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FBI Updates Initiative Aimed at Protecting 2020 Election from Cyber Interference

In a move to avoid a repeat of cyber interference at the centre of the 2016 US elections, the FBI has updated resources intended to help US citizens understand and lessen the risk of outside (foreign) influence during the 2020 elections.

"America's elections are the foundation of our democracy, so protecting them is a priority for the FBI," said FBI Director Christopher Wray, adding: "The foundation of election security is cybersecurity."

The FBI is getting their message across with the aid of several 'Protected Voices' videos, which were initially launched in 2018 and created "to showcase the methods these adversaries might use". The new and updated videos were released in response to campaign personnel who said they knew election security was important, but were unsure of what to do. The intention is that the videos will help political campaigns, as well as private companies and individuals, to "protect themselves from foreign actors who want to hijack their message."

"Remember," said Director Wray, "you are the first line of defence against foreign influence operations."

Going to the public with information such as this isn't something considered 'general practice' by the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division, but it was felt that campaigns should understand tactics being used by foreign adversaries and how to protect against them.

"This is a threat that not only concerns every American, it involves every American," said Nikki Floris, deputy assistant director of the division. "These attacks on our elections and these efforts by foreign adversaries to influence our opinions and sow divisions within this country touch us all."

View the Protective Voices videos.

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