Government Agencies Outline 2020 Election Security Strategy, in Hearing

WASHINGTON—In a multi-hour long hearing conducted by the House Judiciary Committee, high-ranking members from top government agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice testified on their strategy to fight election interference as the 2020 elections near.

Nearly all four government agencies had members testify, including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, which talked about collaboration and the sharing of cybersecurity information between federal, state, and local partners in order to the defend their infrastructure.

Most agencies also talked about working, assisting, or collaborating with social media companies or technology companies in order to combat foreign influence operations who use social media platforms for their campaigns. The hearing held on Oct. 22 was titled “Securing Americas Elections Part II: Oversight of Government Agencies.”

To fight off election interference in the 2020 elections, the DHSs Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) identified four main lines of effort that will guide the department in their efforts: protecting election infrastructure, supporting campaigns and political infrastructure, raising public awareness and building resilience, and efficiently sharing actionable intelligence and identifying threats.

“CISA, through the EI-ISAC, now provides threat alerts to all 50 states and more than 2,000 local and territorial election offices,” Matthew Masterson, Senior Cybersecurity Advisor at CISA said in his opening testimony. “CISA also provides weekly vulnerability scans for 37 states, 145 local partners, one territory, and 10 private sector partners.”

Meanwhile, the FBIs Foreign Influence Task Force (FITF) said they have since reviewed their practices in wake of the 2018 midterm elections.

“As a result of this review, we further expanded the scope of the FITF. Previously, our efforts to combat malign foreign influence focused solely on the threat posed by Russia,” Nikki Floris, the Deputy Assistant Director for Counterterrorism at the FBI said in her remarks.

“Utilizing lessons learned over the last year and half, the FITF is widening its aperture to confront malign foreign operations of China, Iran, and other global adversaries,” she continued.

Floris said all their departments efforts are based on a three-pronged approach that includes “investigations aRead More – Source