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A joint Department of Defense and National Security Agency team has been assembled to oversee security for the 2022 midterm elections.
The joint US Cyber Command and NSA team is part of a “whole-of-government effort” to protect national elections from foreign interference, the NSA said.
“This is an enduring and fail-safe mission for U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, bringing unique insights and actions to the whole-of-government effort,” the U.S. Army General said. Paul M. Nakasone, USCYBERCOM Commander and Director. of the NSA/Chief, Central Security Service, said. “Together, we bring speed and unity of effort against any foreign adversary who may seek to undermine our democratic institutions.”
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The joint group was established in 2018 following reports of interference in the 2016 presidential election by Russia.
Earlier this year, the group announced it was recommitting to election security and would attempt to “disrupt, deter, and degrade the ability of foreign adversaries to interfere with and influence the vote of American citizens and the manner in which those votes are cast.” accounts”.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has flagged Russia, China and Iran as among foreign state actors who may attempt to interfere in the 2022 midterm elections. Regarding the election results, the NSA said that “such foreign activities may threaten to undermine fundamental principles of American democracy and influence American public opinion.”
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The Election Security Group (ESG) will be tasked with flagging warning signs from foreign adversaries and working with domestic agencies, such as the FBI, to prevent intrusions before they occur. The group will rely heavily on the NSA to combat foreign “cybercommerce”.
Under then-President Trump, the USCYBERCOM and NSA partnership was nearly killed, but the decision was averted when a senior Democrat said the move made him “deeply concerned.”
The Department of Homeland Security declared election security a “critical infrastructure item” in 2017, the NSA said.