A new non-profit cybersecurity group US CyberDome, was launched on Tuesday, with the goal of protecting presidential campaigns from foreign cyber-attacks, at no cost to the campaigns.
The website says, “US CyberDome is a 501(c)(4) organization that provides cybersecurity services to political campaigns for elected officials and candidates across party lines at no cost to the campaigns. Our objective is to ensure integrity of the election process and confidence in the outcomes. Donation funded; we help our donors Put Your Money Where Your Democracy Is!”
The launching of US CyberDome comes after a Federal Election Committee ruling to allow non-profits to provide free or discounted cybersecurity to presidential campaigns. According to Politico, US CyberDome has already reached out to every presidential campaign and is hoping to be announcing their clients soon.
The group’s advisory board is full of former US intelligence officials who have been all over the mainstream media for the past three years, stoking fear about Russian interference in US elections.
The lead advisor of the group is Jeh Johnson, former Secretary of Homeland Security under President Obama. He is also a member of the board of directors of Lockheed Martin. Johnson is a strong believer in the idea that the Russian government orchestrated an attack on US elections in 2016.
In 2018 Johnson told the Senate Intelligence Committee, “In 2016 the Russian government, at the direction of Vladimir Putin himself, orchestrated cyberattacks on our Nation for the purpose of influencing the election that year – plain and simple.”
Michael Morrell another advisor, served as Obama’s Deputy Director to the CIA and spent some time as the Acting Director. Morrell worked for the CIA for over 30 years.
In an interview published in December 2016 Morrell likened the supposed Russian interference to 9/11, “A foreign government messing around in our elections is, I think, an existential threat to our way of life,” Morell said. “To me, and this is to me not an overstatement, this is the political equivalent of 9/11.”
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper is another advisor. Clapper has been one of the most vocal critics of Russia in recent years, spewing some of the more xenophobic rhetoric. In 2017 Clapper said the US and Russia could never be allies because it is in the Russian’s “genes to be opposed, diametrically opposed to the United States and to Western democracies.”
Michael Chertoff, former Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush is also on the advisory board. Chertoff has made many appearances on mainstream outlets, warning of Russian interference in the upcoming 2020 election.
It is not yet clear what role US CyberDome will have in the upcoming elections. The members of the advisory board all have strong media presence. If they get access to presidential campaigns they will be quick to identify any attempted hacks or scans on the campaigns as Russian, whether they have the proof or not.