US top cybersecurity agency debunks election rumors

The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) recently clarified on their webpage all kinds of rumors about the 2020 presidential elections. This notice was a fact-checker of sorts, and it aimed to dispel all sorts of misinformation spreading throughout the country during the election period. 

In the heat of the election, Americans have been inundated with rumors and falsehoods occasioned by the delays in vote counting. Interestingly, President Trump has been the originator of some of these rumors. Fearing that citizens may buy the misinformation, which would ignite violent demonstrations, the CISA issued clarifications to the misinformation.

 In fact, President Trump has himself laid foundation to a few of these misinformation drives. The CISA aims to correct all of them. 

The CISA clarified that its position in the US elections is that of a facilitator, not an arbitrator. The Agency, along with the Department of Homeland Security is responsible for keeping the overarching electoral process safe from cyberthreats. They often issue warnings of cyberattacks to the State legislators, who are the real governing body over the electoral process. The States themselves are responsible for ballot distribution and counting. 

To dismiss the rumor that a single person can ruin the election without detection, CISA explained the procedure that States have to follow in order to get a successful voting plan. Specifically, they have to run numerous test runs and audits, and only then are the voting plans finalised. These processes are very secure, and no individual can traverse the system without detection.

The agency further dispelled the rumor that a change of election results after election night is indicative of rigging. In fact, this is a rumor that originated from President Trump. But the CISA clarified that  “Election results reported on election night are always unofficial and are solely presented for voters’ convenience.”

Furthermore, The CISA clarified that military and overseas ballots are often counted later because they arrive late. Early voting ballots and mail-in ballots are often counted after election day, depending on the process adopted by the State. These ballots then cause fluctuations to the voting numbers. 

The CISA also addressed the issue of cyberattacks via impersonation, i.e. when a malicious actor imitates another person or organisation online, usually in email blasts. Such attacks try to undermine the electoral process. 

With a long list of rumors and their clarifications, the CISA assured voters of a secure election, as far as cybersecurity is concerned.

The director of the CISA, Chris Krebs, has shown his support to curb the spread of misinformation by wearing the message on his socks – “#TrustedInfo2020”. 

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