An authorization bill introduced Aug. 18 by Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) pushes back against a proposal floated by the Trump administration to set up a joint cyber initiative with Russia. The bill also establishes a strategy to protect U.S. election systems and pushes for increased pay rates for federal cyber professionals. It is not the first bill to call for a prohibition on potential U.S.-Russia cyber cooperation. Following President Donald Trump’s tweet on July 9 stating that he and Russian President Vladimir Putin had “discussed forming an impenetrable Cyber Security unit” in the future to guard against election hacking, a bipartisan group of legislators expressed alarm at the idea. Although Trump later backtracked, Senate Democrats introduced a standalone bill three days later to deny funding for any such plan.
However, a similar proposal coming from the president’s own party and chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee signals that congressional Republicans may also be serious about closing the door on the Trump’s suggestion. Burr’s bill would place the authority to establish any joint cyber arrangement in the hands of the Director of National Intelligence.
Burr’s office has not responded to a request for comment on this bill.
The bill also calls on federal agencies to “develop a whole-of-government strategy for countering the threat of Russian cyberattacks and attempted cyberattacks against electoral systems and processes in the United States, including Federal, State, and local election systems, voter registration databases, voting tabulation equipment, and equipment and processes for the secure transmission of election results.”
Full Article: Senate bill bans joint cyber initiative with Russia — FCW.