France, Germany Netherlands vulnerable to election hacking: former U.S. official Justice Department

The U.S. intelligence community has repeatedly pointed a finger at Russia for having influenced the 2016 U.S. Presidential elections and have called for a more proactive and assertive stance.

As per a former official from the U.S. Justice Department who served in the erstwhile Obama administration stated that European countries must be willing to take a more proactive approach to third party interference in their country’s election process. He went on to underline the fact that the U.S. response to such cyber misadventures fell short of expectations.

Former Assistant Attorney General John Carlin, made it amply clear that the U.S. did not do enough to deter cyberattacks from countries, including Russia, while referring to the e-mail leaks of the Democratic Party during the 2016 presidential elections.

“What we did was too late,” said Carlin during a panel discussion on election hacking at the RSA cybersecurity conference. “We weren’t bringing deterrence at all to the table.”

The U.S. intelligence community has repeatedly stated that hacking attacks s were carried out by Russia so as to influence U.S. elections and help Republican candidate Donald Trump.

Russian authorities have repeatedly denied these charges.

In what is likely to have been a related development, former U.S. President Barack Obama, had announced the expulsion of 35 suspected Russian spies and had imposed sanctions on two Russian intelligence agencies as a response. However, the measures came after two months after the elections with Trump’s surprise win over Hillary Clinton.

It is in this context that Carlin has called other countries, who have upcoming elections, to be more assertive in their timely approach to cyberattacks aimed at influencing their elections.

“Pre-election, it’s vital that not just the United States but partners like Germany, like France make it clear what the red line is, that there’s going to be strong deterrence and that in terms of deterrence, our policy has got to be we are going to take action until the action stops,” said Carlin. “So there is no ceiling on the level we will ratchet up the deterrence when you are undermining a core value.”

This year countries in the European Union, including France, Germany and Netherlands, are set to have elections of their own.

Several former officials from the Obama administration have come down hard on the U.S. response to the U.S. election hacking as insufficient.


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