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New Bipartisan Bill Aims to Prevent Election Interference

Image: New Bipartisan Bill Aims to Prevent Election Interference
(AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 16 January 2018 11:45 AM

Two senators from each party have introduced a bill to stop foreign governments from interfering in future U.S. elections.

On Tuesday, Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., came forward with the "Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines (DETER) Act," which "uses key national security tools to dissuade hostile foreign powers from meddling in our elections," according to a press release from Rubio's office.

"We know Russia manipulated social media channels and hacked political campaign committees and local elections boards to undermine our democratic process in 2016," they note.

"We expect the threat will grow in future years — and we must do everything possible to prevent these attacks."

The senators propose that the Director of National Intelligence be required to issue a determination to Congress on whether any foreign government has interfered in every federal election within one month of it taking place.

They also propose a list of "actions that will elicit retaliation," if taken by a foreign government "or an agent acting on its behalf," including the buying of advertisements meant to influence an election, and hacking an election database or campaign infrastructure.

Rubio and Van Hollen then suggest a number of "Russia-specific sanctions," building on the ones imposed under the Countering America's Adversaries Act of 2017, including "a set of severe sanctions" if Russia is found interfering in another U.S. election, specifically relating to "major sectors of the Russian economy," and to blacklist "every senior Russian political figure or oligarch" identified under the law from entering the U.S. and blocking their assets.

"The DNI has identified China, Iran, and North Korea as our other major foreign government cyber threats, and they may also seek to exploit American vulnerabilities in the next election cycle," Rubio and Van Hollen note.

"Within 90 days of enactment, the Administration must present Congress with a plan for preventing interference in our elections for each of these countries, and any other foreign state of significant concern."

"Protecting the integrity of our elections is an issue that knows no party. And with the midterm elections less than a year away, we have no time to waste," Van Hollen said in a statement.

"The DETER ACT sends an unequivocal message to Russia and any other foreign actor who may follow its example: if you attack us, the consequences will be severe."

"We cannot be a country where foreign intelligence agencies attempt to influence our political process without consequences," Rubio said in a statement. "This bill will help to ensure the integrity of our electoral process by using key national security tools to dissuade foreign powers from meddling in our elections."

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A bipartisan bill has been introduced to stop foreign governments from interfering in future U.S. elections.
bipartisan, legislation, election, interference
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2018-45-16
Tuesday, 16 January 2018 11:45 AM
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