Allred Leads Bipartisan Bill to Allow Americans to Hold Foreign Governments to Account for Damage Done by Cyberattacks

March 8, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Colin Allred (TX-32) led his bipartisan colleagues, Reps. Jack Bergman (MI-01), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03), Joe Neguse (CO-02), and Andy Kim (NJ-03), in introducing the Homeland and Cyber Threat (HACT) Act. This bill would allow Americans to make claims in federal or state courts against foreign states that conduct or engage in cyberattacks against Americans. 

“Cyberattacks against American citizens are only increasing and Congress should give Americans the tools they need to fight back against foreign attacks,” said Rep. Allred. “This legislation does just that by giving Americans the ability to hold foreign governments accountable for damage done by cyberattacks. I’m grateful to my colleagues from both sides of the aisle for their work on this timely and commonsense legislation.”

“Cyber attacks aren’t the threat of the future; they’re very much impacting America’s national security and our citizens right now,” said Rep. Kim. “The HACT Act would provide a common-sense tool in the fight against foreign-directed cyber attacks. I look forward to working alongside my bipartisan colleagues to push this bill forward and provide the American people the protection they deserve.”

“As we continue to address the rise in cyberattacks, the time is now to make this critical update to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act to ensure we are holding foreign states and their agents accountable for attacks against Americans,” said Rep. Bergman. “I was proud to lead this effort in the 116th Congress and look forward to continuing the bipartisan work to get the HACT Act signed in to law.” 

“We have seen a dramatic increase in cyberattacks over the last decade and shockingly there is no legal recourse to hold foreign governments accountable,” said Rep. Joe Neguse. “The HACT Act will provide this accountability and ensure Americans targeted by cyberattacks have tools at their disposal to protect themselves.”

“A foreign government that sponsors cyber-attacks on American citizens should be held accountable for its actions, and that’s why I’m helping introduce the HACT Act to remove immunity for these foreign state actors who have wronged Americans, and allow our citizens to pursue monetary damages,” said Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler. “Congress should stop bad acting foreign nations from undermining our national security, and opening a path to seize assets they hold here in the U.S. as a consequence for misdeeds is a good place to start.” 

"Our adversaries are increasingly engaging in sophisticated cyber-attacks designed to disrupt our infrastructure, economy, and now, even to harm our citizens. It is imperative that we take immediate action to ensure that we are protecting both our national security and the American people," said Rep. Fitzpatrick. "Our bipartisan HACT Act establishes support for Americans to fight back against foreign cyberattacks. I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing this commonsense legislation."

Background on the HACT Act:

This legislation would eliminate immunity afforded to foreign states—including foreign officials, employees, or agents—in the courts of the United States with regard to monetary damages sought by Americans for personal injury, harm to reputation, or damage to or loss of property resulting from cyberattacks.

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