Updates on US national intelligence concerning the election:

On Sunday, the US director of national intelligence, John Ratcliffe, announced that his office will no longer provide in-person election intelligence briefings to Congress. Ratcliffe cites concern over lawmakers leaking information to the public. Instead, the office will provide written reports. The decision to restrict congressional briefings leads to concerns over whether or not the White House is downplaying possible election interference. Democrats continue to seek in-person briefings.

Private intelligence efforts:

The shift in intelligence briefing strategies emerges just 9 weeks ahead of the 2020 presidential elections. However, the US national intelligence office does not have a monopoly on election intelligence related information. Private groups that include top tier cyber security researchers are working to uncover any potential election related security surprises.

How are non-partisan private groups working to ensure election integrity?

  • Cyber security firms are gathering their own data pertaining to attackers, threats and hacks. Critical information is typically published through regular media channels.
  • Google’s partnership with the non-profit Defending Digital Campaigns has yielded new campaign resource protection tools.
  • Microsoft’s Defending Democracy program offers a variety of security solutions and assists in combatting disinformation.
  • In early August, a group of well-known technologiy companies, from reddit to Twitter, joined forces with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the DoJ’s National Security Division, to hammer out new election security activities.

Will these efforts coalesce and effectively stand to secure the integrity of the 2020 American elections?

For more information on this story, visit The New York Times or the Wall Street Journal.