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Sen. Ron Wyden Urges White House to Implement Federal Election Cybersecurity Measures

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) has called on the White House to implement several actions as part of efforts to protect federal elections from hacking and other cyber attacks by foreign governments.

Wyden told Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, national security adviser to President Donald Trump, in a letter published Tuesday that the executive branch should appoint and direct a senior official at the White House to update Congress on cyber threats, mitigation initiatives and challenges to implementation of such efforts.

He called on McMaster to authorize the Department of Homeland Security and the National Institute of Standards and Technology to establish a framework and publish “scorecards” designed to evaluate states’ cybersecurity measures for elections on an annual basis.

The executive branch should also require DHS to consider political campaigns as part of the country’s critical infrastructure to help streamline the delivery of cyber assistance to such campaigns in the event of a cyber attack.

The Secret Service should be directed to help presidential candidates and their campaigns ensure the security of text, voice and email communications, Wyden noted.

Wyden wrote that he plans to propose a bill that would direct election authorities to carry out “risk-limiting audits” of election results in a move to protect federal elections from cyber attacks.

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