Step one: cleanse the skin?
There’s a Russian word for deliberate, tactical deception: maskirovka.
While the investigation into meddlesome maskirovka in the 2016 U.S. election continues, American intelligence leaders have warned that the Russians — like any members of the House of Representatives who aren’t retiring — are already looking toward this year’s elections.
As Reuters reports:
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told a congressional committee that Russia and other foreign entities were likely to attack U.S. and European elections this year and beyond, adding that Moscow believes similar efforts successfully undermined U.S. democracy two years ago.
Coats, a former senator appointed by President Donald Trump as Washington’s top intelligence official, said he had already seen evidence Russia was targeting U.S. elections in November, when Republican control of the House of Representatives and Senate are at stake, plus a host of positions in state governments.
“Frankly, the United States is under attack,” Coats said at the Senate Intelligence Committee’s annual hearing on worldwide threats.
The federal government is working with states to make sure elections are safe, even though the president has been incredulous about Russia’s motives.
But there’s more than one way to hack an election. Russian bots and “fake news” campaigns can sway voters without touching the rolls. And these digital efforts remain active.
Securing elections will take work from the government, Silicon Valley and citizens. What does that work look like?
- Shane Harris Intelligence and national security reporter, The Washington Post; Future of War fellow, New America; author, "At War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex" and "The Watchers: The Rise of America's Surveillance State"'; @shaneharris
- John Carlin Former assistant attorney general for the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Security Division; chair of Morrison & Foerster’s global risk and crisis management team and the Aspen Institute’s Cybersecurity and Technology policy program
- David Becker Executive director and founder of the Center for Election Innovation and Research; @beckerdavidj
- Nina Jankowicz Writer and analyst focused on Russian disinformation campaigns; former George F. Kennan Fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; @wiczipedia
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