House passes measure to identify, sanction hackers assisting in cyberattacks against US

House passes measure to identify, sanction hackers assisting in cyberattacks against US

The House on Wednesday passed a bill to implement government-wide rules to name and sanction actors who assist with nation-state-sponsored cyberattacks against the U.S.

The legislation, which passed by a voice vote, would direct President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff urges GOP colleagues to share private concerns about Trump publicly US-China trade talks draw criticism for lack of women in pictures Overnight Defense: Trump to leave 200 troops in Syria | Trump, Kim plan one-on-one meeting | Pentagon asks DHS to justify moving funds for border wall MORE to implement sanctions against those who assist in carrying out cyberattacks on the U.S. The measure would allow him to skip out on the sanctions if doing so is in the country’s best interest.

According to the legislation, the president would be required to label foreign individuals or entities who have “knowingly materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support” in cyberattacks targeting the U.S. as critical cyber threat actors. 

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Trump would be directed to publish the threat actors in the federal register, with the exception of those determined to remain secret for national security or law enforcement purposes. The names would still be shared with Congress.

The president would also be required to slap sanctions on those threat actors under the new legislation, which features a list of possible economic penalties that could be imposed.

Rep. Ted YohoTheodore (Ted) Scott YohoThe new Democratic Congress has an opportunity to move legislation to help horses On The Money: Trump says he won't declare emergency 'so fast' | Shutdown poised to become longest in history | Congress approves back pay for workers | More federal unions sue over shutdown The 7 Republicans who voted against back pay for furloughed workers MORE (R-Fla.), who sponsored the legislation, said in a statement after the bill’s passage that it is “vital that when these attacks happen, they are exposed and punished quickly and accordingly.”

“Collectively, we must do more to combat this digital menace,” he said. “Countries like China, North Korea, Iran, Russia, and other malicious actors conduct cyber- attacks against America on a daily basis. This must be confronted and stopped.”

He also called on the Senate to pass the legislation's companion bill, which is being considered by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Trump administration officials have warned that countries other than Russia may seek to influence or interfere in U.S. elections.

Facebook, Twitter and other platforms recently announced that it had deleted hundreds of pages or accounts tied to foreign governments, including those believed to be part of an Iran-linked influence campaign.