(Cyberwar.news) Thirty-one members of the Aspen Institute Homeland Security Group, a bipartisan group of homeland security and counterterrorism experts, last week have issued a statement on the recent Democratic National Committee (DNC) hack, criticizing it as an outrage that must be addressed, lest the country’s electoral process be hijacked by foreign governments.
“[T]his is an attack not on one party but on the integrity of American democracy. And it may not be the end of such attacks. It is not unthinkable that those responsible will steal and release more files, and even salt the files they release with plausible forgeries,” members of the group wrote. “This is unacceptable. Our president should be chosen by American citizens, not by foreign adversaries or interests.”
The remainder of the statement is as follows:
- We cannot ignore news reports that the IT servers of the Democratic National Committee have been hacked, with some experts attributing the attacks to hackers affiliated with the Russian Government. Other reports claim that documents stolen in these hacks have been released publicly at the instigation of the Russian Government, and there is widespread speculation that the release may be an effort to influence the outcome of the US presidential election.
- The facts remain to be conclusively determined, but the investigation of these events should have the highest priority. If true, this is an attack not on one party but on the integrity of American democracy. And it may not be the end of such attacks. It is not unthinkable that those responsible will steal and release more files, and even salt the files they release with plausible forgeries.
- This is unacceptable. Our president should be chosen by American citizens, not by foreign adversaries or interests.
- This is not a partisan issue. All parties should agree that foreign efforts to influence our elections through hacking and stealing confidential records must be deterred and thwarted through a strong and unified response.
- Future action is required:
- The president should ensure that the attacks are attributed and take prompt actions sufficient to hold those responsible accountable and deter foreign actors from pursuing such tactics in the future.
- Election officials at every level of government should take this lesson to heart: our electoral process could be a target for reckless foreign governments and terrorist groups. The voting process is critical to our democracy and must be proof against such attacks or the threat of such attacks. Voting processes and results must receive security akin to that we expect for critical infrastructure.
- Political parties and the federal government bear special responsibility for helping to prevent such intrusions in the future. What they have done in the past is clearly insufficient and threatens public confidence in the political process. Just as the federal government offers, and candidates routinely accept, Secret Service protection for their candidates, so too should campaigns and candidates be offered and accept assistance in securing their communications.
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