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Venable managing director of cybersecurity services Ari Schwartz was quoted in a July 26, 2016 Reuters article on the federal government’s first emergency response manual for a major cyber attack. The "presidential policy directive" offers the first public guidance on how federal agencies would respond to a major attack. While it includes a five-level scale to grade the severity of a cyber attack, with the highest level threatening infrastructure, government stability or American lives, it does not specify potential retaliatory actions against an adversary.

Schwartz said the "new directive largely codifies existing practices and norms, rather than changing policy."