The Russia investigation has been a point of political contention and controversy as well as a common buzzword in social media posts and mainstream news headlines. Robert Mueller’s investigation was primarily an investigation into the allegations the the president had obstructed justice and colluded with with Russia in order to win the 2016 election. The Special Counsel’s politicized investigation revealed, dissected, and abstracted many things, but the report also revealed that the election did little to raise concerns about the importance of political cybersecurity, according to CNBC.
One of the biggest scandals of the election was the Cambridge Analytica incident, in which Facebook’s inadequate cybersecurity and privacy policies that extracted data without people’s consent and allowed Russian operatives to influence the 2016 election in Donald Trump’s favor. Mueller’s report, however, did not dive extensively into this matter, having only said this:
“…a private Russian entity engaged in a social media operation where Russian citizens posed as Americans in order to influence an election.”
So while the report did recognize that foreign exploitation of social media did have a role in skewing the election, it did not do much to call on any sort of widespread cybersecurity reform.
But the federal government should be concerned about the need for better cybersecurity, and not just in the way of social media. Political operatives who fail to correctly secure their various password protected accounts leave sensitive information vulnerable to foreign entities.
Many who worked at the DNC headquarters kept easily deciphered passwords and bypassed many opportunities to more tightly secure information, allowing foreign hackers to access information that they used to influence the election. The left was not the only group affected, as many people close to Trump associated with fake social media accounts that a basic security screening service would have blocked.