(FreedomBeacon.com)- The Ukrainian government is working on a new law that would bring one of its volunteer brigades into an official military role.
The volunteer group in question is called the IT Army, and it’s a group of hackers that works to initiate cyberattacks against, and prevent cyberattacks from, Russia.
So far, this group has already claimed that it was responsible for taking Russian state media websites while the country’s President Vladimir Putin was delivering his State of the Nation speech recently. The group has also drawn a lot of criticism, though, since it has attacked some hospitals in Russia as well as other targets that are civilian in nature.
The group of “hactivists” has also recruited volunteers from other countries. All they need to join the cause is a smartphone or a computer with a strong internet signal.
The new law that’s being proposed in Ukraine would make the IT Army an official part of the country’s military. It wouldn’t be the first of its kind, though. Countries such as Estonia and Finland each have full-scale cyber forces that augment their countries’ regular military divisions.
In some other countries, reservists who have capabilities in the cyber world are used, instead of a dedicated group like Ukraine has.
In Ukraine, there is a group called the National Coordination Center for Cybersecurity, which works under the National Security and Defense Council for President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The secretary of that group, Nataliya Thachuk, recently told Newsweek via email:
“The law on the creation and functioning of cyber forces within the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine should be adopted as soon as possible. … [The law would] become the basis for building the state’s cyber defense capabilities, engaging cyber volunteers in these activities and creating a cyber reserve.”
This reserve would be a group of cyber experts who are civilians. They’d be trained by Ukraine’s military, and the country would have the ability to mobilize the unit to help defend the country any time there was a conflict or an increased threat in the cyber world.
While Tkachuk didn’t provide any more details on the law, it looks as though the cyber reserve effectively would absorb or replace the IT Army’s volunteers entirely. It would essentially make the cyber group a more permanent and official branch of the military, rather than just a hodgepodge of volunteers who worked on their own accord.
Apparently, members of the IT Army are all for this new proposed law. They emailed responses to questions that Newsweek posed of the group, saying that the interests they have would indeed be represented by the new drafting process of the Ministry of Digital Transformation.
Part of the statement read:
“We fully trust the efforts of the working group to legalize a massive fight in the cyber sector and welcome the moment when it will stop being the grey zone. We … believe that the integration of the IT Army into the cyber reserve will help in building a more effective defense against cyber threats.”