Trump Fires DHS Cybersecurity Agency Over Election Remarks

Chris Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), has been fired by President Trump. His crime? Making a “highly inaccurate” statement about the 2020 presidential election.

CISA called the election “the most secure in American history,” which Mister Trump disputes. The president continues to argue it was tainted by “massive improprieties and fraud.”

Cybersecurity Live - Boston

But there’s a lot of love for Krebs—right across the aisle. In today’s SB Blogwatch, we savor this rare bipartisan moment.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: DEF CON 27 Voting Village.

The Donald’s Signature Move

What’s the craic? Alana Wise reports—“Trump Fires Election Security Director Who Corrected Voter Fraud Disinformation”:

 Trump, in two misleading tweets about the security of the U.S. election, said Krebs’ termination was “effective immediately.” The tweets … were flagged by the social media platform for promoting misinformation.

Krebs’ firing came after his agency, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, last week released a statement calling the 2020 election “the most secure in American history.” It added, in boldface, “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”

Lawmakers criticized Krebs’ ousting. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the firing a “dangerous and shameful charade.” Sen. Ben Sasse [R-NE] said Krebs “did a really good job” and that “he obviously should not be fired.” Senate Intelligence Chair Mark Warner [D-VA] called Krebs an “extraordinary public servant.”

And Zack Whittaker adds—“Trump fires top US cybersecurity official Chris Krebs for debunking false election claims”:

 Chris Krebs, one of the most senior cybersecurity officials in the U.S. government, has been fired. [He] served as the director of … CISA since its founding in November 2018. … Krebs was appointed by President Trump to head the newly created cybersecurity agency … just days after the conclusion of the midterm elections.

Trump, who has repeatedly made claims of voter fraud … alleged that CISA’s statement was “highly inaccurate.” … Krebs became one of the most vocal voices in election security, taking the lead during 2018 and in 2020, which largely escaped from disruptive cyberattacks, thanks to efforts to prepare for cyberattacks and misinformation that plagued the 2016 presidential election.

What does the dastardly firee have to say for himself? Chris Krebs—@C_C_Krebs—cycles through his thoughts: [You’re fired—Ed.]

 On allegations that election systems were manipulated, 59 election security experts all agree: “In every case of which we are aware, these claims either have been unsubstantiated or are technically incoherent.”

In defending democracy, do or do not, there is no try. This is the way.

Honored to serve. We did it right. Defend Today, Secure Tomrorow.

I can’t believe I misspelled tomorrow. I’m the worst.

Here at Blogwatch towers, we take a 360 view. So SV_BubbleTime plays Devil’s advocate:

 Krebs called it the most secure election in history. I like Krebs, but how can an election with anyone on the voter rolls getting a ballot mailed to them possibly be the most secure ever?

I’m not saying there was voter fraud, but Kreb’s statement just seems odd. Best possible case, there was no chain of custody for ballots, so even if there were no issues or reasons to be suspicious, it just isn’t a great claim.

The election was the most secure ever? … I don’t see how it could have been. We relaxed integrity requirements because of Covid, not increased them.

And Orgasmatron goes in harder:

 Hang on a second here. If we are looking for hard evidence, what is the hard evidence in support of the theory that “The Nov. 3rd election was the most secure in American history”? How the hell is something like that even quantified?

Is Krebs maybe just puffing himself up here? Are there other circumstances where we just take a guy’s word for it when they say that they did a great job?

But wasn’t that Krebs’ actual job? rodrigosetti explains the dynamic:

 For Trump and similarly authoritarian leaders, specialists aren’t there to provide independent answers. They’re there to legitimize the political agenda of such leaders.

Trump doesn’t care about truth [as is] evident by his discredit of media, and promoting conspiracies to rise confusion.

Yes, jranson notes the irony:

 CISA was formed … and was staffed by President Trump. … These are his own hires who he built the office from scratch with, [and] who are patriotically refusing to go along with his lies.

Wait. Pause. “Lies”? That’s not very collegial. redis_mlc objects:

 The election isn’t even over yet. … But then the left has endorsed violence, Marxism, deplatforming and rigged voting to subvert democracy at every turn in 2020.

Democrats, look in the mirror when you talk about divisiveness.

But the media. The biased mainstream media! Darinbob wants to bring back the fairness doctrine:

 Maybe the problem is the collapse of traditional moderate news—Walter Cronkite, Edward R Murrow, David Brinkley, etc. Everyone listened to them because they told what happened, and the editorials were put at the end of the half hour, so even if you didn’t like the bias of the editorial you still knew that rest of the show was pretty much on the up and up.

Now news is 24 hours a day, it’s big business, and you gotta fill those 24 hours with stuff to keep people interested, and that means sensationalizing everything. And we get to pick and choose the bias flavor that we want and everyone is in a bubble; any straight-up moderate/centrist view of the news is rare.

A lot of people are still getting good news, most of us learn how to do it. But the fraction of people who want only the fantasy version is growing, and they’re large enough to have political influence, which just feeds into itself making it grow faster.

Meanwhile, MartianNick eyerolls furiously:

 Good lord what a dumpster fire. Looking forward to Jan 21.

And Finally:

Krebs in happier times

Previously in And Finally

You have been reading SB Blogwatch by Richi Jennings. Richi curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites … so you don’t have to. Hate mail may be directed to @RiCHi or [email protected]. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE. 30.

Image sauce: Gage Skidmore (cc:by-sa)

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Richi Jennings

Richi Jennings is a foolish independent industry analyst, editor, and content strategist. A former developer and marketer, he’s also written or edited for Computerworld, Microsoft, Cisco, Micro Focus, HashiCorp, Ferris Research, Osterman Research, Orthogonal Thinking, Native Trust, Elgan Media, Petri, Cyren, Agari, Webroot, HP, HPE, NetApp on Forbes and Bizarrely, his ridiculous work has even won awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors, ABM/Jesse H. Neal, and B2B Magazine.

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