Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to monitor US midterm elections amid security concerns

CISA, or Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the main US cybersecurity agency, said it planned to monitor and issue security alerts during Tuesday’s congressional elections, amid concerns over potential efforts to interfere. with the vote. Election security became a key issue in the United States after officials discovered Russia interfered in the 2016 US election with a hacking and propaganda campaign designed to hurt Hillary Clinton’s chances of victory against Donald Trump.

The lead US cybersecurity agency plans to set up an “Election Day Operations Center” with public and private sector partners across the country to monitor mid-terms, it said in a statement on Monday. .

“In recent years, election officials have had to deal with growing misinformation from foreign adversaries, which can confuse election infrastructure and undermine voter confidence in the process,” said Kim Wyman. , CISA’s senior election security adviser, in a statement last week. .

“Now when something goes wrong – and with 8,800 electoral jurisdictions across the country, something will go wrong somewhere – harmless can be seen as bad.”

Meanwhile, The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that Twitter is struggling to respond to political misinformation and other harmful posts on the social media platform after Elon Musk fired about half of its workforce. days before the US midterm elections, according to employees who survived the cuts. and an outside voting rights group.

The recent mass layoffs have spared many people whose job it is to keep hate and misinformation away from the social media platform. Musk laid off just 15% of those front-line content moderators, compared to about 50% job cuts across the company, according to one executive. But in preparation for the layoffs, employees said the company also drastically reduced the number of employees who can view the digital history and behavior of a specific account — a practice necessary to investigate its misuse and take action. measures to suspend it.

The developments raise concerns as the US midterm elections culminate on Tuesday. Although millions of Americans have already voted in advance and by mail, millions more are expected to go to the polls to vote in person. Election monitors fear the platform is ill-equipped to handle hate speech, misinformation that could impact voter safety, and actors seeking to cast doubt on legitimate election winners across the world. country.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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