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US: Hacking electoral systems will be considered a federal crime

U.S. lawmakers unanimously approve bill to defend electoral integrity systems, which stipulates that hacking into electoral systems will be treated as a federal crime. The Senate approved the bill introduced by the senators Richard Blumenthal, Sheldon Whitehouse and Lindsey Graham in 2019 and is now heading to the Office of the President Tramp to be signed.

The bill is intended to make hacking into the country's electoral systems and infrastructure a federal crime under the Fraud and Computer Abuse Act. (CFAA), whose origins date back to 1986 and is based on striking a balance between its interest government for cybercrime and the interests and capabilities of states to prohibit and punish offenses of this nature. Although the Department of Justice (DoJ) often relies on the CFAA to adjudicate hackers accused of cybercrime, there is a “gap” in the law, as it applies only to systems Internet. Election equipment is usually not connected to the Internet.

hacking US electoral systems-federal crime

Blumenthal said the bill was approved on September 21 at the right time for protection the security of the presidential elections to be held on 3 November, for which voting began on 18 September in four states.
According to Blumenthal, many have tried to hack into the infrastructure that strengthens U.S. democracy, but laws and enforcement are far behind in the face of this threat. Therefore, this bill must quickly become law, as there is no time to lose, as the elections will take place shortly.

The bill comes from a report released by the Cyber ​​Digital Task Force of the Ministry of Justice in July 2018.

In the report, the Cyber ​​Digital Task Force noted the following: “The law on fraud and Computer Abuse ("CFAA") does not currently prohibit hacking an electoral system. In general, the CFAA only prohibits hacking of computers that are connected to the Internet (or meet other strict protection criteria). The Cyber ​​Digital Task Force has also warned that electronic voting machines that are not normally connected to the Internet will not meet these criteria. Consequently, in the event of a hacking of an electoral system, the government could not, in many cases, use the CFAA to prosecute hackers on the presumption that they had committed a federal crime.

hacking US electoral systems-federal crime

Sheila Jackson Lee's spokeswoman said: "The bill is an important legislative initiative, especially now that this year's presidential elections are approaching. elections. We all want a fair and impartial electoral system, voting is an essential part of our democracy, we must ensure that our citizens have confidence in our electoral systems. "

U.S. national security officials, still shaken by the intervention Russian Hackers in the 2016 presidential election and the ensuing, ongoing cyber-attacks by other foreign powers have repeatedly and publicly announced their determination to fight cyber-terrorism in the 2020 election.

hacking US electoral systems-federal crime

William Evanina, director of the National Center for Counterintelligence and Security, recently stated that ChinaThe Iran and Russia seek to influence the preferences and prospects of U.S. voters, change U.S. policies, increase dissent in the U.S., and undermine the American people 's confidence in the country' s democratic process.

White House National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien also recently warned that hacking could have a serious impact on the upcoming US election. In an interview on Face the Nation, O'Brien confirmed that these foreign states are committing Phishing and other cybercrime to the detriment of US electoral infrastructure. Therefore, efforts are being made to strengthen and protect the elections and the infrastructure against possible hacking.

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