FEC votes to allow lawmakers to use campaign funds for personal cybersecurity

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) on Thursday voted to allow lawmakers to use leftover campaign funds to guard their personal devices and email accounts from cyber threats.

Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenCongress should elevate those trapped in the gap – support ELEVATE Act IRS shutdown plan fails to quell worries IRS waiving penalty for some in first filing season under Trump's tax law MORE (D-Ore.) proposed the measure, which the commission passed unanimously.

Wyden argued that elected officials face a bevy of cyber threats “including attacks by sophisticated state-sponsored hackers and 22 intelligence agencies against personal devices and accounts.”

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Cybersecurity for campaigns and candidates has emerged as a major issue following the 2016 hack of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) as well as the compromise of Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonIdentity politics and the race for the Democratic nomination O'Rourke’s strategy: Show Americans the real Beto Conservatives pound BuzzFeed, media over Cohen report MORE campaign chair John Podesta's email account. Those resulted in the release of internal Democratic emails in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election.

Wyden has also pushed for the Senate sergeant at arms be authorized to help secure the personal devices of lawmakers and other congressional staff, after Google found that foreign hackers had targeted the Gmail accounts of several senators and Senate staffers.

Microsoft also revealed earlier this year that three congressional candidates in the 2018 midterms had been targeted by cyber actors. Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Trump AG pick Barr grilled at hearing | Judge rules against census citizenship question | McConnell blocks second House bill to reopen government Ex-Sen. McCaskill joins NBC, MSNBC Some Senate Dems see Ocasio-Cortez as weak spokeswoman for party MORE (D-Mo.) confirmed that she was one of the targeted candidates.

And the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) said last week that it was the victim of a hack, with actors being able to surveil the emails of several top committee officials ahead of the midterms.