White House extends Obama executive order on cyber threats

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President Trump will continue a 2015 state of national emergency that President Obama used as a basis for freezing the assets of Russians tied to a hacking campaign aimed at disrupting the presidential election.

In a letter to Congress titled “Message to the Congress Regarding the Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities,” Trump renewed the order signed in April 2015. The executive order would have expired without renewal.

“Significant malicious cyber-enabled activities originating from, or directed by persons located, in whole or in substantial part, outside the United States, continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States,” reads the letter.

{mosads}”Therefore, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13694 with respect to significant malicious cyber-enabled activities.”

The 2015 executive order allowing the government to freeze the assets of anyone discovered hacking in a way that threatened national security. In December of 2016, Obama signed a new executive order amending the first to also freeze the assets of those hacking to disrupt elections.

The December order came in conjunction with the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security sanctioning, as it described in the Federal Register “twenty-three entities who are added to the Entity List have been determined by the U.S. Government to be acting contrary to the national security or foreign policy.”

The intelligence community determined that the Russian government directed a hacking and influence campaign over the course of the 2016 presidential election in an effort to help Trump. Hacked documents from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta were among those published by WikiLeaks. 

The FBI and the House and Senate Intelligence committees are investigating Russia’s actions. 

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