The Cybersecurity 202: White House’s draft order imposing …


President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin arrive for a news conference in Helsinki on July 16. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

The White House is once again trying to show it’s taking Russian election interference seriously. But its latest effort appears to be a largely toothless one. 

My colleagues Shane Harris, Josh Dawsey and Ellen Nakashima reviewed a draft of an executive order that would authorize President Trump to sanction foreigners who interfere with U.S. elections. The draft is, of course, subject to change. But they report that the current version would create a new category of offense — “election interference” which includes “Internet-based disinformation efforts” — that could carry harsh penalties.

That may sound tough, but the draft order is unlikely to change anything about the administration’s posture toward Moscow — or any other foreign adversary for that matter.

For one thing, it doesn’t require sanctions for anything the Trump

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