USA 2024 Elections Thread

grarpamp grarpamp at
Thu Nov 3 20:13:41 PDT 2022

> The races have begun...

The Chinese, Russians, and Iranians did it, of course...

China Seeks to Influence 2022 Midterm Elections: Cybersecurity Chief

By Andrew Thornebrooke
November 1, 2022 Updated: November 3, 2022

State actors that include China’s communist regime are seeking to
influence next week’s U.S. midterm elections, according to the
nation’s cybersecurity chief.

China, Iran, and Russia may all seek to influence or otherwise
interfere with U.S. democratic processes, according to Cybersecurity
and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Director Jen Easterly.

“We are concerned about Russia and Iran and China trying to influence
our elections,” Easterly said during a Nov. 1 talk at the Center for
Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank.

“It’s a significant concern when you think about these adversaries who
are trying to sow discord, that are trying to break us apart as
Americans and are trying to undermine integrity in our elections.”

Easterly’s comments follow closely behind several revelations in
recent months regarding how hostile foreign powers are attempting to
undermine stability in the United States.

Meta Platforms, which owns Facebook and Instagram, said in September
that it had disrupted several Chinese and Russian influence
operations. Those operations took place on Facebook, Instagram, and
Meta competitor Twitter, and appeared largely aimed at increasing
political polarization among Americans by spreading false and
inflammatory posts about controversial topics including race,
abortion, fascism, and gun control.

Likewise, a report published in October by intelligence firm Recorded
Future found that China-based actors were attempting to influence the
Nov. 8 midterm elections by undermining confidence in lawmakers who
were critical of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and in the U.S.
system of government itself.

Yet another report by nonprofit Global Witness and the Cybersecurity
for Democracy (C4D) team at New York University asserted that social
media giant TikTok failed to prevent 90 percent of political ads with
misleading or blatantly false election information, even as the
company claims it doesn’t allow any political advertising.

Easterly said the need to maintain strong cyber defenses against such
operations is critical, and that the United States would need to be
prepared for activity designed to cause instability.

“It’s not the time to put our shields down,” she said. “We need to be
prepared for potential disruptive [and] destructive activity.”

“That’s what foreign adversaries want. They want to have disruption.
They want to sow discord. They love the partisan rancor. They love the
tearing apart of America.”

Easterly, who served 20 years as a U.S. Army officer, said that there
were no credible or specific threats to election infrastructure now,
but the types of influence operations seen recently could contribute
to the growing number of other threats being made against Americans
attempting to conduct the elections.

>From physical intimidation to threats to misinformation, Easterly said
the threat environment facing everyday Americans who work at the polls
is more complex than ever.

To that end, Easterly said that securing elections is a nonpartisan
activity, and Americans need to work together to protect the American
way of life by increasing election literacy and ensuring safe and
resilient conditions for poll workers.

“The federal government doesn’t run elections,” Easterly said. “It’s
the state and local officials that run those elections that are on the
front lines of protecting democracy.

“Election officials are not faceless backroom bureaucrats. They’re
people who are dedicated public servants who live in our towns and our
cities and our communities. They’re the people who we see at the
bowling alley, the PTA meeting, the restaurant, and church.

“They deserve our support … They deserve to be safe.”

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