Highlights from Senator Mark Warner at CSIS

Countering Adversary Attacks on Democracy – It’s Not Just About Elections with Senator Mark Warner

The Center for Strategic and International Studies held this event on November 15th with:

Mark Warner, U.S. Senator from Virginia, Vice Chairman—Select Committee on Intelligence​

Harvey Rishikof​, Advisory Board Chairman, American Bar Association Standing Committee on Law and National Security


This discussion, following the midterm elections, assesses what we saw–and didn’t see–in those elections.  It also examines foreign influence operations that go beyond elections to undermine other democratic institutions, such as our justice system, and democracy itself.   Finally, ways to counter this national security threat are discussed.

Senator Mark Warner’s thoughts on how Russia interfered in U.S. elections:​
– They weaponized information that they had stolen through cyber activities​
– Russia tested or broke into at least twenty-one state electoral systems​
– Russia massively manipulated our social media platforms in ways that caught the intelligence community and the platform companies off-guard
– The effectiveness and cheapness of this effort was an 8 out of 10​

Where do we go from here?
– Leverage our strong allies and alliances
– Continue to resist Russia’s attempts to undermine our systems
– Develop cyber protections
– Shore up election systems
– Consider social media
– Consider privacy
– Consider identity validation (right-to-know, geocoding, anonymity, competition, transparency)

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