Russia crackdown survives NDAA conference

Russia crackdown survives NDAA conference
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A spate of Russia-focused cybersecurity and anti-information warfare provisions survived the process of merging the Senate and House versions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). 

The Senate Armed Services Committee released a report of its conference with its House counterparts Wednesday. 

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In addition to more than $5 billion in funding to protect European allies from all manner of Russian threats through various programs, the combined NDAA will ban the use of Kaspersky Lab products from Defense Department computers, give cable companies the ability to reject contracts with Russian television programmers and add cyber and informational warfare to annual reports on Russian military capabilities.

The NDAA would also extend an extant rule preventing spending on bilateral military cooperation with Moscow. 

This would mark the latest federal action against Kaspersky Lab, which the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) barred from government use earlier this year. DHS and legislators believe that Kaspersky products have been co-opted by Russian espionage operations that use the cybersecurity firm's antivirus file scanner to search for confidential files to steal. 

Kaspersky denies any connection to any intelligence agency, Russia or otherwise. 

The Russia provisions to the NDAA are backed by some prominent Kremlin hawks. Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenErnst: Intelligence agencies should question Trump’s interpreter, not Congress Overnight Defense: More Trump drama over Russia | Appeals court rules against Trump on transgender ban | Boeing wins Air Force One contract | Military parade to reportedly cost M Top Dem lawmaker pushing committee for closed-door debrief with Trump’s interpreter MORE (D-N.H.) penned the Kaspersky Lab amendment, while Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSunday shows preview: Questions linger over Trump-Putin summit Soccer ball Putin gifted to Trump gets routine security screening Graham: Biggest problem is Trump ‘believes meddling equals collusion’ MORE (R-S.C.) and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseSenate panel advances Trump IRS nominee Senate Dems protest vote on controversial court pick Who is Andrew Wheeler, EPA's new acting chief? MORE (D-R.I.) co-authored the rule allowing television providers to reject Russian contracts.