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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 ShaheenJustice indicts two members of ISIS 'Beatles' cell ISIS militants expected to be sent to US for prosecution: report New Hampshire poll finds Biden up 8 points over Trump MORE (D-N.H.) penned the Kaspersky Lab amendment, while Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamDemocratic Senate campaign arm outraises GOP counterpart in September Hug or heresy? The left's attack on Dianne Feinstein is a sad sign of our times Democrats seem unlikely to move against Feinstein MORE (R-S.C.) and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseDurbin signals he isn't interested in chairing Judiciary Committee Democrats seem unlikely to move against Feinstein Supreme Court battle turns into 2020 proxy war MORE (D-R.I.) co-authored the rule allowing television providers to reject Russian contracts.