House Passes Kildee Amendment to Protect Service Members From Russian Cyber Attacks

Press Release

Date: July 14, 2017
Location: Washington, DC

The U.S. House of Representatives today passed legislation introduced by Congressman Kildee (MI-05) to help U.S. service members fight against Russian exploitation and misinformation online. It has been recently reported that Russia has increased its efforts to gain intelligence from military personnel through social media, phishing, hacking and misinformation.

Congressman Kildee's legislation would encourage the Department of Defense to provide additional training to service members and their families, specifically about the Russian threat, so that they can protect themselves against these attacks. The amendment was passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018.

"As we saw during the last election, Russia has a robust cyber disinformation machine that it is using to attack the United States and now it is targeting individual service members, veterans, and even their families," said Congressman Kildee. "My amendment would help protect service members from Russian exploitation while also working to keep our country free from Russian interference. We need to provide our service members with the training they require to identify and defeat these Russian cyber and misinformation attacks, just like we would any other conventional threat from a foreign country."

Politico recently reported that Russia is engaging in a calculated and widespread campaign to influence service member and veterans, by filling their social media feeds with pro-Russia content and engaging in deliberate and targeted "phishing" attacks against individuals. This is done by posing as young people to gather intelligence and recruit unknowing veterans and service members to share information online crafted to sway public opinion about Russia.

The reports explain that Russia's efforts against service members and military personnel are parts of a larger effort to undermine Western institutions. Congressman Kildee's amendment would give service members and their families the resources they need to fight against this part of Russia's larger measures against the U.S.