Tags: jeh johnson | 2016 election | wakeup call | cybersecurity

Jeh Johnson: 2016 Election a 'Wakeup Call' on Cybersecurity

Image: Jeh Johnson: 2016 Election a 'Wakeup Call' on Cybersecurity
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By    |   Tuesday, 09 January 2018 02:56 PM

The 2016 election should have been a "wakeup call" in terms of the cybersecurity of the nation's election infrastructure, former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Tuesday.

"[Former Director of National Intelligence] Jim Clapper and I issued the statement on Oct. 27, 2016 pointing the finger at the Russian government just before I left office," Johnson told MSBNC's "Morning Joe" program. "I designated election infrastructure as critical infrastructure in this country. We saw voter registration databases across the country exposed to cyberattacks."

Johnson said he was pleased to see that some states, where the responsibility for voting matters lies, taking the matter seriously, but others are still not.

"My concern is that we are as vulnerable now as we were a year-and-a-half ago," Johnson said.

However, he thinks the current administration has not dealt with the matter of outside interference in the 2016 election because, because President Donald Trump "does not want to say anything that would acknowledge that his election was in some way subject to outside influences."

Johnson, though, said he can't say for sure if votes were altered as result of Russian hacking, but still, 2016 should be a wakeup call.

"My old boss said one of these days we're going to have a cyber Pearl Harbor," said Johnson. "He said that in 2012, but 2016 may have been it."

Johnson also discussed a Trump administration decision to start scaling back the temporary protected status for about 200,000 people from El Salvador being in the United States, noting that the administration is taking a "much harder line" on such immigrants.

"Temporary protected status is supposed to be temporary," said Johnson, but for a number of people, the status goes on for years.

"I actually ended TPS for the nations of West Africa, after we dealt with the Ebola crisis, and ended it for certain classes of Haitians in 2016," he said. "This administration has very definitely taken a harder line. I think we have to be sympathetic to the fact there are people who have been in this country for years and years with work authorization, the ability to work on the books, and when we terminate TPS, we're basically, as you say, sending them into the shadows."

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The 2016 election should have been a "wakeup call" in terms of the cybersecurity of the nation's election infrastructure, former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Tuesday.
jeh johnson, 2016 election, wakeup call, cybersecurity
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2018-56-09
Tuesday, 09 January 2018 02:56 PM
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