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Arrest Warrant Issued for Green Party Candidate Jill Stein


A North Dakota judge issued a warrant Wednesday for the arrest of Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, who is accused of spray-painting construction equipment during a protest against the Dakota Access pipeline.

Oil Pipeline Protests (1)

In this photo provided by LaDonna Allard, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, second from right, participates in an oil pipeline protest, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016 in Morton County, N.D. North Dakota authorities plan to pursue charges against Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein for spray-painting construction equipment at a Dakota Access Pipeline protest. Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said Tuesday that the charges would be for trespassing and vandalism. LaDonna Allard via AP

(McClatchy DC)A North Dakota judge issued a warrant Wednesday for the arrest of Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, who is accused of spray-painting construction equipment during a protest against the Dakota Access pipeline.

Court records show Stein was charged Wednesday in Morton County with misdemeanor counts of criminal trespass and criminal mischief. The same charges have been filed against her running mate, Ajamu Baraka.

Stein campaign spokeswoman Meleiza Figueroa could not immediately comment on whether Stein plans to turn herself in.

Activists invited Stein to leave a message at the protest site near the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s reservation on Tuesday, Figueroa said, and Stein sprayed “I approve this message” in red paint on the blade of a bulldozer. A court document shows Baraka painted the word “decolonization” on a piece of construction equipment.

Morton County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Rob Keller said the warrant has been filed and if authorities were to come across Stein, “they would arrest her.”

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is trying to stop construction of a section of the $3.8 billion four-state pipeline that tribal leaders say would violate sacred and culturally sensitive grounds and possibly pollute water.

Before the charges were filed, Stein said in a statement said she hoped North Dakota authorities “press charges against the real vandalism taking place at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation: the bulldozing of sacred burial sites and the unleashing of vicious attack dogs.”

ISIS to Yazidi Girls: ‘Once We Rape You, You Will Be Muslim’


(CNS) The Islamic State wants to torture and destroy the Yazidi people, wipe “them off the face of the Earth,” said lawyer and humanitarian Jacqueline Isaac, who added that the jihadists try to force Yazidi girls to convert to Islam and, if they refuse, tell them this is pointless because once they rape them, which they do, they become Muslim.

Nihad Alawsi, 16, a Yazidi teenager who was kidnapped and sold into sex-slavery by the Islamic State. She escaped after 15 months in captivity. (Screenshot, NRT News)
Nihad Alawsi, 16, a Yazidi teenager
who was kidnapped and sold into
sex-slavery by the Islamic State. She
escaped after 15 months in
captivity. (Screenshot, NRT News)

“[I]t is a philosophy to destroy them and to torture them,” said Isaac in testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee in May 2015 — testimony that was not covered by the major U.S. news networks ABC, CBS and NBC, according to a search of the Nexis news database.

“With the girls particularly that I met, they in one night – because they felt safe in Sinjar town [in Iraq] – one night ISIS came and took all of these girls,” said Isaac. “They told them first, they gave them an option: Will you become a Muslim? Will you convert to Islam? Many of them said ‘no.’”

“And they told them, ‘You are going to be Muslim regardless because we are going to sleep with you,'” said Isaac. “‘And the moment we do that, once we rape you, you will be Muslim.’”

Isaac, vice president of the humanitarian group Roads of Success, traveled to Iraq and Syria and met with many of the victims of the Islamic State, particularly Yazidi women and girls who had been sold into sex-slavery by the Islamists and who later managed to escape.

At the hearing, Chariman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) asked Isaac, “How extensively has ISIS been involved in what we here call sex trafficking, or slavery frankly, particularly the kidnapping and sale of women and girls from these overrun communities? Has it been an outcome of lawlessness or is it part of a more deliberate ISIS policy to destroy and to subjugate those who do not share their fanaticism?”

Isaac said, “Looking at the ISIS philosophy, they believe that the Yazidi people in particular are not only to be tortured but they are to be destroyed in every single way possible. They want them off the face of this Earth.”

“So, it is a philosophy to destroy them and to torture them,” she said. “With the girls particularly that I met, they in one night – because they felt safe in Sinjar town – one night ISIS came and took all of these girls. They told them first, they gave them an option: Will you become a Muslim? Will you convert to Islam? Many of them said ‘no.’ And they told them, ‘You are going to be Muslim regardless because we are going to sleep with you. And the moment we do that, once we rape you, you will be Muslim.’ Many of these girls who chose not to be, still were raped and came back believing that they were forced into this religion. This is barbaric. It is systematic.”

“Today, it starts with the Yazidis,” Isaac continued. “Tomorrow, it’s going to be not only the Christians but every woman that doesn’t fit into their philosophy. We need to stop the menace that’s going on there. We need to stop it at its route. This is the nerve center. Right now, all the crazies from all over the world are coming to this center point, to this nerve center. If we can cut the snake at its head, we can defuse them.”

“Their sex trafficking is systematic and it will continue,” she said.



The Seattle Seahawks will become the first NFL team to join Colin Kaepernick’s silent protest during the national anthem this Sunday.

(USUNCUT) In the Sea Hawks home opener against the Miami Dolphins, they planned a “big surprise” during the national anthem, according to their linebacker Bobby Wagner. Wagner stated that the entire roster will take part in the protest, though he didn’t say if the team would sit or kneel.

“Anything we want to do, it’s not going to be individual. It’s going to be a team thing. That’s what the world needs to see. The world needs to see people coming together versus being individuals,” Wagner told the Seattle Times.

The team has the support of their head coach Pete Carroll, who recently stood up for cornerback Jeremy Lane when he sat during the national anthem in solidarity with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick last Thursday before Seattle’s final preseason game against the Oakland Raiders.

“[Lane]’s pretty clear on what he did and what he was trying to express and I think it is very simple and so we’ll leave that up to him,” Carroll told the Times.

In addition to Lane and Wagner, their wide receiver Doug Baldwin has publicly expressed support for Kaepernick on social media. After Kaepernick started receiving blowback for refusing to stand up for the national anthem, Baldwin then defended the protest and cast Kaepernick’s critics as ignorant of what free speech entails.


Kaepernick’s silent protest has also been recently joined by U.S. Women’s National Team soccer player Megan Rapinoe, and several members of the West Virginia Tech volleyball team. Kaepernick, who said he refuses to “stand to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people,” has said he’ll continue his protest until police brutality is no longer an issue.

And it begins – Cal State University offers black-only housing


What follows is the natural byproduct of the overly offended, mixed with the not-so-subtle racism of “privilege checking” and “cultural appropriation.”

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) – “California State University, Los Angeles started offering segregated housing for black students in a new program called Halisi Scholars.

CBS Los Angeles reported the campus set aside 20 spots in its 192-unit dorm complex for black students and “anyone who shares similar concerns.”

The dorm comes after the university’s Black Student Union issued a list of demands as a response to claims of racial discrimination on campus.

In the letter addressed to university President William Covino, the union demanded “the creation and financial support of a CSLA housing space delegated for black students and a full-time resident director who can cater to the needs of black students.”

Many students who spoke to CBS Los Angeles off-camera shared concerns about separating students by race. Though most seemed to agree that Halisi Scholars posed no real threat to campus life.

Among other things in the letter, the union demanded $20,000 per quarter allocated to the Black Student Union, black scholarships geared toward black students who are both athletes and non-athletes and more black students hired for on-campus, student assistant, work positions.

University of Connecticut, University of California, Davis, and University of California, Berkeleyalso offer segregated housing dedicated to black students.”

Though the University is claiming it’s not completely preventing non-blacks from entering the dorms, the insinuation and results of the action will be segregation either way. Though snopes like to claim this isn’t an issue, much like in many other points, they have no idea what the hell they’re talking about.

When you classify people into privileged groups based on race or sex, the end result is hatred towards the other. If you believe that the issues in your life are merely a result of evil actions done by privileged races and sexes, you then feel entitled to use government agencies to steal from and discriminate against those people to “balance the playing field.”
This leads to discrimination and inevitable segregation.

Stealing from people for being successful to give it to non-successful people is discrimination against the productive. Discrimination based on the idea that someone may be successful in the future due to their race or sex, is even more pernicious. There are problems with racism in this country, but the government and institutions which find it admirable to use violence and hate to fix problems, are not the groups which will prevent further violence and hate in the future.

Fountain Valley Girl Asked to Get $3,500 Permit, License for Lemonade Stand


Just to prove that government regulation always hurts small businesses, the fountain valley regulatory committee has just forced a child to to pay $3,500 in license and permit fees to to run a lemonade stand.

(KTLA5)A Fountain Valley girl who has had some success with a gourmet lemonade stand has been asked by health officials to get a license and a permit for her small business

The paperwork, along with upgrading to a commercial stand, will cost about $3,500 and Anabelle Lockwood’s family has set up aGoFundMe page to help with the expenses.

Anabelle started selling “The Loco Lemon” in June after her father built the stand for her 10th birthday, according to the GoFundMe page. The drink comes in classic or pink, but also includes gourmet flavors like peach, blueberry ginger and watermelon.

“I always wanted to have a lemonade stand. All my friends were talking about it and I thought it was a good idea,” Anabelle told KTLA.


She tried selling the lemonade at her townhouse complex, but she got a letter from the homeowner’s association saying the stand was a “safety hazard.”

After relocating to different spots, her lemonade sold out every day, according to the page.

As her popularity grew, she also drew some unwanted attention. Orange County health officials have agreed to issue a permit, but on the conditions that she upgrade her cart to get it up to commercial standards, gets liability insurance, a business license, a deposit and an hourly or monthly fee for use.

“This isn’t just another business venture… it’s becoming a life lesson for a young ambitious entrepreneur,” the GoFundMe page says. “She will be able to do so much more in the community as well as at charity and school events to help others. She’s extremely passionate about her business, and we are so proud of her for creating something that so many others can enjoy.”

Anabelle and her family were given 30 days to get the proper documents to run the stand full-scale.

In the meantime, they have had to turn down a wedding, corporate events, movies in the park and church events until they get the proper paperwork.

They are still allowed to sell in residential neighborhoods and inside private homes.

For more information or to donate, visit the Loco Lemon Facebook and Instagram pages.

South Park Creators Endorse Gary Johnson & Call Trump + Hillary “Giant Douche and Turd Sandwich”


South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker are out promoting season 20. In an interview with the Daily Beast, they made it clear that this season would have some political themes, and that personally, neither of them like the mainstream candidates.

(RA) Last season, they turned one of their characters, Mr. Garrison, into a Trump-like persona. Ironically, they were hesitant to take on Trump because they thought he’d be out of the race in short order. “We thought we’d better do this before it goes away,” Parker said.

The episode featuring Mr. Garrison as Trump ended pretty epically and might be hard to come back from. Mr. Garrison ran for president promising to banish “dirty Canadians,” but ended up getting raped in the final episode. They “didn’t really want to service Trump as a character,” Parker said.

As for Hillary Clinton, their last episode about her was in 2007 and had to do with a “Snuke.” Google it — I’d blush to explain what that is. The creators said they’re going to focus more on Trump. “In this election, Garrison is our character.”

When asked their actual thoughts on the candidates, Parker called Trump and Clinton “the giant douche and the turd sandwich.”

He said if Gary Johnson had “any chance in hell” of winning, he’d likely support him. They both said, “we believe in liberty.”

Four ways Hillary Clinton Wants to End Gun Ownership as President

Hillary Clinton’s Most Cringe Inducing Moments

This Animated Data Visualization of World War 2 Fatalities Is Horrifying


War is the health of the State.

The video begins by counting the number of deaths during Word War 2. But by 14:18, it shows how truly blessed we are today. And by 16:35, I’m hopeful for our future…

“Who Is He To Confront Me?” – Philippines President Tirade Against “Son Of A Bitch” Barack Obama


What was an embarrassing weekend for president Barack Obama, whose arrival at the G-20 summit in China was a case study in diplomatic humiliation, just turned even worse when on Monday, Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte warned the US president not to question him about extrajudicial killings, or “son of a bitch I will swear at you” when the two presidents meet at a summit in Laos in the coming days.

The topic of Duterte’s killing spree, supposedly involving mostly criminals and drug-traffickers, without due process has raised eyebrows most recently by the United Nations, which urged the Philippines to stop executing and killing people linked to drug business and threatened that “state actors” could be punished. As a result, two weeks ago Duterte lashed out at the UN and threatened that the country could leave the UN. “Maybe we’ll just have to decide to separate from the United Nations. If you’re that rude, son of a bitch, we’ll just leave you,” Duterte told reporters in Davao, quoted by Bloomberg. “I don’t give a shit about them,” he added. “They are the ones interfering. You do not just go out and give a shitting statement against a country.”


Fast forward to today when the outspoken president lobbed a preemptive warning at Obama, and before flying to Laos where the two heads of state are set to meet, said that he is a leader of a sovereign country and is answerable only to the Filipino people. He was answering a reporter’s question about how he intends to explain the extrajudicial killings to Obama. More than 2,000 suspected drug pushers and users have been killed since Duterte launched a war on drugs after taking office on June 30.

In his typical foul-mouthed style, Duterte was quoted by AP as responding: “Who does he think he is?  I am no American puppet. I am the president of a sovereign country and I am not answerable to anyone except the Filipino people, nobody but nobody. You must be respectful. Do not just throw questions. Son of a bitch I will swear at you in that forum,” he said.

Duterte went on to blame the US for causing the unrest on the southern Philippines Island of Mindanao. “As a matter of fact, we inherited this problem from the United States,” he said. “Why? Because they invaded this country and made us their subjugated people. Everybody has a terrible record of extra-judicial killing. Why make an issue about fighting crime?” He added: “Look at the human rights of America along that line. The way they treat the migrants there.”

Duterte has earlier cursed the pope and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Aware of the firestorm his question would provoke from his less than diplomatic peer, it wasn’t clear whether Obama plans to raise the issue of extrajudicial killings with Duterte during a meeting on the sidelines of the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

“Who is he to confront me?” Duterte said, adding that the Philippines had not received an apology for misdeeds committed during the U.S. colonization of the Philippines. He pointed to the killing of Muslim Moros more than a century ago during a U.S. pacification campaign in the southern Philippines, blaming the wounds of the past as “the reason why (the south) continues to boil” with separatist insurgencies. Duterte then once again pointed to human rights problems in the United States.

Last week, Duterte said he was ready to defend his bloody crackdown on illegal drugs, which has sparked concern from the U.S. and other countries. The president also said he would demand that Obama allow him to first explain the context of his crackdown before engaging the U.S. president in a discussion of the deaths.

In response, Obama suggested Monday his planned meeting with Duterte may not go forward. “I always want to make sure if I’m having a meeting that it’s productive and we’re getting something done,” Obama said during his news conference.

“If and when we have a meeting, this is something that is going to be brought up,” Obama said, referring to the Philippines’ controversial record of combating drug crime since Duterte took office earlier this year.

Obama has been attending a meeting of the Group of 20 nations in Hangzhou, China, where his infamous snub by China made global headlines over the weekend. It appears he may have hed enough snubs for one trip.


Markets Are Breaking Down India’s Caste System, Turning Untouchables into Millionaires


This year marks the 25th anniversary of liberal reforms in India that led to the dismantling of many socialist economic policies and the end of the draconian License Raj. Liberalization has changed life for many in India over the past couple of decades, although much more remains to be done. Just the middle class alone has exploded from 30 million people in 1991 to 300 million in 2014.

So this is a good occasion to tell the story of perhaps the most unexpected beneficiaries of these reforms: the rising Dalit millionaires. In recent years, many thousands of so-called “untouchables,” or Dalits, members of the lowest group in the Indian caste order, have risen out of poverty to become wealthy business owners, some even millionaires.

By taking advantage of the greater economic opportunity brought about by market reforms, these Dalit entrepreneurs provide us with an important example of the power of markets, not just to bring about economic emancipation, but to fight deeply entrenched social discrimination.

The Plight of the Dalits

The Indian caste system is an ancient and complex social order that divides society into groups based on a somewhat rough division of labor. The Dalits belong to the lowest group, below the four-tiered hierarchy of priests, warriors, merchants and artisans. Traditionally, Dalits were relegated to a life of doing “dirty” jobs such as cleaning floors and toilets or handling garbage: hence gaining the name “untouchable” as others would refuse to come into contact with them.

The state effectively made all production decisions and awarded licenses to a few chosen oligarchs.

Since one’s caste was determined by birth, and it was impossible to switch castes throughout one’s life, being born an untouchable meant a lifetime of being trapped in a low income “dirty” job with very low social status. Marriages would only take place among caste members, and hence one’s children would be faced with the same hurdles brought by the untouchable identity, leading to systematic discrimination locked into place for generations.

It isn’t surprising that the Dalits consistently rank near the bottom of poverty statistics in an already poverty-ridden country. The term “poorest of the poor” would be an apt description of their socio-economic status in general. For decades, this made them the targets of several affirmative action programs as well as many a politician looking to champion a cause.

While affirmative action has helped some get ahead, it has by no means been a panacea. For as long as all industry was state-controlled and subject to extensive licensing, the state effectively made all production decisions and awarded licenses to a few chosen oligarchs. This meant that opportunities for entrepreneurship and business were slim to none, and affirmative action programs only served to redistribute pieces of a fixed pie from one to another.

Slumdog Millionaires

But there is a new heartwarming trend of entrepreneurship and self-help among Dalits since the liberal reforms in India, especially in urban areas. A visit to the Dalit Chamber of Commerce website (see also the Facebook page) reveals slogans such as “Fight Caste with Capital” and “Be Job givers, not Job seekers” as well as a spokesperson who favorably cites the invisible hand, a la Adam Smith! This voluntary Chamber of Commerce, set up in 2003 to bring Dalit entrepreneurs together, currently has 5,000 members whose enterprises jointly boast over half a billion dollars in sales revenue. The actual number of entrepreneurs in the population is much higher.

To what do they owe their success? Fascinating new qualitative research that tracks the life stories of several of these Dalit entrepreneurs reveals a common thread. The opening up of production processes to market forces created new opportunities like never before. Starting small and scraping together resources and capital, many of these Dalits now run business empires that actually provide employment to upper caste members.

There is Thomas Barnabas who was born into a family of bonded laborers, all eight of whom lived in a one-room house. Thomas recalls being thrown out of an upper caste friend’s home as a child after eating and drinking there because he was “untouchable.” They then proceeded to purify and wash the floor where he sat and threw away the dishes from which he ate.

Thomas now owns an industrial waste recycling and disposal business that has an annual sales revenue of $2.3 million and employs 200 people (including many upper caste members) outside the city of Chennai. He strove to fulfill an unmet demand for the processing of industrial waste generated by large corporations like Samsung, Dell, and Mercedes that set up manufacturing facilities in India after liberalization.

Market forces unwittingly brought about economic and thus social progress for society’s poorest and most discriminated against.


Or there is M.M. Rao, who was just one of two children to get an education in a family of bonded laborers with eight children. His family was so poor that they could not afford to buy shoes. His mother and sister were forced to walk barefoot to work in a nearby town.

Rao now owns a group of companies that specialize in construction, especially in the telecom sector, with a sales revenue of $7.4 million in 2010 alone. He was able to use his education as a civil engineer to start a small sub-contracting business laying telephone cables for large companies after the liberalization of the telecom sector. Owing to the quality of his work as well as his business acumen, he was able to grow that small sub-contracting business into what it is today.

Sushil Patil grew up in a 200 square foot house in a slum, and his father was a laborer in a factory where he was discriminated against for his low caste status. Sushil was able to complete his engineering degree only because his father had to request the college dean to waive the fees that they could not afford to pay. He recalls, “I can never forget my father bowing before the dean, that hit me hard.” He now owns a construction and engineering company with revenues of $45 million a year. His main business is to handle the construction of power plants for major power companies. He has friends who still live in the slum that he grew up in and hopes to construct a charitable hospital that will offer medical services free of charge to the poor.

Markets Break Down Barriers

These stories constitute but a tiny sliver of many thousands, if not more. They lead us to an interesting question: how is it exactly that markets fight social discrimination? Markets work in very different ways than the obvious and visible hand of state-driven policies. While the state seeks to outlaw and abolish caste identity by making discrimination illegal, markets work in quiet and invisible ways by making caste identity irrelevant.

Competition brings about the existence of meaningful and relevant alternatives that raise the opportunity cost of discrimination for everyone participating in the market. It is in an entrepreneur’s economic interest to hire and contract with those who have the highest marginal productivity regardless of their caste identity. For if he does not, his competitor might potentially steal away profits that he could have earned. The more open and competitive a market, the more true this holds.

Once liberal reforms were put in place, they created choice and opportunity for many like never before. Market forces unwittingly brought about economic and thus social progress for society’s poorest and most discriminated against.

But can we go as far as saying the caste system has withered away? Not at all. It is unfortunately alive and well, especially in the rural areas where 68% of the population still lives, despite its being legally “outlawed” for decades.

Can we say that discrimination melts away in a market setting? Not necessarily. Anyone is free to discriminate on the basis of caste identity, even in a market. However, the greater the economic opportunity out there, the greater the chance that the cost of discrimination will be borne by the discriminator himself, not the one being discriminated against.

It’s not a coincidence that there were no Dalit millionaires emerging under socialism.

This is not true under socialism. When the state has a monopoly over all production and its chosen oligarchs (employers) sell to a captive market, discriminating against a certain group of people does not have negative economic consequences for the employer, but only for the ones being discriminated against. Naysayers claim that this rise among Dalits is marginal and not representative of Dalits as a proportion to the total population of the country. Some are getting ahead, but most are still left behind.

While this may be true in terms of numbers, the fact that this has happened at all is nothing short of marvelous. It’s not a coincidence that there were no Dalit millionaires emerging under socialism. It is a direct consequence of the underlying institutional setting. The Dalits exemplify the theory of the so-called poverty trap: being locked into a low-income equilibrium for generations. And yet, given a little opportunity and choice, we see many leaving a life of poverty and social discrimination behind to become well-respected business leaders and philanthropists.

Most encouraging is the recognition among them that it is the invisible hand of the market that has been instrumental for social and economic progress in their community. It is a step in the right direction for the future of classical liberalism and its role in alleviating poverty at a time when many who are more fortunate seem to be forgetting or ignoring its importance.


  1. The unexpected rise of Dalit millionaires: Swaminathan Aiyar
  2. Capitalism is changing caste much faster than any human being: Shekhar Gupta
  3. Defying the odds: The Rise of Dalit Entrepreneurs: Devesh Kapur, D Shyam Babu, Chandra Bhan Prasad
  4. Capitalism’s Assault on the Indian caste system: Swaminathan Aiyar, Cato policy paper

5. Dalit Chamber of Commerce website: www.dicci.org

This essay originally appeared in FEE 

Clinton: US should use ‘military response’ to fight cyberattacks from Russia and China


Clinton said the US should ‘lead the world in setting the rules in cyberspace’.

(IB TIMES) Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party presidential nominee and former US secretary of state, has said that if she becomes president cyberattacks against US interests will be treated “like any other attack” – and that includes military action.

The candidate, who has been investigated by the FBI over use of a private email server to store classified material, was speaking on the campaign trial at the American Legion National Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio on 31 August.

“As President, I will make it clear that the United States will treat cyberattacks just like any other attack. We will be ready with serious political, economic, and military responses,” she told the attendees, largely made up of veterans and their supporters.

“We are going to invest in protecting our governmental networks and our national infrastructure,” she continued. “I want us to lead the world in setting the rules in cyberspace. If America doesn’t, others will.”

The speech made a number of references to the rise in cybercrime – and the various rival nation states that Clinton asserted are currently attacking the US. Most recently, Kremlin-linked hackers were suspected of hacking into the computer networks of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

“We need to respond to evolving threats from states like Russia, China, Iran and North Korea,” Clinton said in the speech. “We need a military that is ready and agile so it can meet the full range of threats and operate on short notice across every domain – not just land, sea, air and space but also cyberspace.

“You’ve seen reports. Russia’s hacked into a lot of things, China has hacked into a lot of things. Russia even hacked into the Democratic National Committee, maybe even some state election systems. So we have got to step up our game. Make sure we are well defended and able to take the fight to those who go after us.”

As tensions between superpowers continues to escalate over cybercrime and cyber-espionage, US officials have remained uncertain about how to classify these security incidents – especially when a major computer infiltration crossed the line into an ‘act of war’.

During one recent US Department of Defense (DoD) strategy meeting, Aaron Hughes, deputy assistant secretary for cyber policy for the government, said: “Incidents described as cyberattacks or computer network attacks are not necessarily armed attacks for the purposes of triggering a nation-state’s inherent right of self-defence.

“When determining whether a cyber incident constitutes an armed attack, the US government considers a broad range of factors, including the nature and extent of injury or death to persons and the destruction of or damage to property,” he continued. “Cyber incidents are reviewed on a case-by-case basis […] and the national security leadership and the president will make a determination if it’s an ‘armed’ attack.”

However, following the recent DNC hack, US officials appeared to suggest there are loopholes to rules against ‘hacking back’ against adversaries by intelligence teams at the National Security Agency (NSA) when faced with serious threats.

“In terms of the foreign intelligence mission, one of the things we have to do is try to understand who did a breach, who is responsible for a breach,” Robert Joyce, chief of the NSA’s secretive ‘Tailored Access Operations’ told ABC News in a recent interview.

He noted the NSA does indeed have the “technical capabilities and legal authorities” to ‘hack back’ against suspected groups for intelligence gathering purposes. At the time of the report, three anonymous intelligence sources told ABC news such activities had already started.

The US government and the Obama administration have not yet pointed the finger directly at the Kremlin or the nation’s president Vladimir Putin. Yet in pre-election rhetoric, Clinton has remained adamant that Russian hackers were involved in the DNC attack.

“We know that Russian intelligence services, which are part of the Russian government, which is under the firm control of Vladimir Putin, hacked into the DNC. We know that they arranged for a lot of those emails to be released,” Clinton said in an interview with Fox News aired on 31 July. In response, the Russian government has repeatedly denied involvement in the breaches.