US counterintelligence: Russia, China, and Iran threaten US elections

The Director of the National center for counterintelligence and security called for a “statewide approach” in protecting American democracy.

On Friday, July 24, 100 days before the November elections, the Director of the National center for counterintelligence and security of the United States, William Evanina, stated the threat of foreign interference in the American elections.

The statement notes that election security remains a top priority for national counterintelligence, which is determined to support the US Department of homeland security and the FBI given “their leadership role in this area,” as well as to inform the American public about growing foreign threats.

“Today we see how our opponents seek to compromise the private communications of political campaigns in the United States, candidates, and other political goals,” points out William Evanina.

“Our adversaries also seek to compromise our election infrastructure, and we continue to track malicious cyber entities attempting to access state and federal networks, including those responsible for election management.”

Foreign countries, the statement notes, continue to use measures of influence in social and traditional media, seeking to influence the preferences of US voters, change US policy, increase discord and undermine confidence in the American democratic process. Among these countries, the document says, China, Russia, and Iran should be singled out.

Thus, China is intensifying its attempts to influence the political situation in the United States and put pressure on political figures who, in its opinion, oppose China’s interests. Beijing recognizes that its efforts may affect the presidential race.

Russia’s constant goal is to weaken the United States and reduce its global role. Using some means, including Internet trolls, Moscow continues to spread disinformation in the United States to undermine confidence in the democratic process and denigrate those it considers the anti-Russian “establishment” in America.

Iran seeks to undermine democratic institutions in the United States and split the country on the eve of elections. Iran’s efforts are centered around online influence, such as spreading disinformation on social media and generally anti – American content.

“American society has a role to play in ensuring elections, especially in maintaining vigilance against foreign influence,” says the head of National counterintelligence. “At the most fundamental level, we urge Americans to be critical of information consumption, check sources before reposting or distributing messages, comply with cyber-hygiene and media literacy rules, and report suspicious election-related activity to the authorities.”

William Evanina called for a “statewide approach” in protecting the American election system and assured his countrymen that national counterintelligence would continue to do everything necessary to neutralize foreign threats.