Another Democrat-Republican feud is showing that when it comes to politically charged hacking, politics may not stop at the water’s edge. The divide is focused on whether political parties should be allowed to use insider information that’s provided by hackers; similar to what occurred at the state level in 2016. Last week, a Democratic lawmaker on the House Intelligence Committee introduced a bill that would punish federal candidates if they fail to notify the FBI whenever a suspected hacking group offers them political dirt. On Thursday, Rep. Eric Swalwell introduced the “Duty to Report Act.” The proposed law would make it a crime for campaign staffers to not tip the government off to certain suspected hacking activities.
Swalwell unveiled the bill on the same week as the two-year anniversary of the now infamous Trump Tower meeting, where Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer who ambiguously offered damaging political material about Hillary Clinton.
Pitching the bill in a recent opinion article published by The Atlantic, Swalwell stated: “speaking up when you see it in action shouldn’t be optional … What you know might be debatable, but if it walks like a spy, talks like a spy, and acts like a spy, you must assume that it’s a spy and act accordingly.”