The Federal Election Commission (FEC) on Thursday voted to allow lawmakers to use leftover campaign funds to guard their personal devices and email accounts from cyber threats.
Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenNursing homes under scrutiny after warnings of seized stimulus checks Hillicon Valley: Senators raise concerns over government surveillance of protests | Amazon pauses police use of its facial recognition tech | FBI warns hackers are targeting mobile banking apps Democratic senators raise concerns over government surveillance of protests MORE (D-Ore.) proposed the measure, which the commission passed unanimously.
Wyden argued that elected officials face a bevy of cyber threats “including attacks by sophisticated state-sponsored hackers and 22 intelligence agencies against personal devices and accounts.”
Cybersecurity for campaigns and candidates has emerged as a major issue following the 2016 hack of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) as well as the compromise of Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House accuses Biden of pushing ‘conspiracy theories’ with Trump election claim Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton qualifies to run for county commissioner in Florida MORE campaign chair John Podesta’s email account. Those resulted in the release of internal Democratic emails in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election.
Wyden has also pushed for the Senate sergeant at arms be authorized to help secure the personal devices of lawmakers and other congressional staff, after Google found that foreign hackers had targeted the Gmail accounts of several senators and Senate staffers.
Microsoft also revealed earlier this year that three congressional candidates in the 2018 midterms had been targeted by cyber actors. Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillMissouri county issues travel advisory for Lake of the Ozarks after Memorial Day parties Senate faces protracted floor fight over judges amid pandemic safety concerns Amash on eyeing presidential bid: ‘Millions of Americans’ want someone other than Trump, Biden MORE (D-Mo.) confirmed that she was one of the targeted candidates.
And the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) said last week that it was the victim of a hack, with actors being able to surveil the emails of several top committee officials ahead of the midterms.
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