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Politics DNI John Ratcliffe: Iran, Russia have obtained voter registration info to sow confusion in presidential election

03:50  22 october  2020
03:50  22 october  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

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  The many ways we know 2020 will be a banner year for voting There are lots of reasons besides voter registration to believe voter turnout will be high.As the country continues to grapple with the pandemic, this election season is proving to be an exceptional one. The ways in which people are voting, for instance, are far from typical. Some 80 million Americans could cast their ballots by mail, and already a record 22 million have voted early. And while the battle between Donald Trump and Joe Biden is attracting the most attention, state and local elections are seeing record levels of fundraising. An influx of new voters would surely mix things up even more.

DNI Ratcliffe during the special press briefing said the two US rivals have "taken specific actions to “We have confirmed that some voter registration information has been obtained by Iran , and separately by Russia ,” Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said in a press conference

Mr Ratcliffe also said US officials found Iran and Russia have obtained "some voter registration information ". The announcement comes 13 days He added that the voter data could be used in attempts to "communicate false information to registered voters that they hope will sow confusion

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said late Wednesday voter registration information had been obtained by Iran and Russia in an attempt to undermine confidence in the 2020 election.

Ratcliffe said Iran sought to sow unrest in the U.S. in an attempt to damage the candidacy of President Donald Trump.

He also said that Russia has obtained voter information just as the Kremlin had done in when it interfered in the 2016 election.

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Ratcliffe, who appeared with FBI Director Christopher Wray, said that Iran had sent false information to voters, including spoof emails claiming that fraudulent ballots can be sent from overseas.

Trump intel chief sounds alarm over Iran intimidating voters with spoofed emails

  Trump intel chief sounds alarm over Iran intimidating voters with spoofed emails President Trump’s director of national intelligence, John Ratcliffe, a former Republican congressman recently appointed to the top intelligence job, announced on Wednesday evening during a surprise press conference that the U.S. government has concluded “that two foreign actors, Iran and Russia, have taken specific actions to influence public opinion relating to our elections.” According to Ratcliffe, the administration believes that both Russia and Iran have “obtained” voter registration data, though he did not specify how they got the data, or mention that most voter registration information is freely available — a fact election experts and political journalis

U.S. officials warned that Iran and Russia are attempting to interfere with the presidential election “We have confirmed that some voter registration information has been obtained by Iran , and separately by Russia ,” Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said in a press conference

US Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe and FBI Director Chris Wray accused Iran of Tehran was behind the “spoof emails designed to intimidate voters , incite social unrest, and damage Wray urged Americans to get their voting information from trusted sources, such as state election

Ratcliffe said intelligence officials have not seen the same level of activity from Russia but said the country has also obtained voter information.

"These actions are desperate attempts by desperate adversaries," Ratcliffe said. "We will not tolerate foreign interference in our election."

The announcement comes after federal cybersecurity officials Wednesday warned Americans that threatening emails had been sent to voters in Florida and other states to undermine the integrity of the election. 

The emails, which purport to have been sent from "info@officialproudboys.com," say the group has the voter's contact information and would “come after” them if they didn’t vote for Trump. 

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Five takeaways on Iran, Russia election interference

  Five takeaways on Iran, Russia election interference News that Iran and Russia accessed voter registration data has dropped like a lightning bolt into an already heated campaign battle with less than two weeks before Election Day. © Getty Images Five takeaways on Iran, Russia election interference The announcement from administration officials that the countries had accessed voter registration data and were believed to be behind threatening emails sent to U.S. voters sparked immediate concerns and questions. Here are five takeaways.Iran should not be underestimatedIran has long been considered one of the key nation-state threats on cyber matters to the U.S.

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on Saturday informed members of Congress that "the ODNI will primarily meet its obligation to keep Congress fully and currently informed leading into the Presidential election through written finished intelligence products.".

Intelligence , John Ratcliffe , has released the background documents (pertaining to an earlier declassification of documents) showing handwritten notes by CIA Director John Brennan briefing the White House and the CIA referral to the FBI -of Clinton coordinating the Trump- Russia narrative- for.

“These emails are meant to intimidate and undermine American voters’ confidence in our elections,” said Christopher Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency at the Department of Homeland Security.

a sign on a wall: A poll worker sits outside a poling centre during Florida Primary Election amid the coronavirus pandemic, in Miami Beach, Florida on August 18, 2020. - In Miami-Dade, voters are casting ballots to elect Miami-Dade's mayor, School Board seats, Miami-Dade state attorney and Judges. The polling stations with secure drop boxes will allow voters to drop off the state's Primary Election Vote-By-Mail ballots and skip any voting lines as people are looking alternatives to vote and stay healthy during the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP) (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images) ORIG FILE ID: AFP_1WL3LG © CHANDAN KHANNA, AFP via Getty Images A poll worker sits outside a poling centre during Florida Primary Election amid the coronavirus pandemic, in Miami Beach, Florida on August 18, 2020. - In Miami-Dade, voters are casting ballots to elect Miami-Dade's mayor, School Board seats, Miami-Dade state attorney and Judges. The polling stations with secure drop boxes will allow voters to drop off the state's Primary Election Vote-By-Mail ballots and skip any voting lines as people are looking alternatives to vote and stay healthy during the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP) (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images) ORIG FILE ID: AFP_1WL3LG

Though the emails claim to know which candidate someone casts a ballot for, Krebs posted a message on Twitter reminding Americans that ballot secrecy is guaranteed by law in every state.

3 states targeted in Iranian email scheme report no evidence of breaches

  3 states targeted in Iranian email scheme report no evidence of breaches Officials in three states targeted in the email scheme say their voter databases have not been compromised. © / Getty Images Florida Sees Record Numbers Voting Early For Presidential Election Hundreds of Democratic voters in Florida, Alaska and Arizona received threatening emails Tuesday and Wednesday claiming to have come from the far-right group The Proud Boys, which has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights advocacy group.

China, Russia and Iran are among countries seeking to influence the US presidential election this year Russia has denied the allegations. Asked at a press conference on Friday what he planned to do about the Foreign countries are trying to sway voter preferences, change US policies, "increase

NEW: DNI Ratcliffe declassifies a Russian intel assessment suggesting Hillary Clinton developed a plan to connect Russian hacking to then-candidate Donald Trump in 2016. Ratcliffe says the I’ll be briefing Congress on the sensitive sources and methods by which it was obtained in the coming days.”

"We have already seen Iran sending spoofed emails, designed to intimated voters, incite social unrest and damage President Trump," Ratcliffe said. "You may have seen some reporting on this in the last 24 hours or you may have been one of the recipients of these emails."

Earlier, leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee warned voters of attempts to disrupt the U.S. election system. 

“Our adversaries abroad seek to sow chaos and undermine voters’ belief in our democratic institutions, including the election systems and infrastructure that we rely on to record and properly report expressions of the voters’ will," acting Chairman Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., said in a joint statement. 

"They may seek to target those systems, or simply leave the impression that they have altered or manipulated those systems, in order to undermine their credibility and our confidence in them."

“As we enter the last weeks before the election, we urge every American – including members of the media – to be cautious about believing or spreading unverified, sensational claims related to votes and voting. State and local election officials are in regular contact with federal law enforcement and cybersecurity professionals, and they are all working around the clock to ensure that Election 2020 is safe, secure, and free from outside interference.”

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: DNI John Ratcliffe: Iran, Russia have obtained voter registration info to sow confusion in presidential election

Florida failed to spend $10 million for election security, COVID-19 protection at polls .
Federal funds sent to Florida are sitting in a state account as "unbudgeted reserve." But Secretary of State Laurel Lee insists the state is ready.A large piece of that pie is $3.5 million that Secretary of State Laurel Lee requested from the Legislature earlier this year for the state’s 67 county supervisors of elections to shore up their systems.

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