GEORGIA SECRETARY OF STATE:
republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:
On Thursday, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to ask “why [it] was attempting to breach” the firewall protecting his computer infrastructure. The letter also drew attention to the fact that “under 18 U.S.C. 1030, attempting to gain access or exceeding authorized access to protected computer systems is illegal."
In the weeks and months leading up to the elections, DHS and other federal agencies expressed growing concerns over the threat of Russian hackers penetrating government computers. Many of those concerns were based in the oft-repeated claim that the hacking of the databases and e-mail servers of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) was the work of Russian hackers. That claim has never been proved, and many experts have said it is not the case. In fact, Julian Assange — the founder and public face of WikiLeaks, which published the DNC documents — flatly denied that the source was Russian.
Based on the accepted “wisdom” that the hacks came from Russia — whether from individual hackers or directed by Moscow — DHS issued a series of recommendations to the states for protecting their voter registration and election systems against attacks aimed at hacking the election. DHS also offered its assistance in providing “cyber hygiene scans or penetration testing” before the elections. As Kemp reminded DHS in his letter:
Perhaps the only thing more embarrassing to an overreaching federal agency than telling it you don’t need its help is proving it by preventing them from forcing it on you.
This case illustrates the value of a free-market approach. By contracting with “a global leader in monitored security services” (a private firm), Kemp was able to “protect Georgians’ data against” even an attack launched by DHS. By demonstrating the value of a free-market approach and the fact that states can handle these matters themselves without “assistance” from the federal government, Kemp also demonstrated the lack of value of DHS and its heavy-handed approach.
That is just peachy.