WH May Designate Some State Voting Systems As 'Pieces of Critical Infrastructure'

By Susan Jones | August 30, 2016 | 8:35am EDT
(AP File Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - The Obama White House may designate certain state voting systems as "pieces of critical infrastructure," which would give federal technology experts "more of a role in assisting the administrators of those networks as they deter intrusions," White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters on Monday.

"That's something that's being discussed by senior members of the president's National Security team," Earnest added.

The discussions follow a Reuters report that the FBI has detected "breaches" in voter registration databases in Arizona and Illinois.

According to the report, U.S. intelligence officials are worried that hackers sponsored by Russia or other countries may attempt to disrupt the presidential election, and the FBI is asking states to boost the security of their voting systems.

"We certainly will continue to work in coordination with state and local officials, even short of that (critical infrastructure) designation to offer them advice and assistance, at their request, to ensure that they are protecting their systems," Earnest said on Monday.

"And I know that this is something that the Department of Homeland Security is taking the lead on. Secretary Johnson convened a conference call a couple of weeks ago with the election officials across the country to discuss this issue. That wasn't the last conversation in this dialogue but this is a conversation that will continue."

According to USA Today, a suspected Russian hacker probed a voter registration database in Arizona and another unidentified hacker got into an Illinois database this summer. The newspaper said the systems that count votes were not compromised and the hacks of the voter registration databases do not appear to be politically motivated.

 

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