Kremlin seeks more control over internet in Russia
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 Trump 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.
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 Yoho (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.