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Homeland Security: Voting systems should be fortified as ‘critical infrastructure’ to guard against hacks

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Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said on Wednesday that he has raised the possibility of having electronic voting machines declared a “critical infrastructure” sector in order to guard against a possible cyber-attack during the November election, the New York Times reported.

“There are various different points in the process that we have to be concerned about, so this is something that we are very focused on right at the moment,” he said at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.

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The department currently uses the designation to cover 16 sectors — including dams, financial services, and transportation systems, among others — deemed “so vital to the United States that their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination thereof.”

Johnson said President Barack Obama’s administration was considering how to institute voter protections in the 9,000 jurisdictions around the country, citing the “vital national interest” in the electoral process. The secretary said he has already contacted state and local officials to discuss “best practices” to fight off hacking attempts.

“There are various different points in the process that we have to be concerned about, so this is something that we are very focused on right at the moment,” he said.

A spokesperson for the National Association of Secretaries of State, Kay Stimson, told USA Today that it’s hard for the country’s voting system to be attacked online because each state governs its own process, while 60 percent of the states hold audits after every election.

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“It’s also important to point out that our election systems are not Internet-based systems,” said Stimson. “They are closed systems.”

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump slurs media as ‘fake and corrupt’ for disputing his claims about Elton John

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President Donald Trump hyped his claims about selling out a New Hampshire rally in a new attack on the news media.

The president insisted Monday that he enjoyed "massive overflow crowds" at his rally last week at SNHU Arena in Manchester, and slurred journalists as "fake and corrupt" for reporting the venue wasn't filled to capacity.

The Fake and Corrupt Media is sooo bad for our Country, The Enemy of the People! https://t.co/GPiklem0u1

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2019

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George Conway erupts on Trump lackeys who are smearing Scaramucci: ‘These people work for a rapist!’

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Several anonymous Trump officials told the Washington Examiner this week that former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci regularly abused staff members in the 11 short days in which he was employed by the president.

George Conway, the husband of Trump White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, lashed out on Tuesday at the Trump officials who anonymously attacked Scaramucci and accused them of overlooking President Donald Trump's own abusive behavior.

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Fifth NRA board member resigns over ongoing power struggle with embattled CEO Wayne LaPierre

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Another member of the National Rifle Association's board of directors has resigned -- marking the fifth high-profile departure in recent weeks from the powerful gun manufacturer lobbying group.

NRA board member Richard Childress, a former NASCAR driver and owner of a car racing enterprise, resigned Monday in a letter obtained by Newsweek.

Four other board members have resigned from the NRA's board of directors since Aug. 1, when two quit after complaining they had been sidelined for raising questions about runaway spending and mismanagement by top executives.

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