When then President Donald J. Trump ousted Christopher Krebs shortly after the 2020 election it was likely the first that most Americans had ever heard of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). As CISA’s director, Krebs had earned bipartisan plaudits for his leadership, before he was fired for publicly debunking Trump’s false claims concerning voter fraud in the 2020 presidential elections.
While the public saw the firing as another self-serving act by a vengeful president, security professionals drew a deeper lesson – that DHS could be playing a more forceful role defending against the spread of misinformation and disinformation. For context, it’s worth recalling that DHS was created in 2003 when the U.S. government was still reeling from its inability to “connect the dots” before the 9/11 attacks. The new department was to become the central hub around which the “spokes” of law enforcement, intelligence, border security, and aviation security would revolve.