Rudy Giuliani is the White House's Cyber Czar
Rudy Giuliani is the White House's Cyber Czar

The White house Cyber Czar and former Mayor of New York is working on a “cyber doctrine” for the U.S., according to the Director of National Intelligence (DNI).

The DNI, Dan Coats, did not say much else when he disclosed that fact at a Senate Intelligence Committee Hearing on Thursday. Presumably impatient for the long awaited document, Republican Oklahoma senator asked Coats where the buck might stop if the US still did not have a doctrine by next year.

“As you know”, said Coats, “the president tasked an effort under the direction of former Mayor Giuliani with this.” Coats could not add much to that other than “frankly given the proliferation of issues we're dealing with it's almost overwhelming to get our hands around all of them.”

The Doctrine is intended to set the borders and “rules of engagement” on which the US might respond to the cyber aggression, it so often appears to be the target of. The idea first sprang up after the widespread allegations of the “election hacking” of the 2016  presidential race.

Rudy Giuliani first rose to prominence during his crime-busting term as Mayor of New York City in the 1990s. After he left City Hall, Giuliani remained active within the Republican Party until 2008 when he sought its nomination for presidential candidate. He was visible as an avowed supporter of Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential race and by its end he was made the new administration's Cyber Czar.

The Trump campaign announced at the time that Giuliani would “ be sharing his expertise and insight as a trusted friend concerning private sector cyber-security problems and emerging solutions developing in the private sector.”

Though Giuliani had only spent a year in an infosecurity position, as global chairman of cyber-security and crisis management at Greenberg Traurig, his law expertise spanned decades in some of the most senior legal offices in the US.

There have been attempts to rationalise the phenomenon of cyber-operations into a legal framework before. The Tallinn Manual 2.0 was released earlier this year with the aim of providing lawmakers and statesmen with an idea of the legal parameters of being subject and responding to a cyber-attack.

Coats' comments came after substantial testimony on the cyber-threats currently arrayed against the United States. The DNI began his written statement to the Senate Intelligence Committee by saying “our adversaries are becoming more adept at using cyber-space to threaten our interests and advance their own, and despite improving cyber-defences, nearly all information, communication networks, and systems will be at risk for years.”