Congressional Committees: Election Infrastructure Security

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Addie
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Re: Congressional Committees: Election Infrastructure Security

#176

Post by Addie »

WaPo
In turnaround, McConnell backs $250 million in election security funding

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday expressed support for providing states with an additional $250 million in election security funding, an abrupt turnaround after more than a year of opposition from the Kentucky Republican on the issue.

McConnell, who has been derided by Democrats as “Moscow Mitch” for repeatedly blocking efforts to combat Russian interference in U.S. elections, announced his position in remarks on the Senate floor Thursday morning.

“I’m proud the financial services and the general government bill included a bipartisan amendment providing another $250 million from the administration to help states improve their defenses and shore up their voting systems,” McConnell said. “I’m proud to have helped develop this amendment and co-sponsor it in committee.”

“That will bring our total allocation for election security — listen to this — to more than $600 million since fiscal 2008,” he added.

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Re: Congressional Committees: Election Infrastructure Security

#177

Post by Suranis »

Something serious must have happened to force a crack in Project Stonewall. There's more to this than meets the eye.
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Re: Congressional Committees: Election Infrastructure Security

#178

Post by pipistrelle »

Listen to this: $600 million in 11 years doesn’t sound like much, Senator.

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Re: Congressional Committees: Election Infrastructure Security

#179

Post by Addie »

:like:
Suranis wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:06 pm
Something serious must have happened to force a crack in Project Stonewall. There's more to this than meets the eye.

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Re: Congressional Committees: Election Infrastructure Security

#180

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer »

Addie wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:07 am
:like:
Suranis wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:06 pm
Something serious must have happened to force a crack in Project Stonewall. There's more to this than meets the eye.
Yep. It's a definite "ponder me this". Was it the Senate Democrats' speaking marathon?

The NYT doesn't know either (no surprise, just noting for the record.)

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/20/opin ... urity.html
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The 19th Amendment was first introduced to Congress in 1878, yet it was not approved by Congress until 1919 – 41 years later.
- https://legaldictionary.net/19th-amendment/

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Re: Congressional Committees: Election Infrastructure Security

#181

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer »

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/mcco ... ng-measure
McConnell Finally Caves On Election Security Measure After Months Of Stonewalling

The Republican leader also jabbed at his Democratic critics, saying that the amendment is “exactly the kind of positive outcome” that is possible “when we stop posturing for the press.”

McConnell’s turnabout came after House and Senate Democrats kept publicly blasting the senate leader for his stonewalling, even referring to the Kentucky Republican as “Moscow Mitch” (which McConnell had complained was “over the top” and “modern-day McCarthyism”).


In an official statement on Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) applauded McConnell’s decision but warned that the measure alone isn’t sufficient to combat election meddling from foreign governments.
Hmmmm. Moscow Mitch didn't like all those negative and public remarks criticizing his loyalty. Nice to know.
A 19th Amendment Centennial Moment:
The 19th Amendment was first introduced to Congress in 1878, yet it was not approved by Congress until 1919 – 41 years later.
- https://legaldictionary.net/19th-amendment/

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Re: Congressional Committees: Election Infrastructure Security

#182

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer »

https://www.cnet.com/news/sen-mcconnell ... ty-funding
McConnell backs $250M in election security funding after long resistance

At the Defcon hacking conference in August, Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, called out McConnell specifically for blocking the bills and compromising election security.
A 19th Amendment Centennial Moment:
The 19th Amendment was first introduced to Congress in 1878, yet it was not approved by Congress until 1919 – 41 years later.
- https://legaldictionary.net/19th-amendment/

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Re: Congressional Committees: Election Infrastructure Security

#183

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer »

https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politi ... 54747.html
Facing pressure, McConnell backs money for election security

The turnabout comes after critics began calling McConnell “Moscow Mitch” for his opposition. Thursday, Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, quipped his surprise: “No more invitations to the Kremlin for him.”

But conservative groups have begun sounding the alarm, with a Republican-affiliated group last month increasing pressure on McConnell to put election security legislation up for a vote in the Senate. Republicans for the Rule of Law ran ads that targeted McConnell, who faces re-election next year, and four other Republican senators in their home states.

Anti-tax activist Grover Norquist and Freedomworks President Adam Brandon joined the call Wednesday, urging McConnell to put up money for states to be able to buy paper ballots and conduct independent audits.

Stand Up America, a progressive group that has targeted McConnell with digital ads and a billboard, said the senator’s support was encouraging but that “states have made it clear that they need far more funding to upgrade outdated voting systems and ensure voter-verified paper ballots.”
A 19th Amendment Centennial Moment:
The 19th Amendment was first introduced to Congress in 1878, yet it was not approved by Congress until 1919 – 41 years later.
- https://legaldictionary.net/19th-amendment/

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Re: Congressional Committees: Election Infrastructure Security

#184

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The Hill
Hacker conference report details persistent vulnerabilities to US voting systems

U.S. voting systems remain vulnerable to cyberattacks three years after documented efforts to penetrate election machines, according to a report released Thursday.

The report is based on the findings of the white-hat hacker DEF CON Voting Village, an annual gathering of hackers that uses election machines to find vulnerabilities that could allow someone to interfere with the voting process.

This year’s event allowed hackers to test voting equipment, including e-poll books, optical scan paper voting devices and direct recording electronic voting machines — all certified for use in at least one U.S. voting jurisdiction.

“Voting Village participants were able to find new ways, or replicate previously published methods, of compromising every one of the devices in the room in ways that could alter stored vote tallies, change ballots displayed to voters, or alter the internal software that controls the machines,” the report said.

Despite the “disturbing” findings of the report, the authors wrote that the findings were “not surprising,” particularly in light of the fact that many of the election equipment cyber vulnerabilities found were “reported almost a decade earlier.”

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Re: Congressional Committees: Election Infrastructure Security

#185

Post by Addie »

Axios
FEC chair claims GOP commissioner blocked memo about foreign election interference

Federal Election Commission Chair Ellen Wientraub took to Twitter on Friday night to share a memo about prohibited electoral activity by foreign nationals that she says a Republican commissioner blocked from being published in a public weekly digest. ...

What she's saying: Weintraub published her memo as a Twitter thread, with 57 posts in total.

Weintraub tweeted: "GOP FEC Commissioner Caroline Hunter took the altogether unprecedented step of objecting to its being added to the Digest and blocked publication of the whole."

The memo focuses on the illegality of foreign nationals donating to American elections and defines various key terms used in the statute, such as "contribution," "anything of value" and "solicit."

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Re: Congressional Committees: Election Infrastructure Security

#186

Post by Addie »

Ars Technica
Facebook, Reddit, and others need a deepfakes plan now, senators say

Utterly fabricated video could become a whole new area of misinformation. Soon.


With only 13 months left to go in the seemingly interminable 2020 US election season, senators are calling on Facebook, Snapchat, Reddit, and other social networks to do something sooner, rather than later, about the potential proliferation of misleading "deepfake" videos

"Over two-thirds of Americans now get their news from social media sites," Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) jointly write in a series of letters to several technology platforms. "Increased reliance on social media will require your company to assume a heightened set of obligations to safeguard the public interest and the public's trust."

Image manipulation is nothing new, and doctored and misleading images have frequently gone viral online since enough Americans had fast-enough Internet access to make the sharing of digital images possible. The potential for not only doctored but completely fabricated video to be able to pass for the real thing, however, is a newer trend.

"We believe it is vital that your organization have plans in place to address the attempted use" of technologies that use "machine learning and data analytics techniques" to generate misleading audio or video, the senators said. "Having a clear policy in place for authenticating media, and slowing the pace at which disinformation spreads, can help blunt some of these risks.

To that end, the senators want platforms to tell them, first of all, what their current policies and rules regarding "misleading, synthetic, or fabricated media" are, if such rules even exist. The senators also want to know what recourse victims of fake videos have with the platforms and if the companies even have available to them the technical ability to detect deepfake video.

Rubio and Warner sent similar letters, with the same set of seven questions, to 11 video-sharing platforms: Facebook, Imgur, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, Snapchat, TikTok, Tumblr, Twitch, Twitter, and YouTube.

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Re: Congressional Committees: Election Infrastructure Security

#187

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CNN
Russia likely to focus on voter suppression in 2020, feds warn states

(CNN)The federal government warned state election officials Thursday it suspects Russia may focus on voter suppression as a means to interfere in the 2020 presidential election.

The joint FBI and Department of Homeland Security document, obtained by CNN and marked For Official Use Only, is titled "Russia May Try to Discourage Voter Turnout and Suppressing Votes in 2020 US Election."

It warns of three potential ways the Russian government "might seek to covertly discourage or suppress US voters from participating in next year's election."

Russia may try to recruit Americans to protests and intimidate voters, sow discord online within political parties and try to hack voter registration sites or knock them offline, the report warns.

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Re: Congressional Committees: Election Infrastructure Security

#188

Post by Lani »

Of course they will, with Trump's blessing.

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Re: Congressional Committees: Election Infrastructure Security

#189

Post by Addie »

Mother Jones - Pema Levy
Here’s What Russian Disinfo Sites Want You to Believe About Impeachment

Kremlin-backed media is parroting Trump’s attacks on the Bidens and pushing his fantasies of a deep state coup.


As President Donald Trump battles impeachment, key allies have rallied to his defense: close GOP lawmakers in Congress, Fox News, and far-right internet users. And then there is the ally that Trump doesn’t like to talk about: Russia.

Russia helped elect Trump, and as he faces impeachment, Russian state media is standing behind him. Propaganda outlets RT and Sputnik, which target Americans with English language content, provide a clear view of Russian messaging on the Ukraine scandal and Trump’s impeachment. Together, they present a picture of a propaganda machine working to exonerate Trump, condemn former Vice President Joe Biden, and spread doubt about the trustworthiness of American government.

The particulars of the Ukraine scandal make a natural fit for the Kremlin’s playbook for destabilizing western democracies: sowing distrust of authority and turning corruption into a “both sides” problem, encouraging citizens to resign themselves to grift and propaganda. That Russian media has jumped on stories that paint the scandal as a deep state coup—a theory that Trump himself has dangerously expounded during the Mueller investigation—is predictable.

The dynamic was on display on Monday morning, after Trump falsely accused the intelligence community of changing its rules to allow whistleblower complaints to contain second-hand information.

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Re: Congressional Committees: Election Infrastructure Security

#190

Post by Volkonski »

Image“If everyone fought for their own convictions there would be no war.”
― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

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Re: Congressional Committees: Election Infrastructure Security

#191

Post by Volkonski »

Image“If everyone fought for their own convictions there would be no war.”
― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

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Re: Congressional Committees: Election Infrastructure Security

#192

Post by tek »

So, Marco, how do you feel about all this now?

Too bad your spine has gone missing.
There's no way back
from there to here

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Re: Congressional Committees: Election Infrastructure Security

#193

Post by Addie »

Roll Call - Patricia Murphy
The most important document you may ever read

Senate Intelligence report on Russian interference should chill Americans who value our democracy


OPINION — On the day that special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on election interference came out, cable news anchors strained to race through its 448 pages and describe the findings, all in the same breath. Computer sleuths hacked the document’s setting to let users search for “Trump,” “president,” “collusion” and “Russia.” Talking-head lawyers feverishly opined that Volume I contained less incriminating information than Volume II. ...

Nearly six months later, and to almost no fanfare last week while Congress was in recess, the Senate Intelligence Committee released the second of two installments of its own bipartisan investigation into roughly the same topic. The slim, 85-page report reads like a Russian spy novel crossed with a sequel to Orwell’s most dystopian version of the future — right down to an interview with a paid Russian troll who said his experience in 2016, pitting American voters against each other with social media platforms of their own making, was like being “a character in the book ‘1984’ by George Orwell — a place where you have to write that white is black and black is white.”

Telling it like it is

Unlike Mueller, who seemed to take great pains not to point fingers and softened his recommendations, the Intelligence Committee, led by Chairman Richard Burr and Vice Chairman Mark Warner, put its warnings in the starkest possible terms. First, the Russians deliberately attacked American voters with an active measures campaign in 2016 to benefit Donald Trump and destroy Hillary Clinton. On the morning after Election Day, a former troll told the committee, exhausted hackers in St. Petersburg, Russia, uncorked tiny of champagne. They looked into each other’s eyes. “We uttered almost in unison: ‘We made America great.’”

Because of Russia’s success, the committee also warned that China, North Korea, Iran and other malicious actors are activiely studying what Americans fell for (nearly everything) in order to use even more sophisticated techniques in 2020 — including at this very moment. And finally, the committee made clear that Americans themselves need to both wake up and smarten up. Only by being more sophisticated and intelligent social media users will voters truly protect themselves and our elections in the years to come.

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Re: Congressional Committees: Election Infrastructure Security

#194

Post by Slim Cognito »

I know this isn't the best thread but I couldn't find a better one. If someone knows of a better one, suggest it and I'll cross-post.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russ ... WW1TL?il=0

A very short article and I'm not sure exactly what "resume" means. Is this the cyber security cooperation thing trump announced after his first meeting with Putin that was quickly (and oh so quietly) put down, or something else?
Russia says it is starting to resume U.S. cyber cooperation: TASS


MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia and the United States are gradually starting to resume cooperation on cyber security, TASS news agency cited the head of Russia’s FSB Federal Security Service as saying on Thursday.

Russia’s bilateral relations with the United States are at post-Cold War lows, strained by an array of issues including U.S. allegations that Russia meddled in the U.S. 2016 presidential election.

“...we are restoring these (cyber security) relations,” FSB chief Alexander Bortnikov said.
ImageImageImage x4

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Re: Congressional Committees: Election Infrastructure Security

#195

Post by Addie »

It's a good place, Slim. Thanks.
Slim Cognito wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 8:57 am
I know this isn't the best thread but I couldn't find a better one. If someone knows of a better one, suggest it and I'll cross-post.

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Re: Congressional Committees: Election Infrastructure Security

#196

Post by Addie »

Business Insider
Facebook just removed dozens of fake accounts based in Russia and Iran that were spreading misinformation and trying to meddle in elections

Facebook is waging a constant war against online trolls looking to interfere with foreign politics, and the social media giant just gave us an inside look at the latest battle.

On Monday, Facebook announced it identified and removed four separate networks of interconnected accounts engaging in "coordinated inauthentic behavior." In other words, these were four separate groups posting misleading content on Facebook under fake accounts, groups or pages on Facebook.

Facebook said three of the networks originated in Iran, while the fourth was based in Russia. These networks included about 200 accounts and pages that shared divisive memes and content meant to influence people in the United States, Latin America, and parts of North Africa.

Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of cybersecurity policy, said the four networks were discovered as a part of the company's efforts to police organized campaigns launched by fake accounts. Collectively, the banned accounts had more than 250,000 followers and their posts could've reached many more people.

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Re: Congressional Committees: Election Infrastructure Security

#197

Post by Kendra »

.@RepJerryNadler just asked each witness in the @HouseJudiciary hearing on Election Security whether it was appropriate for a president to ask a foreign country to investigate a political opponent.

3/4 witnesses said no.

The witness who refused to answer was from DOJ.

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Re: Congressional Committees: Election Infrastructure Security

#198

Post by Addie »

The Hill
Senate Republicans block two election security bills ...

Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) blocked passage of the Honest Ads Act, sponsored by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), saying work was needed to make the measure more bipartisan.

Klobuchar's bill, whose lone GOP co-sponsor is Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), would require online platforms to make "all reasonable efforts" to ensure foreign entities are not buying political ads. It also would require public disclosure of who paid for the ad.

"There are many other bills that I'll come back and discuss in the next few weeks which would help on foreign influence in our elections, but today I want to focus on this one because election security is national security, and it's well past time we take action," Klobuchar said on the Senate floor.

Klobuchar, a White House hopeful, discussed the bill during last week's Democratic debate, urging quick passage in order to guard against foreign election interference.

Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) later came to the floor and attempted to pass the Election Security Act, a measure with 40 Democratic co-sponsors that would give states $1 billion for election security efforts and require backup paper ballots. ...

"We had no problems in 2018," Kennedy (R-La.) said, referring to last year's midterm elections. "If I thought for a second that our voting system was in jeopardy, I would be joining with my good friend, the senator. But I'm not much for just spending taxpayer money with a $22 trillion deficit just to be spent."

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Re: Congressional Committees: Election Infrastructure Security

#199

Post by Addie »

Cross-posting

CNN
House passes bill aimed at fighting foreign influence in American elections

(CNN) House Democrats on Wednesday night approved a sweeping election security bill, known as the SHIELD Act, in an effort to combat foreign influence in American elections.

The bill seeks to address foreign election interference by requiring American political campaigns to alert the FBI and the Federal Election Commission of illicit offers of election help from foreign nationals. It would also subject political advertisements on digital platforms like social media websites to election rules already in place for television and radio political advertisements.
It passed on a vote of 227-181.

"Free and fair elections are at the core of what it means to live in a democracy like ours. Free and fair elections are at the heart of what it means to be a citizen of the United States. It is our solemn duty to defend them," Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat and the lead sponsor of the bill, said during floor debate Wednesday.

Republicans widely voted against the bill, with many arguing the legislation could undermine free speech. It is unlikely to advance in the GOP-held Senate.
Adding:
The Guardian: Ocasio-Cortez stumps Zuckerberg with questions on far right and Cambridge Analytica

Democratic lawmaker challenges Facebook CEO during hearing over Libra cryptocurrency

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Re: Congressional Committees: Election Infrastructure Security

#200

Post by Addie »

WaPo
As Russia makes 2020 play, Democratic campaigns say they are in the dark, and experts fear U.S. elections are vulnerable

Several Democratic presidential campaigns targeted by a Russia-based operation on Facebook’s popular Instagram app said they had been unaware of the new foreign disinformation efforts until the tech giant announced them publicly last week, raising alarms that American democracy remains vulnerable to foreign interference even after three years of investigations into the Kremlin’s attack on the 2016 election.

The lack of advance notice to the apparent victims of the first-known attempts by Russians to interfere directly in the 2020 race has heightened fears that campaigns are largely on their own when it comes to guarding against attacks from foreign interests.

Campaign officials, security experts and Democratic lawmakers said the latest material served as a warning sign that the Trump administration and the tech industry are still struggling to coordinate their response as threats to the U.S. political system intensify. In particular, the threats now emanate from multiple countries, including Iran and China, where malicious actors have adopted Russia’s playbook in a bid to manipulate social media to their political advantage.

Some said they were unnerved by the nature of the recent Instagram posts, which seemed to target battleground states and demonstrated a nuanced understanding of the dynamics at play in the 2020 Democratic primary. They appeared, for instance, to stoke African American resentment of former vice president Joe Biden while tapping into themes designed to undercut Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Kamala D. Harris (Calif.), as well. The Russian network appeared to be relatively small and in an audience-building mode, analysts said.

“The Russians are repeating the same tactics they used during the 2016 election but only growing more strategic in identifying divides and capitalizing on those divides to create fault lines in society and distrust between people and institutions,” said Ali Soufan, a former longtime FBI agent who wrote a report in May for the Department of Homeland Security that warned, “To date, the United States has no national strategy to counter foreign influence.”

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