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Russia: We did not Hack the US Democrats. But *if* we Did, We're Immune From Prosecution

Accepted submission by martyb at 2018-11-15 00:37:50

Russia: We did not hack the US Democrats. But if we did, we're immune from prosecution []:

The Russian government has denied having anything to do with hacking the US Democratic party in 2016, although in a court filing this week stressed that even if it did break into the DNC's servers, it is immune from prosecution.

And furthermore the Kremlin claimed America is "one of the most prolific practitioners of cyberattacks and cyber-intrusions on the planet." So, nerr!

"The [Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act []] FSIA provides that foreign sovereign states enjoy absolute jurisdictional immunity from suit unless a plaintiff can demonstrate that one of the FSIA’s enumerated 'exceptions' applies," argued [] [PDF] the Russian government this week in a New York court in response to a lawsuit from the DNC.

The DNC claims that it was subject to a "military attack" by Kremlin intelligence, causing Russia to argue back that any act of its military is a sovereign action and so therefore it can't be sued for it.

It's an amazing defense though one the DNC foresaw. It argued in its initial court paperwork [] [PDF] that "Russia is not entitled to sovereign immunity because the DNC’s claims arise out of Russia’s trespass onto the DNC’s private servers - a tort allegedly committed in the United States.

"In addition, Russia committed the trespass in order to steal trade secrets and commit economic espionage, two forms of commercial activity undertaken in and directly affecting the United States."

Of course this being 2018 and Russia, the Putin administration can't leave it at that, and takes the opportunity to troll the US government by pointing out that the immunity provision is also heavily relied upon by Uncle Sam and its officials abroad.

"The United States benefits significantly from the sovereign immunity that it enjoys (and US officials enjoy) in foreign courts around the world with respect to the United States’ frequency acts of cyber intrusion and political interference," Russia's response reads. "As current and former US officials have acknowledged on many occasion, the United States - acting primarily through the National Security Agency (NSA) with the US Department of Defense - is one of the most prolific practitioners of cyberattacks and cyber-intrusions on the planet."

Pot calling the kettle black?

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