House Dem committee moves to encrypted messaging to try to avoid hacks

House Dem committee moves to encrypted messaging to try to avoid hacks

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has taken to using an encrypted messaging app called Wickr for internal communications and correspondence with the campaigns of the most vulnerable House Democrats, BuzzFeed News reported Tuesday.

The DCCC was among the organizations targeted by a Russian hacking campaign during the 2016 elections — an attack that exposed the internal documents of a handful of Democratic House campaigns. 

Wickr, an end-to-end encrypted messaging software, was installed at the DCCC in June, according to BuzzFeed, and is a first for political party committees on both sides of the aisle.

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Encrypted messaging systems prevent third parties from deciphering communications and data sent using that software, meaning that only the sender and the intended recipient can view the information. 

Wickr is not intended to replace email and is used to send ephemeral messages and share files. 

Russia's efforts to meddle in the 2016 presidential election have been the subject of much controversy, particularly the Kremlin's alleged efforts to swing the race in favor of President Trump.

The U.S. intelligence community concluded in a report made public in January that the Russian government sought to disrupt the election by running a hacking and influence campaign that also touched the Democratic National Committee and the personal email of Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMore than 200,000 Wisconsin voters will be removed from the rolls Trump is threatening to boycott the debates — here's how to make sure he shows up Trey Gowdy returns to Fox News as contributor MORE's campaign chairman, John Podesta.

A special counsel and multiple congressional committees are currently investigating Russia's role in the election, as well as possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.