By Bryan Guan
Both the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have officially released reports confirming the evidence regarding the Russian hacking of government protected information. Here are the basics of the situation:
What exactly did the Russians do?
The CIA and FBI accuse a Russian Spy Military Agency (and various other Kremlin sponsored groups) of hacking the Democratic Party and providing websites, such as WikiLeaks, confidential information- such as political plans, emails, and other forms of digital information. The investigation for additional information and traces of Russian interference is still ongoing.
What have the Obama Administration and the federal government (USFG) done about it?
The Obama Administration has issued a full investigative report of the hacking. The report has recently been released to the public but has offered little besides confirming already known speculation. Federally, United States-Russian relations have deteriorated significantly. The USFG has currently expelled a total 35 Russian diplomats in the name of national security.
How have the Russians responded?
Allegations against Russia first went out during the election season, which the Kremlin denied and in turn accused the USFG for being “overly aggressive.” The Russian government still denies any responsibility for infiltrating USFG databases.
What else do the Russians have access to?
Government intelligence has also confirmed digital trails of hacking in federal and private sector entities. The full extent of how much the Russians have access to is still uncertain.
How has the political community reacted?
Donald Trump staunchly denies any suspicious dealings with the Russians and Vladimir Putin (who is known to have good relations with President Trump) and has called for the public and investigators to “get on with their lives.” He has repeatedly stated that the Russians “have had absolutely no impact on the results of the election.” The Republican National Convention has denied any interference by the Russians in their digital systems. Democrats, however, protest and have further challenged Donald Trump, solidifying their beliefs that the election was “rigged.”
What is the impact?
The hacking definitely holds certain implications and raises important questions about the authenticity of President Elect Donald Trump’s victory, the deteriorating state of US-Russian relations, and perhaps most importantly, politics in an era of increasing digitalization.
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