“America’s elections are the foundation of our democracy—so protecting them is a priority for the FBI and our partners,” stressed FBI Director Christopher Wray in his message introducing the expansion of the FBI’s Protected Voices initiative.
Protected Voices is the FBI’s effort to share resources, information, and tools with political campaigns to help protect the integrity of every election—whether it is for a county council seat or a U.S. Senate seat. Initially launched in 2018, the initiative released new and updated materials this week.
The most recent election cycles have shown that U.S. voters and campaigns are being targeted by foreign entities through both cyber intrusions and covert influence and disinformation efforts. The FBI and its partner agencies feel it is vital for campaigns to understand the current methods and tactics being used by our foreign adversaries and how to protect against them.
“It is not the general practice of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division to go to the public with information,” said Nikki Floris, deputy assistant director of that division. “But this is a threat that not only concerns every American, it involves every American. These attacks on our elections and these efforts by foreign adversaries to influence our opinions and sow divisions within this country touch us all.”
Created in coordination with the Department of Homeland Security and Director of National Intelligence, Protected Voices gathers together guidance from the FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force—along with its Cyber, Criminal, and Counterintelligence Divisions—in a series of informative videos. The tutorials and online resources explain the nature of foreign influence and social engineering, highlight common areas of vulnerability, and offer cybersecurity measures to help campaigns, companies, and individuals protect themselves against common Internet-enabled crimes.
“We were hearing campaign personnel say, ‘We know election security is important, but what do we need to do?’” said Bradley Benavides, a section chief with the Foreign Influence Task Force. “The Protected Voices series is designed to answer that question. These are the steps your information technology team needs to take. This is the training you should give every campaign worker and volunteer. This is where you are vulnerable. This is where you need to be on guard.”
The materials and resources from Protected Voices are available to everyone, and the advice and information can be useful to all organizations and individuals. Explore the full suite of resources at fbi.gov/protectedvoices.
Your voice matters, so protect it.