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 ShaheenDems demand Tillerson end State hiring freeze, consult with Congress The Hill Interview: GOP chairman says ‘red flags’ surround Russian cyber firm Schumer celebrates New York Giants firing head coach: ‘About time’ MORE (D-N.H.) penned the Kaspersky Lab amendment, while Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP and Dems bitterly divided by immigration We are running out of time to protect Dreamers US trade deficit rises on record imports from China MORE (R-S.C.) and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseOvernight Regulation: Net neutrality supporters predict tough court battle | Watchdog to investigate EPA chief's meeting with industry group | Ex-Volkswagen exec gets 7 years for emissions cheating Overnight Energy: Watchdog probes Pruitt speech to mining group | EPA chief promises to let climate scientists present their work | Volkswagen manager gets 7 years for emissions cheating EPA head pledges to protect climate scientists MORE (D-R.I.) co-authored the rule allowing television providers to reject Russian contracts.