US cyber chief: No reason to believe election infrastructure ‘in jeopardy’ ahead of midterms – National

The Biden administration’s director of cybersecurity said there was « no evidence » the technology that underpins the US election system is « at risk » ahead of Tuesday’s midterm elections.

In an exclusive interview with Global News, U.S. National Director of Cybersecurity John Christopher Inglis said there was no evidence to suggest an « encroachment » on U.S. election infrastructure « that would challenge free and fair conduct of an election ».

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“At this point, we have seen no reason to believe that technical architecture is at risk in this election,” Inglis said during a recent visit to Ottawa.

That doesn’t mean Tuesday’s vote — and its aftermath — will be without controversy, though.

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“What then remains is the political discourse that runs above (technical systems). It can be noisy, it can be noisy, it can be uncomfortable if you have a particular view,” Inglis said.

« But that’s the nature of democracy and we just have to make sure that we respect (that) while not allowing those kinds of influences, whether in technical architecture or foreign influence against the law. , to interfere and disturb them. »

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His comments come as tensions continue to grow in a hard-fought midterm campaign in an already intensely polarized America, a country where, according to a recent poll, only 30% of Republican voters believe Joe Biden was legitimately elected in 2020, despite a total absence. evidence that the election was « stolen ».

Inglis is the first person to serve as National Director of Cybersecurity and President Joe Biden’s senior adviser on cybersecurity issues, with a mandate to try to harmonize the government’s cybersecurity efforts and improve cooperation with private industry.

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Prior to this position, Inglis held several senior positions at the United States National Security Agency (NSA), including that of deputy director of the agency between 2006 and 2014.

In a windowless conference room at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, Inglis explained that his recent visit to Canada was part of an effort to improve coordination of cybersecurity principles between the two countries.

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« We each retain our national prerogatives and … can chart our course as we see fit for our distinct aspirations, » Inglis said.

But Inglis said identifying « common aspirations » between the two countries would allow for greater alignment between their respective cybersecurity plans.

« Our view in the United States, and I think the view that’s emerging (in Canada), is that any viable cyber strategy can only work in an international realm, » Inglis said.

“So having a discussion with our Canadian counterparts allows us to influence each other on how we think about this space, allows us to align and harmonize our respective approaches in this regard, so that we can come up with a proposal “one more one equals three ». .”

Last December, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tasked several key ministers, including Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly, Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino and Defense Minister Anita Anand, with developing a national cybersecurity strategy. renewed”.

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According to the ministers’ mandate letters, this strategy will seek to « articulate Canada’s long-term strategy to protect our national security and economy, deter cyber threats, and promote standards-based international behavior in cyberspace. »

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Alongside this strategy, Trudeau also asked ministers to « advance » the existing national cybersecurity action plan, aimed at combating « cyber risks » and protecting critical infrastructure.

A mid-term review of the government’s 2018 cybersecurity strategy noted that Canadians have become increasingly dependent on digital systems, that there has been a significant increase in the number and sophistication of « security actors ». Cyber ​​Threats” and that cybersecurity labor shortages are a pressing issue for the country.

« We’re all behind in this realization, and so is climate change, » Inglis said.

“It took a long time to develop. The strategic foundations have been in the making for decades, and this is no less true in cyberspace. And so, given that we’re all behind, we’re probably all in a similar situation, or will have some sort of similar opportunity to fix it.


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