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Trump Extends Obama's EO for Sanctioning Hackers

EO ultimately led to sanctions against Russia for hacking and other attempts to tamper with the outcome of the US election.

President Donald J. Trump has quietly extended for one year the "national emergency" executive order issued by his predecessor Barack Obama that ultimately led to the sanctions and retaliatory measures taken by the Obama administration against Russian officials for that nation's role in hacking activities targeting the US election.

In a Federal Register Notice published on March 29, Trump called for Obama's EO 13694 from April 1, 2015, to remain in effect for one year. In that EO, Obama cited the International Emergency Economic Powers Act to allow his administration to blacklist foreign individuals or entities behind "significant malicious cyber-enabled activities."
Late last December, Obama issued the US's first sanctions in the wake of that EO, ejecting from the US 35 Russian intelligence operatives and imposed sanctions on nine entities and individuals: Russia's two leading intelligence services (the GRU and the FSB), four individual GRU officers, and three other organizations.
Trump's extension of Obama's EO 13694 comes at a highly sensitive time for the administration, as the FBI and both arms of Congress are conducting separate investigations on Russia's interference in the 2016 US presidential election as well as any possible links to the Trump team.
President Trump wrote in the filing this week:
"On April 1, 2015, by Executive Order 13694, the President declared a national emergency pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701-1706) to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States constituted by the increasing prevalence and severity of malicious cyber-enabled activities originating from, or directed by persons located, in whole or in substantial part, outside the United States. On December 28, 2016, the President issued Executive Order 13757 to take additional steps to address the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13694.

"These significant malicious cyber-enabled activities continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States. For this reason, the national emergency declared on April 1, 2015, must continue in effect beyond April 1, 2017. Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13694."

The official filing is here in the Federal Register.


Kelly Jackson Higgins is Executive Editor at DarkReading.com. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

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