Former DHS, intelligence leaders launch group to protect presidential campaigns from foreign interference

Keren Carrion

Two former Homeland Security secretaries, along with other former top intelligence officials, launched a non-profit group on Tuesday intended to protect presidential campaigns from foreign interference, such as cyber attacks, at no cost. 

The new U.S. CyberDome group’s Board of Advisors will be chaired by former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson, who served under former President Obama. 

{mosads}Other members of the board will include former DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff, who served under President George W. Bush, former CIA Director Michael Morell, former Director of National Intelligence Lt. Gen. James Clapper, and Brig. Gen. Francis Taylor, the former DHS under secretary of Intelligence and Analysis. 

The former leaders put together the organization due to alarm over how exposed political campaigns were to cyber interference and the lack of protection available to campaigns and voters to protect against these threats. It will work with charities and other donors to provide funding for cyber protections for presidential campaigns.  

While U.S. CyberDome’s initial efforts will be focused on securing 2020 presidential campaigns against threats, the group aims to eventually assist all national political campaigns. 

“In the face of known, on-going efforts by foreign powers to try to interfere in our upcoming election, U.S. CyberDome could not come at a more critical juncture,” Johnson said in a statement.

Chertoff added, “U.S. CyberDome believes that all Americans should enlist in the protection of our democratic institutions, and fortifying Cybersecurity in our political organizations is a key element in this initiative.”

Morrell emphasized that the group’s services will apply to all presidential campaigns regardless of party, and that U.S. CyberDome is comprised of a “group of talented, experienced cyber security experts doing what they can to keep the Russians, Chinese, and other adversaries from stealing critical information from the 2020 candidates.”

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