hacker

U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Tuesday introduced the Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines (DETER) Act.

According to the legislators, “it sends a powerful message to any foreign actor seeking to disrupt our elections: if you attack American candidates, campaigns, or voting infrastructure, you will face severe consequences.”

“We cannot be a country where foreign intelligence agencies attempt to influence our political process without consequences,” said Senator Rubio. “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.”

“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,” said Senator Van Hollen. “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.”

Key Points:

  • The Director of National Intelligence (DNI) must issue to Congress a determination on whether any foreign government has interfered in that election within one month after every federal election.
  • A foreign government, or an agent acting on its behalf, cannot purchase advertisements to influence an election, including online ads.
  • A foreign government, or an agent acting on its behalf, cannot use social and traditional media to spread significant amounts of false information to Americans.
  • A foreign government, or an agent acting on its behalf, cannot hack and release or modify election and campaign infrastructure, including voter registration databases and campaign emails.
  • A foreign government, or an agent acting on its behalf, cannot block or otherwise hinder access to elections infrastructure, such as websites providing information on polling locations.
  • 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.
  • If the DNI determines that the Kremlin has once again interfered in an American federal election, the bill mandates a set of severe sanctions that must be implement within ten days of the DNI’s determination.
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