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#cybersecurity | hacker | Blackburn blocks vote on trio of election security bills in Senate


Despite warnings from FBI Director Christopher Wray that Russia is actively interfering with the 2020 presidential election through
information warfare, Senate Republicans rejected a trio of bills aimed at
election security.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., blocked each of
the bills, claiming the legislation was an attempt by Democrats
to rest control over elections “in the hands of Washington, D.C., bureaucrats.”

The Securing
America’s Federal Elections (SAFE)
Act, introduced by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., would require states to use paper ballots
as backup and mandate post-election audits as well as establish a set of election
system cybersecurity standards at the federal level.

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., advocated
for the Foreign Influence Reporting in Elections (FIRE) Act, under which
campaigns would have to report attempts by foreign entities to influence the
elections. The Duty
to Report Act
, introduced by Sen. Richard
Blumenthal
, D-Conn., would mandate similar reporting requirements.

“America is 266 days away from the 2020 election, and Majority
Leader [Sen. Mitch] McConnell,
D-Ky., has yet to take any concrete steps to protect our …elections from
hacking or foreign interference,” Wyden said.

That is all the more troubling, Sen. Charles
Schumer
, D-N.Y., said, after months-long impeachment proceedings against President
Trump that centered on whether president sought foreign assistance for the 2020
election. “The current president of the United States, far from having the
same fears about foreign interference as our founders, has been very public
about his openness to foreign assistance and manipulation in support of his
election,” he said. “The president was just impeached over this
issue, and the Senate just concluded a trial in which it appeared a bipartisan
majority of senators broadly accepted the fact that the president leveraged
hundreds of millions of dollars of military assistance to Ukraine to compel its
government to investigate one of his political rivals.” 

In a 2018 interview with ABC News political correspondent George
Stephanopoulos, Trump said he might entertain information from advantageous to
his campaign from a foreign actor and may or may not report it to the FBI or election
authorities.

“The appropriate response is not to say thank you, the
appropriate response is to call the FBI,” said Warner.





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