While there is nothing new in one nation using its intelligence services to try to influence an election in another, doing so by hacking into a political party’s computers and releasing their emails does seem somewhat new. The combination of pilfering sensitive information and then “weaponiz[ing] Wikileaks” or some similar organization will surely recur. The possibilities do not end there. Foreign governments could “hack a voting machine,” “shut down the voting system or election agencies,” “delete or change election records,” “hijack a candidate’s website,” “dox a candidate,” “and target campaign donors.” (See also here.)
… The Russian hack of the DNC was small beans compared to the destruction of the integrity of a national election result. This scary thought raises an OPM-hack-inspired question: Who in the U.S. government is responsible for this problem? Election fraud is typically the responsibility of election officials working with law enforcement officials. But when election fraud with national consequences is potentially threatened by foreign adversaries, it should become the responsibility of (at a minimum) national intelligence officials. But are they on this problem? Does the United States government have a well-worked out plan to ensure that our highly computerized and highly decentralized system for electing the President is protected from foreign disruption via cyber-exploitation or cyber-attack? I have no idea—but I seriously doubt it.