President & CEO, Digital Executive LTD
Maj. Gen. Harold "Punch" Moulton, USAF (Ret.)
Former Director of Operations, U.S. European Command
Former Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Southern District of New York
Rear Adm. Philip S. Anselmo, USN (Ret.)
Former Director of Command Control Communications Computers and Intelligence (C4I)
Lt. Gen. C. Norman Wood, USAF (Ret.)
Former Director, Intelligence Community Staff
Thomas H. Handel
Former Executive Director, Naval InformationWarfare Activity (now Navy Cyber Warfare Development Group)
Vice Adm. Jerry L. Unruh, USN (Ret.)
Former Commander, U.S. Third Fleet
Rear Adm. H. Winsor Whiton, USN (Ret.)
Former Commander of the Naval Security Group and former Deputy Director of the National Security Agency for Plans, Policy, and Programs
Lt. Gen. Tex Brown, USAF (Ret.)
Former Assistant Vice Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force
Rear Adm. Phillip R. Olson, USN (Ret.)
Former President of the U.S. Navy Board of Inspection and Safety
Senior Fellow, Center for Digital Government
Brig. Gen. Peyton Cole, USAF (Ret.)
Former Executive Secretary, U.S. Department of Defense
Capt. David E. Meadows, USN (Ret.)
Former Deputy Commander Naval Security Group
Capt. Michael Sare, USN (Ret.)
Former Navy Cryptologist / Cyber Warfare Officer
Col. R. J. Peppe, USAF (Ret.)
Former Chief, Selection Board Secretariat
Former CEO, Mosaic, Inc.
Senior VP, Center for Security Policy and former CIA Analyst
Col. F. E. Peck, USAF (Ret.)
Lt. Col. Floyd H. Damschen, USAF (Ret.)
Col. Ed Leonard, USAF (Ret.)
Former State Department Senior Advisor
Maj. Gen. Timothy A. Peppe, USAF (Ret.)
Lt. Col. Ronald King, USA (Ret.)
Capt. James H. Hardaway, USN (Ret.)
Rear Adm. Thomas F. Brown III, USN (Ret.)
S.C. Robinson, Ret.
Section Manager, Y-12 National Security Complex
Col. Michael R. Cook (Ret.)
President, Western Slopes Security Services
Col. Willard Snell, USAF (Ret.)
Maj. Gen. Michael Snodgrass, USAF (Ret.)
Capt. Scott W. Witt, USN (Ret.)
Former Chief, Weapons and Space, National Security Agency
Katherine C. Gorka
President, Council on Global Security
Michael J. Jacobs
Former Information Assurance Director, NSA
Former Army Chief Information Officer and Defense Intelligence Senior Executive Service
Daniel J. Bongino
Former Secret Service Agency, Presidential Protection Division
Lt. Col. Jim Webster, USAF (Ret.)
Col. Raymond C. Maestrelli, DDS USAF (Ret.)
Maj. Gen. Gary L. Harrell, USA (Ret.)
Col. Richard W. Dillon, USA (Ret.)
David P. Goldman
Columnist, Asia Times and PJ Media
Lt. Gen. Gordon E. Fornell, USAF (Ret.)
Col. Daniel Pierre, USAF (Ret.)
Richard T. Witton, Jr. (Ret.)
Editor and author
President & CEO, IntelliGenesis LLC
Managing Director, AcquSight, Inc.
Kevin D. Freeman
Founder, NSIC Institute
Lt. Col. Allen B. West (USA, Ret)
Member, 112th US Congress
Executive Director, National Center for Policy Analysis