Conspiracy theorists may be disappointed with the latest assessment from top US officials.
These theorists would have you believe that Russian and other foreign agents hacked into US voting machines to influence the outcomes of US elections.
While there is strong evidence that Russian operatives did spread propaganda via social media, a US federal assessment found no evidence of foreign invaders impacting on computer voting systems in the November 2018 midterms, as RAW reports.
Official report disproves hacking claims
The findings were contained in a classified document that was given to US President Donald Trump earlier this week.
In a public statement, acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen officially stated there was ‘no evidence to date that any identified activities of a foreign government or foreign agent had a material impact on the integrity or security of election infrastructure or political/campaign infrastructure used in the 2018 midterm elections’.
This starkly contrasts the floating theory of Russian intelligence hacking the 2016 election to secure Trump’s victory over Democrat Hilary Clinton. In fact, it ultimately disproves it.
Naturally, Trump has always denied such ridiculous rumours about his win. But so has Moscow. And it seems like an achievement Russia would want to rub in the world’s face, especially two years after the fact.
Sure, there was a wide spread of propaganda. And our current social media driven society certainly enabled Trump’s calls to reach more people faster. But still, it all came down to which box the individual ticked at the voting booths.
Advocating is very different to directly manipulating, and one does not ultimately lead to the other.
The power of persuasion is not a crime.
Further security for upcoming election
Despite the evidence disputing these rash hacking claims, Congress is putting aside funds to ensure voting systems are impenetrable come the 2020 elections.
The safeguard fund was approved at US$380 million last year (AU$525 million). This will help both state and local government voting tallies limit their exposure to potential interference.
This is thanks to the array of reported hacking attempts that have come to light as the mainstream media pump in this foreign agent conspiracy.
All attempts failed, but apparently, the fact that they tried is enough for a multi-million dollar system revamp.
Well, for all those worry warts out there, we have good news.
On Monday, a classified briefing among the FBI, Homeland Security and US intelligence agencies was held, where the upcoming election was the central topic.
So we have the best of the best with their eyes on the issue, and facts disproving any prior hacking instances.
There isn’t much more you can ask for, other than enough well-informed citizens hitting the voting booths.
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