Information operations

New Russian Sanctions: Countering Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017, HR 3203


From an information perspective, this is a letdown. Two reports are initiated, tracking state-owned and operated media and Russian operations against European and Eurasian elections. The reports have no office to respond, no action office, and no monitoring capability.  The White House generates the reports, period. 

There are two parts copied and pasted below. First, a part I’ve labeled “Justification”, this is why we are slapping Russia and Iran (and North Korea).

The second part is called “New Sanctions”.

The devil is in the details.  I’m going to need to do some more digging to find out exactly who is being sanctioned, which people, which companies, etc. There is a list in “Justification”, below, but those are the entities that received sanctions in 2016 under President Obama.

Cyber Sanctions. There is something called Cyber Sanctions and I can’t pick out exactly what that means. In the one of two paragraphs, there is something called “Asset Blocking”, but that is directed at people, not a cyber target.

This section is long but contains the main accusations being levied against Russia. These will make Russia furious that these accusations are public law in the United States.

SEC. 252. SENSE OF CONGRESS.

It is the sense of Congress that—

(1) the Government of the Russian Federation bears responsibility for the continuing violence in Eastern Ukraine, including the death on April 24, 2017, of Joseph Stone, a citizen of the United States working as a monitor for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe;

(2) the President should call on the Government of the Russian Federation—

(A) to withdraw all of its forces from the territories of Georgia, Ukraine, and Moldova;

(B) to return control of the borders of those territories to their respective governments; and

(C) to cease all efforts to undermine the popularly elected governments of those countries;

(3) the Government of the Russian Federation has applied, and continues to apply, to the countries and peoples of Georgia and Ukraine, traditional uses of force, intelligence operations, and influence campaigns, which represent clear and present threats to the countries of Europe and Eurasia;

(4) in response, the countries of Europe and Eurasia should redouble efforts to build resilience within their institutions, political systems, and civil societies;

(5) the United States supports the institutions that the Government of the Russian Federation seeks to undermine, including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union;

(6) a strong North Atlantic Treaty Organization is critical to maintaining peace and security in Europe and Eurasia;

(7) the United States should continue to work with the European Union as a partner against aggression by the Government of the Russian Federation, coordinating aid programs, development assistance, and other counter-Russian efforts;

(8) the United States should encourage the establishment of a commission for media freedom within the Council of Europe, modeled on the Venice Commission regarding rule of law issues, that would be chartered to provide governments with expert recommendations on maintaining legal and regulatory regimes supportive of free and independent media and an informed citizenry able to distinguish between fact-based reporting, opinion, and dis­in­for­ma­tion;

(9) in addition to working to strengthen the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union, the United States should work with the individual countries of Europe and Eurasia—

(A) to identify vulnerabilities to aggression, disinformation, corruption, and so-called hybrid warfare by the Government of the Russian Federation;

(B) to establish strategic and technical plans for addressing those vulnerabilities;

(C) to ensure that the financial systems of those countries are not being used to shield illicit financial activity by officials of the Government of the Russian Federation or individuals in President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle who have been enriched through corruption;

(D) to investigate and prosecute cases of corruption by Russian actors; and

(E) to work toward full compliance with the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions (commonly referred to as the “Anti-Bribery Convention”) of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development; and

(10) the President of the United States should use the authority of the President to impose sanctions under—

(A) the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012 (title IV of Public Law 112–20822 U.S.C. 5811 note); and

(B) the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act (subtitle F of title XII of Public Law 114–32822 U.S.C. 2656note).

I found these two reports interesting.

SEC. 255. REPORT ON MEDIA ORGANIZATIONS CONTROLLED AND FUNDED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION.

SEC. 256. REPORT ON RUSSIAN FEDERATION INFLUENCE ON ELECTIONS IN EUROPE AND EURASIA.

That part is all about Russian influence tools.

Downside.  A national strategy is called for to counter financing of terrorist operations.  The two reports are submitted by the President to Congress, but there is no strategy, no office to monitor, react to, or coordinate a national information strategy. 

</end editorial>



Source: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/3203/text#toc-H298CABE3C77A450CA3E15E0243B20A8E

115th CONGRESS
1st Session
SEC. 201. SHORT TITLE.

This title may be cited as the “Countering Russian Influence in Europe and Eurasia Act of 2017”.

The part may be cited as the “Russia Sanctions Review Act of 2017”.

Justification:

SEC. 201. SHORT TITLE.

This title may be cited as the “Countering Russian Influence in Europe and Eurasia Act of 2017”.

SEC. 211. FINDINGS.

Congress makes the following findings:

(1) On March 6, 2014, President Barack Obama issued Executive Order 13660 (79 Fed. Reg. 13493; relating to blocking property of certain persons contributing to the situation in Ukraine), which authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to impose sanctions on those determined to be undermining democratic processes and institutions in Ukraine or threatening the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine. President Obama subsequently issued Executive Order 13661 (79 Fed. Reg. 15535; relating to blocking property of additional persons contributing to the situation in Ukraine) and Executive Order 13662 (79 Fed. Reg. 16169; relating to blocking property of additional persons contributing to the situation in Ukraine) to expand sanctions on certain persons contributing to the situation in Ukraine.

(2) On December 18, 2014, the Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014 was enacted (Public Law 113–27222 U.S.C. 8921 et seq.), which includes provisions directing the President to impose sanctions on foreign persons that the President determines to be entities owned or controlled by the Government of the Russian Federation or nationals of the Russian Federation that manufacture, sell, transfer, or otherwise provide certain defense articles into Syria.

(3) On April 1, 2015, President Obama issued Executive Order 13694 (80 Fed. Reg. 18077; relating to blocking the property of certain persons engaging in significant malicious cyber-enabled activities), which authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of State, to impose sanctions on persons determined to be engaged in malicious cyber-hacking.

(4) On July 26, 2016, President Obama approved a Presidential Policy Directive on United States Cyber Incident Coordination, which states, “certain cyber incidents that have significant impacts on an entity, our national security, or the broader economy require a unique approach to response efforts”.

(5) On December 29, 2016, President Obama issued an annex to Executive Order 13694, which authorized sanctions on the following entities and individuals:

(A) The Main Intelligence Directorate (also known as Glavnoe Razvedyvatel’noe Upravlenie or the GRU) in Moscow, Russian Federation.

(B) The Federal Security Service (also known as Federalnaya Sluzhba Bezopasnosti or the FSB) in Moscow, Russian Federation.

(C) The Special Technology Center (also known as STLC, Ltd. Special Technology Center St. Petersburg) in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation.

(D) Zorsecurity (also known as Esage Lab) in Moscow, Russian Federation.

(E) The autonomous noncommercial organization known as the Professional Association of Designers of Data Processing Systems (also known as ANO PO KSI) in Moscow, Russian Federation.

(F) Igor Valentinovich Korobov.

(G) Sergey Aleksandrovich Gizunov.

(H) Igor Olegovich Kostyukov.

(I) Vladimir Stepanovich Alexseyev.

(6) On January 6, 2017, an assessment of the United States intelligence community entitled, “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections” stated, “Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the United States presidential election.” The assessment warns that “Moscow will apply lessons learned from its Putin-ordered campaign aimed at the U.S. Presidential election to future influence efforts worldwide, including against U.S. allies and their election processes”.

SEC. 212. SENSE OF CONGRESS.

It is the sense of Congress that the President—

(1) should engage to the fullest extent possible with partner governments with regard to closing loopholes, including the allowance of extended prepayment for the delivery of goods and commodities and other loopholes, in multilateral and unilateral restrictive measures against the Russian Federation, with the aim of maximizing alignment of those measures; and

(2) should increase efforts to vigorously enforce compliance with sanctions in place as of the date of the enactment of this Act with respect to the Russian Federation in response to the crisis in eastern Ukraine, cyber intrusions and attacks, and human rights violators in the Russian Federation.

New Sanctions


H. R. 3203

To provide congressional review and to counter Iranian and Russian governments’ aggression.

SEC. 235. SANCTIONS DESCRIBED.

(a) Sanctions Described.—The sanctions to be imposed with respect to a person under section 224(a)(2), 231(b), 232(a), or 233(a) are the following:

(1) EXPORT-IMPORT BANK ASSISTANCE FOR EXPORTS TO SANCTIONED PERSONS.—The President may direct the Export-Import Bank of the United States not to give approval to the issuance of any guarantee, insurance, extension of credit, or participation in the extension of credit in connection with the export of any goods or services to the sanctioned person.

(2) EXPORT SANCTION.—The President may order the United States Government not to issue any specific license and not to grant any other specific permission or authority to export any goods or technology to the sanctioned person under—

(A) the Export Administration Act of 1979 (50 U.S.C. 4601 et seq.) (as continued in effect pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.));

(B) the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2751 et seq.);

(C) the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.); or

(D) any other statute that requires the prior review and approval of the United States Government as a condition for the export or reexport of goods or services.

(3) LOANS FROM UNITED STATES FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS.—The President may prohibit any United States financial institution from making loans or providing credits to the sanctioned person totaling more than $10,000,000 in any 12-month period unless the person is engaged in activities to relieve human suffering and the loans or credits are provided for such activities.

(4) LOANS FROM INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS.—The President may direct the United States executive director to each international financial institution to use the voice and vote of the United States to oppose any loan from the international financial institution that would benefit the sanctioned person.

(5) PROHIBITIONS ON FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS.—The following prohibitions may be imposed against the sanctioned person if that person is a financial institution:

(A) PROHIBITION ON DESIGNATION AS PRIMARY DEALER.—Neither the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System nor the Federal Reserve Bank of New York may designate, or permit the continuation of any prior designation of, the financial institution as a primary dealer in United States Government debt instruments.

(B) PROHIBITION ON SERVICE AS A REPOSITORY OF GOVERNMENT FUNDS.—The financial institution may not serve as agent of the United States Government or serve as repository for United States Government funds.

The imposition of either sanction under subparagraph (A) or (B) shall be treated as 1 sanction for purposes of subsection (b), and the imposition of both such sanctions shall be treated as 2 sanctions for purposes of subsection (b).

(6) PROCUREMENT SANCTION.—The United States Government may not procure, or enter into any contract for the procurement of, any goods or services from the sanctioned person.

(7) FOREIGN EXCHANGE.—The President may, pursuant to such regulations as the President may prescribe, prohibit any transactions in foreign exchange that are subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and in which the sanctioned person has any interest.

(8) BANKING TRANSACTIONS.—The President may, pursuant to such regulations as the President may prescribe, prohibit any transfers of credit or payments between financial institutions or by, through, or to any financial institution, to the extent that such transfers or payments are subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and involve any interest of the sanctioned person.

(9) PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS.—The President may, pursuant to such regulations as the President may prescribe, prohibit any person from—

(A) acquiring, holding, withholding, using, transferring, withdrawing, transporting, importing, or exporting any property that is subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and with respect to which the sanctioned person has any interest;

(B) dealing in or exercising any right, power, or privilege with respect to such property; or

(C) conducting any transaction involving such property.

(10) BAN ON INVESTMENT IN EQUITY OR DEBT OF SANCTIONED PERSON.—The President may, pursuant to such regulations or guidelines as the President may prescribe, prohibit any United States person from investing in or purchasing significant amounts of equity or debt instruments of the sanctioned person.

(11) EXCLUSION OF CORPORATE OFFICERS.—The President may direct the Secretary of State to deny a visa to, and the Secretary of Homeland Security to exclude from the United States, any alien that the President determines is a corporate officer or principal of, or a shareholder with a controlling interest in, the sanctioned person.

(12) SANCTIONS ON PRINCIPAL EXECUTIVE OFFICERS.—The President may impose on the principal executive officer or officers of the sanctioned person, or on persons performing similar functions and with similar authorities as such officer or officers, any of the sanctions under this subsection.

(b) Sanctioned Person Defined.—In this section, the term “sanctioned person” means a person subject to sanctions under section 224(a)(2), 231(b), 232(a), or 233(a).

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