U.S. election official: 2020 interference will be more sophisticated

Russia won't be the only country to attempt to interfere in the United States' 2020 election. File Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI

Jan. 14 (UPI) — The United States’ head of election threats said Tuesday that China and Russia will use different, more sophisticated techniques to interfere in the this year’s presidential election.

Shelby Pierson, the elections czar in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, made the comments before the Election Assistance Commission in Washington, D.C. She also spoke to NBC News and Roll Call after her speech.

“I don’t underestimate any of the adversaries that are looking at the U.S. elections,” she said. “It’s undoubtedly part of their plan to learn what works and what doesn’t.”

In October 2016, all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies signed a statement blaming the hack of Democratic National Committee computers amid the 2016 election on Russia. And special counsel Robert Mueller concluded in his 2019 report that Russia attempted to meddle in the election.

Pierson said in addition to Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and non-state “hacktivists” will likely pose a threat in the 2020 election.

“The threats as we go into 2020 are more sophisticated,” she said. “This is not a Russia-only problem. Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, non-state hacktivists all have an opportunity, means and potentially motive to come after the United States in the 2020 election to accomplish their goals.

Pierson told NBC News that U.S. officials were tracking hacking by Russian intelligence agencies.


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