National: CISA’s political independence from Trump will be an Election Day asset | Joseph Marks/The Washington Post
During four years in which government agencies have been increasingly manipulated to serve President Trump’s aims, the agency tasked with protecting the 2020 election against hacking has managed to steer clear of partisan politics. That straight and narrow path has allowed the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to become a trusted hub of election security expertise for red and blue states, which have cooperated with CISA to fundamentally revamp their election cybersecurity protections during the past four years. The agency’s apolitical track record will also be vital on Election Day and afterwards, when CISA plans to run a virtual war room, delivering trusted information about election threats to thousands of state and local officials, political parties, social media companies and others, orchestrating the response to interference from Russia and elsewhere and tamping down unvetted rumors about interference that threaten to sow panic and distrust in the election results. “The folks at CISA continue to just play it straight and call it as they see it,” Suzanne Spaulding, who led a precursor of CISA called the National Protection and Programs Directorate during the Obama administration, told me.