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 WydenOvernight Energy: California, 23 other states sue Trump over vehicle emissions rule | Climate strike protests hit cities across globe | Interior watchdog expands scope of FOIA investigation | Dems accuse officials of burying climate reports Microsoft to provide free updates for voting systems running Windows 7 through 2020 Interior watchdog investigating political appointees' review of FOIA requests 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 ClintonUkrainian official denies Trump pressured president The Memo: 'Whistleblower' furor gains steam Missing piece to the Ukraine puzzle: State Department's overture to Rudy Giuliani 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 McCaskillEx-CIA chief worries campaigns falling short on cybersecurity Ocasio-Cortez blasts NYT editor for suggesting Tlaib, Omar aren't representative of Midwest Trump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand 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.