The Pentagon has halted briefings with the Biden transition team amidst a sweeping cyberattack on the federal government
Win Without War
(December 19, 2020) — Federal officials have recently discovered that the US government was the target of one of the largest cyberattacks in history. The list is long: Treasury, Federal Reserve, Defense, State, Homeland Security, and Energy (which oversees nuclear weapons) have ALL been breached. The implications are staggering.
There’s one thing we know for sure: the incoming Biden administration MUST have the information about this hack and its potential effects if they are going to be able to face this and other challenges on Day 1.
However, hours ago, the Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller ordered a Pentagon-wide halt to cooperation with the Biden transition team, hamstringing their ability to understand and address a dangerous situation with far-reaching national security implications. This goes beyond politics and is simply unacceptable.
There is plenty of blame to go around for the hack. Over the last four years, the Trump administration has refused to take cybersecurity seriously — appointing people like Rudy Giuliani to head these efforts while firing genuine experts for political reasons — leaving gaping holes in our cybersecurity infrastructure.
Meanwhile, the normalization of data breaches continues and tech companies receive no punishment for leaving consumers vulnerable. And our congressional oversight structure is filled with folks who simply don’t understand how the internet works.
It’s clear when it comes to tech and cybersecurity there are problems across the federal government. But apparently, the issue isn’t even about blame for the hack.
Axios reports that Acting Secretary Miller canceled the briefings in retaliation for a story about the border wall. Yep, the Pentagon is risking our national security for ego.
It’s unconscionable. Biden and his staff must have the information they need to protect our data and our most sensitive national information. And they need it NOW.
Dear Acting Secretary Miller,
It is unacceptable that the Pentagon has suspended meetings with the transition team at all, let alone amidst a national security crisis like the SolarWinds cyberattack. We urge you to reschedule these meetings immediately to ensure the incoming administration understands the scope of this issue and can begin planning a US response.
President Trump lost the election. It is time for his team to get over it and do their jobs. While these kinds of stunts may play well for the fringe right, playing games with national security is inexcusable. It is time for our public servants to serve the public.
Thank you for working for peace,
Amy, Shayna, Annika, and the Win Without War team
P.S. Please take a moment to secure your own online data and information. Need help? Check out this great guide from our friends at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.