November 01, 2018

Castro Releases Podcast Episode on Election Security Days Before Midterms

WASHINGTON—Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and First Vice Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, today released a Diplomatic Cable episode on the importance of securing our elections and policy prescriptions for countering authoritarian interference in our democracy.

This episode features the bipartisan German Marshall Fund’s Laura Rosenberger and Jamie Fly, co-directors of the Alliance for Securing Democracy and co-authors of the report: “Policy Blueprint for Countering Authoritarian Interference in Democracies.” Laura formerly served as Foreign Policy Advisor on former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and Jamie formerly served as Foreign Policy Advisor on U.S. Senator Marco Rubio’s 2016 presidential campaign.

“We’re five days out from the midterm elections, and no better off from deterring foreign influence in our electoral system. We still lack a single federal law on election security, and have failed in reaching bipartisan consensus in American foreign policy that takes cyber threats to our allies seriously” said host Rep. Castro. “On this episode, I’m joined by Laura Rosenberger and Jamie Fly of the German Marshall Fund’s Alliance for Securing Democracy where we discuss the findings of their new report, China’s cyber ambitions and how they threaten U.S. national security, and how Congress can come together to deter foreign interference in our elections and protect our democracy.”

“NATO really hasn’t defined what the actual triggers are, so even while it was decided by NATO that a cyber-attack could constitute triggering Article 5,” Laura Rosenberger said on the episode. “There’s been no real discussion within NATO of what that actual threshold is. One of the things that worries me…is that reaching that level of consensus about that threshold will be challenging given [that]…so many of these attacks are aimed at dividing us in a way.”

“Countries like Ukraine and Georgia have really, in many respects, served as a testing ground for Russia’s activities,” Jamie Fly said on the episode. “[B]ecause those are perceived by Moscow to be permissive environments where they can take greater risks and have more agents of influence to help with everything from disinformation to cyber hacking to targeting of the electrical grid or of cutting off energy supplies.

The episode is available on iTunes, Spotify, and Google Play.

Future episodes of the Diplomatic Cable will include discussions with former Council on Foreign Relation’s Max Boot, U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, former State Department Cyber Coordinator Chris Painter, and many other experts, practitioners, Members of Congress and American citizens. Episodes will focus on repercussions of U.S. foreign policy in the 116th Congress, the consequences of a rising China, the crisis in American diplomacy and development, prospects for Middle East peace and many other issues.

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