Lawmakers introduce bill allowing Americans to take foreign hackers to court

A group of bipartisan House lawmakers on Monday introduced legislation that would allow Americans to hold foreign governments and their employees accountable in court for malicious cyber activity.

The Homeland and Cyber Threat Act would eliminate the immunity given to other nations, along with their employees or agents, if they have engaged in cyberattacks against U.S. nationals. This would enable Americans to file cases against foreign hackers in federal or state courts for any damage from a cyberattack.

The bill was led by Rep. Colin Allred (D-Texas), with a bipartisan group of co-sponsors including Reps. Jack Bergman (R-Mich.), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.), Joe Neguse (D-Colo.), and Andy Kim (D-N.J.).

The legislation was introduced as the federal government is in the midst of responding to two major cyber incidents involving the Russian and Chinese malicious activity that may have compromised thousands of organizations, including U.S. federal agencies.