Dept. of Justice: Foreign governments did not manipulate 2020 election

US & World

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WOWK) – The Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security, including the FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency say there is no evidence that any foreign government-affiliated actors compromised the voting process for the 2020 election.

This announcement comes from the key findings the organizations released today from a joint report sent to the president last month. The departments investigated multiple public claims of one or more foreign governments owning, directing or controlling election infrastructure, as well as claims they had implemented schemes to manipulate election infrastructure or tallied, changed or manipulated vote counts in the 2020 elections.

The investigation found the claims were not credible and that there was no evidence of foreign governments or their affiliated actors preventing voting, disrupting vote tallies or timely transmission of election results, changing votes or altering any technical aspect of the voting process.

The departments said they did find that some Russian, Iranian and Chinese government-affiliated actors did materially impact the security of certain networks associated with or pertaining to political organizations, candidates or campaigns in the U.S. during the federal election in November, but did not manipulate election results or compromise the integrity of the election.

The departments say the conclusions from this report relied on a classified assessment from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence regarding any information that indicates if a foreign government acted “with intent or purpose of interfering in the 2020 U.S. federal elections.”

According to the departments, their report ficused on alleged efforts to compromise the security or integrity of election infrastructure and does not discuss possible efforts to sway voters or influence opinion. The impact of non-state foreign actors such as cybercriminals was not included in the report.

The departments say federal, state, local, tribal, territorial, non-governmental and private sector partners across the country worked together in “unprecedented ways” to stop foreign interference efforts during the 2020 election cycle.

“The Departments remain committed to continuously strengthening the nation’s cybersecurity, critical infrastructure, supply chain risk management, public-private partnerships and public messaging to enhance the resiliency of our democratic institutions,” the joint statement said.

According to the report, improvements made to cyber and physical security beginning in 2018 and leading up to the election, including supply chain risk management, partnerships and public messaging helped to enhance the resilience of the election process against the vulnerabilities those actors would seek to exploit. The departments also recommended the U.S. Government continue advancing and expanding its support on these efforts.

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