July 12, 2017

Klobuchar, Cardin, Durbin, Reed, Senators Introduce Legislation to Prevent Creation of Cybersecurity Unit with Russia

Legislation follows suggestion from the President that the United States should partner with President Vladimir Putin of Russia on a joint cybersecurity unit The No Funds for Cyber Coordination with Russia Act of 2017 says that the President should publicly accept U.S. intelligence findings that Russia interfered in the last election and that he should work with Congress to establish a non-partisan, independent commission to investigate Russian interference

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jack Reed (D-RI), and senators have introduced legislation to prevent the creation of a cybersecurity unit with Russia. The legislation follows the suggestion from the President that the United States should partner with President Vladimir Putin of Russia on a joint cybersecurity unit. The No Funds for Cyber Coordination with Russia Act of 2017 says that the President should publicly accepts U.S. intelligence findings that Russia interfered in the last election and that he should work with Congress to establish a non-partisan, independent commission to investigate Russian interference.

“The suggestion that the United States should partner with Russia on cybersecurity is preposterous. We need to figure out how to keep Russia out of our computer networks, not invite them in. We cannot allow Russia to help ‘guard’ our cybersecurity,” Klobuchar said. “This legislation will ensure this outrageous idea doesn’t come to fruition, especially on the taxpayer dime.

“For the President of the United States to suggest – in a tweet nonetheless – that we would work together on cyber security with the dictator and former KGB agent who launched a cyber act of war against the American people and who has been trying to penetrate our nuclear and other energy sectors is absolutely absurd.  Instead, Congress and the White House should be working together to enact measures and provide assistance to states to help them protect against any future attacks on their election infrastructure.  Congress must stand united against this idea to potentially walk Russia right into our voter files,” said Durbin.  

“Cooperation with Russia on cyber security is ludicrous. For the Trump Administration to think working with the Kremlin on cybersecurity was even remotely a good idea displays an astounding lack of judgement and willful ignorance of the Russian government attack on our democratic system last year,” said Senator Cardin. “President Trump recently appeared to backtrack on this idea, but this legislation remains critically important – given the President’s constantly shifting positions, the Senate needs to make absolutely clear that such cooperation with Russia at this time is simply unacceptable.”

“President Trump’s ill-conceived plan to create a joint U.S.-Russia cybersecurity unit is a terrible idea that would jeopardize national security.  The fact that President Trump and members of his cabinet all tried to tout it as a win after President Trump’s apparent capitulation to Mr. Putin on interference in our elections should set off alarm bells.  President Trump should not willfully or unwittingly invite Russia to continue their cyber exploitation activities against U.S. interests.  That is wrong and it has to stop,” said Senator Reed.

Klobuchar, Durbin, and seven other senators recently introduced legislation to improve the security of U.S. election systems and make commonsense improvements to election administration. The Helping State and Local Governments Prevent Cyber Attacks Act, or HACK Act, would help combat foreign interference by providing state and local governments with information and resources they need to keep our elections secure and improve voter confidence. Klobuchar and Durbin have also called for hearings and briefings on foreign attempts to hack into U.S. election systems and improving cybersecurity and asked for a full account of the Election Assistance Commission’s (EAC) efforts to address Russian cybersecurity threats. Earlier this year, Klobuchar, Cardin, and three other senators introduced legislation to create an independent, nonpartisan commission to comprehensively investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election.

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