Maryland legislators learned last week the state’s electronic balloting system may need better security measures to protect voters’ information and that the lawmakers must be the ones to add those protections. The state’s electoral board told lawmakers Sept. 6 that they are powerless to make those changes, and that any security changes must come directly from the legislative body. Last year, the state’s Board of Elections voted 4-1 to certify a new system for online ballots, even though experts in cybersecurity and computer science publicly objected. While nearly all states have a system in place for signature verification, the General Assembly did not vote last year on the topic so there was no verification system in place, leaving Maryland as the only state in the nation without one, according to a report last year by Capital News Service.Full Article: Maryland election security in doubt after hearing.
On Sunday morning, President Trump spoke of his new alliance with Russian President Vladimir Putin to erect an “impenetrable Cyber Security unit so that election hacking, & many other negative things, will be guarded.” This, the president tweeted at 7:31 a.m., came after Putin “vehemently denied” interfering with the 2016 U.S. election. The tweet’s timing could not have been more perfect — for congressional critics of Trump’s new plan. It gave them just enough of a head start to workshop one-liners and practice their comedic timing before the Sunday morning political talk shows. Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) quipped on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Trump’s plan was “not the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard, but it’s pretty close.” Graham called Trump “literally the only person I know of who doesn’t believe Russia attacked our election in 2016″ and said he was “dumbfounded.” Graham said Trump is “hurting his presidency by not embracing the fact that Putin is the bad guy.”Full Article: Lawmakers blast Trump's plan to work with Russia on cybersecurity - The Washington Post.
A sinister portrait of Russia’s cyberattacks on the U.S. emerged Wednesday as current and former U.S. officials told Congress Moscow stockpiled stolen information and selectively disseminated it during the 2016 presidential campaign to undermine the American political process. The Russians ‘‘used fake news and propaganda and they also used online amplifiers to spread the information to as many people as possible,’’ Bill Priestap, the FBI’s top counterintelligence official, told the Senate Intelligence committee.Full Article: Congress hears sinister tale of Russia meddling in US election - The Boston Globe.
The UK government was given details last December of allegedly extensive contacts between the Trump campaign and Moscow, according to court papers. Reports by Christopher Steele, a former MI6 officer, on possible collusion between the the Trump camp and the Kremlin are at the centre of a political storm in the US over Moscow’s role in getting Donald Trump elected. It was not previously known that the UK intelligence services had also received the dossier but Steele confirmed in a court filing earlier this month that he handed a memorandum compiled in December to a “senior UK government national security official acting in his official capacity, on a confidential basis in hard copy form”. The court papers say Steele decided to pass on the information he had collected because it was “of considerable importance in relation to alleged Russian interference in the US presidential election”, that it “had implications for the national security of the US and the UK” and “needed to [be] analysed and further investigated/verified”.Full Article: UK was given details of alleged contacts between Trump campaign and Moscow | US news | The Guardian.