House Cyber-Deterrence Bill Clears Committee


The House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee has approved a bill, the Cyber Deterrence and Response Act of 2018 (HR 5576), that if it becomes law would direct the president to designate as a “critical cyber threat actor” any “foreign person…agency or instrumentality of a foreign state that the president determines to be knowingly responsible for or complicit in, or have engaged in…state-sponsored cyber activities that are reasonably likely to result in, or have contributed to, a significant threat to the national security, foreign policy, or economic health or financial stability of the United States.” Once implemented, the law would allow the sitting president to impose sanctions on any critical cyber threat actor after its identity was published in the Federal Register. The bill was introduced into the House by Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL), and it was co-sponsored by eleven other representatives, both Republican and Democratic. According to Rep. Yoho, “[n]ot all threats to our national security are kinetic” and that “[m]ore and more, countries who wish to weaken the United States and disrupt our way of life are using keyboards and the Internet.” He went on to add that HR 5576, if enacted, will “shine a light” on offending countries “and create a framework that not only deters but provides the proper response for their actions.”

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