Trump vs Biden: Putin
Who's your baby?
President Trump has launched an entirely new cybersecurity strategy than the Obama administration had, and members of the U.S. Congress have started wondering about its posture and efficacy. Many of the changes have had the effect of making cyberattacks on the White House harder to track, record, and prevent.
Trump eliminated the position of cybersecurity coordinator on the National Security Council, and forced out its cybersecurity czar even as the number cyberattacks on America was increasing. At least a dozen senior cybersecurity officials have left the government as a result of Trump’s restructuring offices and revoking security clearances on officials appointed by Obama.
In October 2020, to federal agencies said that Russian government hackers have targeted dozens of state and local government and aviation computer networks since last month and stolen data from at least two servers, actions that could presage efforts to undermine the election.
U.S. intelligence officials have generally viewed Russia as the most serious foreign threat to the 2020 presidential election, based on its success in 2016 and a number of warning signs that hackers have been targeting campaigns and American political groups in recent months.
In a 2018 meeting with Putin in Helsinki, President Trump accepted Putin’s word that Russia had not interfered in the 2016 election, against the reports of the U.S. intelligence service.
The Case for Trump
In 2017, Trump proposed working with Russia to create a joint cybersecurity unit, viewing Russia as a potential partner instead of target of cyberattacks.
In addition to signing a law imposing sanctions on various Russian nationals, the Trump administration has taken some actions that were not required by law. For example, the Justice Department forced state-owned news outlet RT America to register as a foreign agent in November 2017, and in the following month the administration added fifty-two individuals, many of them Russian, to the list of sanctioned human rights abusers under the Magnitsky Act.
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