As the Department of Homeland Security contemplates taking possibly unconstitutional power over the U.S. election system due to the threat of hackers, citizens should consider the fact that the agency itself was the victim of a major cyber intrusion that stole sensitive personal information of thousands of its employees, contends a former DHS officer.
Johnson said last week that DHS is considering whether or not it should declare the U.S. election system a “critical infrastructure” due to potential cyber threats.
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The fear, Haney points out, is that the DHS could overrule powers given to local and state governments to mange their own elections under Article 1, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution, not to mention the powers afforded states in the 10th Amendment.
“They certainly don’t have an exemplary record in safeguarding our borders,” Haney told WND. “What gives us confidence they will safeguard our electoral process?”
He noted that DHS “didn’t have the capability of preventing the background paperwork for our secret clearances from being hacked.”
Haney and virtually every one of his colleagues in Customs and Border Protection were informed on June 12, 2015, of the intrusion, which included the theft of Social Security numbers, dates of birth, residencies, educational and employment histories, personal foreign travel histories, immediate families, business and personal acquaintances details, and other information used to conduct background clearances.
“Now, thanks to the American taxpayer, we all have the option of free credit and identity monitoring services,” Haney noted.
Lifezette.com pointed out that Johnson’s remarks came well before the FBI announced last week that hackers had attacked two separate state election boards.
“We should carefully consider whether our election system, our election process, is critical infrastructure like the financial sector, like the power grid,” Johnson said at a media conference hosted by the Christian Science Monitor earlier this month. “There’s a vital national interest in our election process, so I do think we need to consider whether it should be considered by my department and others critical infrastructure.”
Article 1, Section 4 of the Constitution states:
The times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations, except as to the places of choosing Senators.
“If there was to be a change, it should be Congress making it, not a unilateral decision by an agency like the Department of Homeland Security,” Haney said.
In his book, Haney points out that when the Department of Homeland Security was founded in 2003, its stated purpose was “preventing terrorist attacks within the United States and reducing America’s vulnerability to terrorism.” But Muslim Brotherhood-linked leaders and others in the United States began forcing changes to national security policy and even being invited into the highest chambers of influence. A policy known as Countering Violent Extremism emerged, downplaying the threat of supremacist Islam as unrelated to the religion and just one among many violent ideological movements.