Today’s Must-Read: “Hackers Are Coming for the 2020 Election — And We’re Not Ready”

Andy Kroll for Mother Jones:

Are we prepared going into the 2020 election? After seven months of reporting, interviewing more than 40 experts as well as current and former government officials and reviewing thousands of pages of records, the reality is this: We’ve made progress since the last election — but we’re much less secure than we should be. To use Sen. Warner’s analogy, the windows and doors are no longer wide open, but the burglars are more sophisticated, and there are a lot more of them than there were four years ago. They may try to break into our voting systems; they may push online propaganda to merely create the impression of an attack as a way to undermine our faith in the electoral process. “The target is the minds of the American people,” says Joshua Geltzer, a former counterterrorism director on the National Security Council. “In some ways, we’re less vulnerable than we were in 2016. In other ways, it’s more.”

Nearly every expert agrees on this: The worst-case scenario, the one we need to prepare for, is a situation that causes Americans to question the bedrock of our democracy — free and fair elections. If such a catastrophe occurred and the integrity of a national election came into doubt, Michael Daniel, the former cybersecurity coordinator in the Obama White House who now runs the Cyber Threat Alliance, isn’t sure the country would ever be the same. “How do we deal with that?” he asks. “How do we recover from that?”

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