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Senators question whether the U.S. is ready to fight foreign interference in the 2024 election

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  perrie-halpern  •  4 weeks ago  •  44 comments

By:    Dan De Luce

Senators question whether the U.S. is ready to fight foreign interference in the 2024 election
Senators warned of a growing threat of foreign interference in the 2024 election and questioned whether U.S. intel agencies and tech firms are ready to respond.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


Lawmakers on Wednesday warned of a growing threat of foreign interference in the 2024 election and questioned whether U.S. agencies — and tech companies — are sufficiently prepared to respond to the danger.

"We've got to do a better job of making sure Americans of all political stripes understand what is very probably coming their way over the next … less than six months," said Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Mark Warner during a hearing with the head of U.S. intelligence and other senior officials.

The Virginia Democrat warned that attempts by Russia and other adversaries to try to influence the 2024 election through propaganda and disinformation could be "more sophisticated and more aggressive in both scale and scope" than in previous years.

Warner said the threat had increased due to a combination of more advanced and available technology, aggressive foreign actors, a growing distrust of government among Americans, litigation that has made U.S. agencies reluctant to share threat information with social media companies and a failure by tech firms to decisively tackle the problem.

"Sadly, since 2022, we've also seen considerable disinvestment — and in certain cases, utter disinterest — in platform integrity efforts by leading social media companies," Warner said. The senator was referring to social media firms cutting staff and scaling back efforts to moderate content deemed to be disinformation or hate speech.

The ranking Republican on the intelligence committee, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, said it was unclear what federal agency or official had the responsibility to respond if a foreign government spread falsehoods or posted an AI-generated "deep fake" during the election campaign.

"When this happens, if this happens, who's in charge of responding to it? Have we thought through the process of what do we do when one of these scenarios occurs?" Rubio asked. "Because I don't think I have a clear understanding of who's in charge and how we would respond. Who would take the lead?"

The senator said there needed to be a coordinated plan for how to respond instead of what he called an "ad hoc" approach that has been used in the past.

Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines told senators that protecting the democratic process "from foreign influence or interference is an absolute priority for the intelligence community" and that the U.S. government "has never been better prepared to address the challenge."

Haines said her office might have the role of issuing a warning about a foreign actor spreading disinformation during an election, but she said there might be instances where local or state election officials might be better placed to warn the public.

"The hesitation that you hear from me is based on the fact that there may be certain circumstances in which, for example, a state or local official or other basically public authorities are in a better position to make the public statement initially and for the rest of us to come back behind," she said.

But Haines said she was prepared to promptly call out false information put out by foreign states, citing an example of what she said was a Russian-linked group putting out a video with false claims about a CIA plot to undermine Donald Trump's bid for the White House. The baseless video claimed to describe an internet troll farm in Ukraine used by the CIA. The New York Times first reported on the Russian disinformation.

"And I am here to say, categorically, that this claim is patently false that there is no such thing. It is disinformation, and that is the kind of approach that we'll continue to take across the board," Haines said.

The intelligence director said the video was probably the work of a Russian-affiliated group known as Storm-1516.

A CIA spokesperson said the video was "patently false."

"CIA is a foreign-focused organization that takes our obligation to remain uninvolved in American politics and elections very seriously," spokesperson Walter Trosin said.

The threat picture for foreign interference is now more complex, Haines told lawmakers, because there are an increasing number of governments or groups seeking to shape the election outcome and more commercial firms ready to help them with sophisticated tools that can hide the original instigator.

"Russia remains the most active foreign threat to our elections," Haines said.

The Russian government's objective is to use information warfare to undermine faith in America's democratic institutions, exacerbate divisions in the U.S. and weaken Western support for Ukraine, she said.

Although China seeks to promote support for Beijing's policy stances, it did not try to shape the outcome of the last presidential election and would likely retain that approach as it is keen to avoid the fallout from being caught trying to meddle in a U.S. election, according to Haines.

Iran, however, "is becoming increasingly aggressive in their efforts seeking to stoke discord and undermine confidence in our democratic institutions as we've seen them do in prior election cycles," she said.

Sen. Angus King of Maine said it was crucial that intelligence agencies move quickly to alert the public as soon as they identify a false piece of information, and to avoid slow-moving bureaucratic procedures that could play into the hands of those spreading disinformation.

King said that "if you have evidence that this is coming from a foreign source, let the public know so they can assess that."

The Maine independent said he was concerned that cybersecurity officials might take an overly cautious approach to avoid being accused of trying to intervene in the election to help President Joe Biden get re-elected.

"I'm worried that you may be overly concerned with appearing partisan and that that will freeze you in terms of taking the actions that are necessary," King said, and added: "Please ramp it up. We've got about six months and ... we know that these adversaries are going to be coming at us."

Officials and lawmakers made a point of distinguishing between attempts by foreign actors to tamper with voting or ballot counting through cyberattacks, and separate efforts to influence attitudes and spread false information.

Despite revelations that Russia broke into American voter registration rolls in 2016, there is no indication that Moscow altered the registration records or other electoral systems.

Jen Easterly, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, told the hearing that federal and state election agencies have bolstered the security of election systems over the past eight years.

"There is no evidence that malicious actors changed, deleted or altered votes or had any material impact on the outcome of any of these elections," she said. But Easterly added: "We cannot be complacent."

Russia, China and Iran have repeatedly denied they have tried to interfere in U.S. elections through propaganda, spreading disinformation or cyberattacks.


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Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
1  Buzz of the Orient    4 weeks ago

I guess I'd be concerned about election interference if Putin ends up being the winner in the November election.  From all the reports for quite a while there seems to be a lot more interference in the American election process by Americans rather than foreigners.  Anyway, who cares, because this time around all the voters really have is a choice between awful and worse.. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
1.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1    3 weeks ago

Anyway, haven't I been reading that one side of the issues here will have its armed brownshirt doormen at the polling booths to intimidate the voters into voting the "right" way, especially if the voting maps haven't been specially drawn to exclude the "wrong" kind of voters from casting ballots.  

 
 
 
Robert in Ohio
Professor Guide
2  Robert in Ohio    4 weeks ago

Suddenly another "story" to divert attention away from the economy, the border, the middle east, China trade relations or perhaps away from the idiot on trial in Manhattan.

Another "filler" conspiracy theory, sleight of hand, to capture the attention (and it is a very short attention span) of the American voter.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
2.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Robert in Ohio @2    3 weeks ago

Yep, gotta watch those China trade issues that make necessities affordable for poor Americans.  America complains about "forced labour" that it cannot prove but practises "forced poverty" requiring poor people to pay vaulted prices for necessities.  Where are the photos of Chinese women chained to their sewing machines?

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Principal
2.1.1  Sean Treacy  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.1    3 weeks ago
rica complains about "forced labour" that it cannot prove

Now we are getting into Holocaust denial territory. 

It's not just Uighurs. Suicide nets are necessary in Chinese factories

The  Foxconn suicides  were a spate of  suicides  linked to low pay and brutal working conditions at the  Foxconn City  industrial park in  Shenzhen , China, that occurred alongside several additional suicides at various other  Foxconn -owned locations and facilities in mainland China.

...

h ere are the photos of Chinese women chained to their sewing machines?

Gee. why is information so hard to come by?

 A Reuters journalist was once dragged out of a car and beaten for taking photos from outside the factory walls

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
2.1.2  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Sean Treacy @2.1.1    3 weeks ago

The only link you posted that I could open was npr.  I recall that Foxconn story from about 15 years ago.  Thank you for the story - maybe it's true, and maybe it isn't and in any event maybe it isn't true any longer if it ever was.  I guess China does make it difficult for any REAL proof of the accusations to be procured.  I do know that there was good cause to put terrorist separatists into prisons after they massacred innocent people in Kunming, and I do know that there isn't much use for forced labour when so much has become mechanized because of technological developments here so I guess there probably are slave machines and robots forced to work, maybe even 24 hours a day.  China might not allow western views of the situation because they know that the attitude will be just like yours and that what would be reported just could be incorrectly damning.  I don't know if I should believe the stories I read about the enslavement of migrant farm workers in the USA either, but then I don't make a big deal out of it, do I.

Oh, and by the way, the Ughur problem is not religious persecution.  Less than 10% of China's Muslims have been affected - the rest are treated no differently than any other residents. 

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
2.2  Krishna  replied to  Robert in Ohio @2    3 weeks ago
Suddenly another "story" to divert attention away from . . . 

Suddenly?

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
2.3  Tessylo  replied to  Robert in Ohio @2    3 weeks ago

[removed][]

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
3  devangelical    4 weeks ago

oh dear, trump needs all the help he can get from our enemies...

 
 
 
George
Junior Expert
4  George    4 weeks ago

Already setting the stage for the blame game, if Biden loses it isn't because he has been a worthless president, Putin did it. 

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
4.1  devangelical  replied to  George @4    4 weeks ago

like america isn't already exhausted by the rwnj rigged election chorus...

 
 
 
Ronin2
Professor Quiet
4.1.1  Ronin2  replied to  devangelical @4.1    4 weeks ago

It hasn't drowned out the lwnj rigged election chorus that has been singing since 2000; and reached a fever pitch in 2016.

 
 
 
Hallux
PhD Principal
4.2  Hallux  replied to  George @4    4 weeks ago

[]

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Participates
5  Greg Jones    4 weeks ago

"Despite revelations that Russia broke into American voter registration rolls in 2016, there is no indication that Moscow altered the registration records or other electoral systems. There is no evidence that malicious actors changed, deleted or altered votes or had any material impact on the outcome of any of these elections," she said. But Easterly added: "We cannot be complacent."

The current progressive regime trying once again to persuade us that only government approved information is valid. Trump won in 2016 without foreign interference, as did Biden in 2020. Whatever election fraud happened was not enough to change the outcomes. Of course, foreign governments will attempt to influence and spread disinformation about our elections, but government coerced censorship over news sources must not be repeated this time around. It's up to the electorate to sort out all the chaff and vote accordingly.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
6  Trout Giggles    4 weeks ago
The ranking Republican on the intelligence committee, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, said it was unclear what federal agency or official had the responsibility to respond if a foreign government spread falsehoods or posted an AI-generated "deep fake" during the election campaign.

He knows the answer and is acting dumb because he wants the foreign interference

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
6.1  devangelical  replied to  Trout Giggles @6    4 weeks ago

"little marco", the billionaire's cabana boy, knows it won't be trump supporters trying to stop any foreign interference...

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
6.1.1  Krishna  replied to  devangelical @6.1    3 weeks ago
"little marco", the billionaire's cabana boy, knows it won't be trump supporters trying to stop any foreign interference.

That's the problem-- that whole brouhaha (or was it actually a kerfuffle?) over the issue of Marco's small hands.

Who would be foolish enough to trust a man with small hands?

"Small Hands Marco" would be unable to protect the country from the Russians, what with their "Jewish Space Lasers" and all...!!!!

SMALL HANDS MARCO!!!

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
Professor Expert
7  Jeremy Retired in NC    4 weeks ago

Democrats gearing up for their next big loss?

 
 
 
Hallux
PhD Principal
7.1  Hallux  replied to  Jeremy Retired in NC @7    4 weeks ago

Is the big red ripple coming again?

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
Professor Expert
7.1.1  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  Hallux @7.1    4 weeks ago

I don't recall the "red" side launching investigations into anything like that. 

What I do recall are investigations into something the "red" side was accused of but turned out it was the "blue" side did.  

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
7.1.2  Ozzwald  replied to  Jeremy Retired in NC @7.1.1    4 weeks ago
I don't recall the "red" side launching investigations into anything like that.

They were all too busy denying the findings of all American intelligence agencies.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Participates
7.1.3  Greg Jones  replied to  Ozzwald @7.1.2    4 weeks ago
"They were all too busy denying the findings of all American intelligence agencies."

They didn't find anything of value or evidence of interference.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
7.1.4  devangelical  replied to  Greg Jones @7.1.3    4 weeks ago

of course not, bill barr buried it by classifying the mueller report. gee, why would he hide trump's exoneration?

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
7.1.5  devangelical  replied to  Hallux @7.1    4 weeks ago
the big red ripple

they're waiting for putin to wave at them ...

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
Professor Expert
7.1.6  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  Ozzwald @7.1.2    3 weeks ago

You referring to the "intelligence agencies" that claimed Hunters computer was "Russia Misinformaiton"?

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
7.1.7  Krishna  replied to  Jeremy Retired in NC @7.1.6    3 weeks ago
You referring to the "intelligence agencies" that claimed Hunters computer was "Russia Misinformaiton"?

And while we're on the subject-- what about Hillary's laptop? 

Hunter Biden never ran for president-- but Hillary did. And what about Hillary's hands?

In an intelligent conversation such as this, that what we should be talking about! Ixnay the space lasers!  The laptop. Benghazi! And of course Hillary's Hands!

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
7.1.8  Tessylo  replied to  Ozzwald @7.1.2    3 weeks ago

And investigating the investigators . . . 

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
7.1.9  Tessylo  replied to  Krishna @7.1.7    3 weeks ago

Pay no mind to those suffering from Hillary Derangement Syndrome/Clinton Derangement Syndrome

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
Professor Expert
7.1.10  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  Krishna @7.1.7    3 weeks ago
And while we're on the subject-- what about Hillary's laptop?

You are the only one that mentioned her.  Are we deflecting?

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Professor Expert
8  Nerm_L    4 weeks ago

So, the Deep State is prepping the usual suspects if they don't get what they want.  You know, the Federal government ain't run by elected officials.  Joe Biden made a golden promise that he would do what government scientists, experts, and generals told him to do.  Doesn't anyone remember the last election?

It would have been exquisite irony had the seeded article been published by the BBC.  As it is, the main stream media relies heavily on foreign reporters who use their journalistic pulpits to impose opinion onto the public.  Is there really any doubt that Volodymyr Zelenskyy won't be trying to influence the election?  Or NATO members?  Or middle eastern terrorists?  And what's to stop the Biden campaign using the Federal government to disseminate misleading information?  We've already seen rather questionable economic information oozing from the Federal bureaucracy.  

Is misleading information from Vladimir Putin really worse than misleading information from Kamala Harris?  Why aren't New York prosecutors being charged with attempt to manipulate, influence, and interfere with election?  With everything that's going on, the Deep State crying wolf seems rather too self-serving.

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
8.1  Krishna  replied to  Nerm_L @8    3 weeks ago
So, the Deep State is prepping the usual suspects if they don't get what they want. 

Well you are of course entitled to your opinion. But personally I find the suspects highly unusual!

(Weird, even. yes-- like litttle Elves with small hands!)

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Professor Expert
8.1.1  Nerm_L  replied to  Krishna @8.1    3 weeks ago
Well you are of course entitled to your opinion. But personally I find the suspects highly unusual! (Weird, even. yes-- like litttle Elves with small hands!)

That might be bad legal weed.  Be careful out there.

(This has been a public service message from the Biden Bong Boyz.  Joe Biden approves this message even if he doesn't have a clue.  Far out, old dude.)

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
8.2  Tessylo  replied to  Nerm_L @8    3 weeks ago

You [removed] [] have never told us just who comprises this alleged deep state . . .

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
8.2.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  Tessylo @8.2    3 weeks ago

You don't really believe they can come up with names, do you?

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Professor Expert
8.2.2  Nerm_L  replied to  Tessylo @8.2    3 weeks ago
You and Vic have never told us just who comprises this alleged deep state . . .

I have explained the Deep State before.  The Deep State is made up of the career bureaucrats that provide continuity from one administration to the next.  You know, the people who actually make the government function year in and year out.  The people who are furloughed every time politicians shut down government.  And just so you know, they work for the government; they do not work for you.

So I've told ya before and I've told ya again.  

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
8.2.3  Tessylo  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.2    3 weeks ago

So, like always, no names, no nothing.  Just the whackjob conspiracy theory, one of so many, like Qanon, or the usual rwnj whackjobbery

What a shocker!

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
8.3  Tessylo  replied to  Nerm_L @8    3 weeks ago

Just WTF ARE you talking about? [removed][]

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
9  Vic Eldred    4 weeks ago

[]

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
Professor Expert
10  Jeremy Retired in NC    3 weeks ago

NBC News, New York Times Replay Russia Hoax For 2024 Election

As Joe Biden’s presidency fails and his 2024 campaign falters, the media and other Democrats are hitting   the big red panic button   and bringing back their Russia-collusion hoax for another spin. Joe Scarborough, the MSNBC host who sets Democrat talking points, spent last week claiming Biden’s 2024 troubles aren’t due to his unpopular policies or lack of mental acuity but rather a   secret and nefarious Russian plot   to help Donald Trump win the election. Scarborough excitedly claimed Republicans in Congress were working with Russian President Vladimir Putin to help Trump win.   Putin endorsed Biden in February, for what it’s worth.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
11  devangelical    3 weeks ago

republicans have a documented history of sedition and collusion with america's enemies...

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Professor Principal
11.1  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  devangelical @11    3 weeks ago

How about you show us that documented proof................

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
Professor Expert
11.1.1  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @11.1    3 weeks ago

Don't you remember Bobby Meuller's investigation did prove it.  It proved the Democrats did it so naturally that was quickly swept away.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
11.2  Tessylo  replied to  devangelical @11    3 weeks ago

TRUTH!

 
 
 
George
Junior Expert
11.3  George  replied to  devangelical @11    3 weeks ago

Is that why Obama had more flexibility to suck Putins dick after the election? Is it Republicans fault that Putin grabbed Crimea on Obamas watch? or that the Chinese felt comfortable enough to send Spy ballons on Bidens watch?

 
 

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