Shomporko Desk:-As the Nov. 3 presidential vote approaches in the United States, there are new signs that the country’s electoral system is again under attack from foreign adversaries.
Intelligence officials confirmed in recent days that foreign actors are effectively trying to bargain the private interchanges of “U.S. political campaigns, candidates and other political targets” while attempting to compromise the nation’s political decision framework. Foreign entities are additionally forcefully spreading disinformation expected to plant voter disarray heading into the fall.
There is no proof that America’s foes have yet prevailed with regards to infiltrating efforts or state election systems, yet Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential crusade affirmed for the current week that it has confronted numerous related threats.
The former vice-president’s team was reluctant to reveal specifics for fear of giving adversaries useful intelligence.
Because of such secrecy, at least in part, foreign interference largely remains an afterthought in the 2020 contest, even as Republicans and Democrats alike concede it poses a serious threat that could fundamentally reshape the election at any moment.
Biden’s campaign is increasingly concerned that pro-Russian sources have already shared disinformation about Biden’s family with President Donald Trump’s campaign and his Republican allies on Capitol Hill designed to hurt the Democratic candidate in the days leading up to the election.
When asked directly, the Trump campaign refused to say whether it had accepted materials related to Biden from any foreign nationals. Trump was impeached last year after being caught pressuring Ukrainian leaders to produce damaging information about work Biden’s son did in the country, even though repeated allegations of corruption against the Bidens have been widely discredited.
The 2020 campaigns and party committees have been receiving regular briefings from the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, whose director, Bill Evanina, released a rare public statement last week confirming Russia’s continued work to meddle in the U.S. election.
Evanina said that Russia, as part of an effort to weaken the U.S. and its global standing, has been spreading disinformation to undermine confidence in American democracy and “to denigrate what it sees as an anti-Russia ‘establishment’ in America.”
The threat is not limited to Russia. China, a target of escalating condemnation across the Trump administration in recent weeks, has been looking for ways to affect U.S. policy, counter criticism of Beijing and pressure political figures it views as opposed to Chinese interests, Evanina said, while Iran has been involved in circulating disinformation and anti-American content online.
“Contrary to their narrative, the Democrats’ efforts to tear these safeguards apart — as they sue in 18 states across the nation — would open our election system up to foreign interference,” Morgan said. “That’s why we’re fighting back — to protect the sanctity of our election system.”
U.S. intelligence agencies determined that Russian operatives seeking to boost Trump’s campaign hacked into the Democratic National Committee’s servers and later shared damaging messages with WikiLeaks while running a covert social media campaign aimed at sowing discord among American voters.
All told, the U.S. Justice Department charged 25 Russian nationals in a covert effort to spread disinformation on social media and in the hacking of Democratic emails. While Trump has downplayed the threat of Russian meddling, he authorized a 2018 cyberattack against the Russian troll farm known as the Internet Research Agency.
Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee, said in an interview that foreign adversaries “never stopped trying to interfere with our election process.”
He said the foreign meddling includes some new tactics compared with 2016. He noted, for example, that the Internet Research Agency is operating under a different name.
Warner declined to be more specific about 2020 interference, which has been discussed in classified briefings. He said he has a “huge concern” that voters don’t appreciate the true nature of the threat.
“The idea that we could be headed into Labour Day without the American public being officially put on notice seems grossly inappropriate,” Warner said.
Photo credit: AP Photo
News source: The Associated Press