A Push to Protect Political Campaigns from Hackers Hits a Snag

Campaign finance laws prohibit businesses and even many nonprofits from directly contributing to political campaigns. They can’t even send pizza. Now, the United States Federal Election Commission may apply the same laws to block a cybersecurity firm from offering free or low-cost defense services to campaigns, at a time when those protections are badly needed. During the 2016 US presidential election, Russian hackers not only threatened election networks and voting systems, but wreaked havoc by targeting campaigns and political parties, particularly the Democratic National Committee, and leaking troves of sensitive data. The events showed the importance of implementing defenses against hacks like phishing, network intrusions, and denial of service attacks for even the most transient campaign efforts. But all long-running …