Abstract

In October 2016, the United States accused Russia of hacking political organizations involved in the U.S. elections and leaking pilfered information to influence the outcome. In December, President Obama imposed sanctions for the hacking. This incident damaged President Obama's cybersecurity legacy. The “hack and leak” campaign targeted American self-government—a challenge to his administration's promotion of democracy in cyberspace. It created problems for the president's emphasis on international law and norms as “rules of the road” for cybersecurity. The episode exposed failures in his attempts to make deterrence an important instrument of U.S. cybersecurity.

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