WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Friday released a new framework for notifying victims and the public of cyberattacks during the 2020 presidential election.
The procedures are designed to ensure consistency in how victims and the public are notified of election interference by foreign governments. The framework, which was approved by President Donald Trump, comes as the federal government has faced criticism for the lack of information it has made public about efforts by foreign hackers to penetrate campaigns and election systems. It also comes as the government braces for foreign interference in next year’s election similar to the hacking and foreign influence campaigns of the 2016 race.
The process underscores the difficulties the federal government has faced in balancing the public’s right to know about national security threats against its own interests in not disclosing sensitive sources and methods, as well as desires by some victims to not be publicly identified. For instance, members of Florida’s congressional delegation have complained that the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security would not publicly identify the two counties where Russian hackers gained access to voter databases before the 2016 election.