Florida lawmakers are slamming the FBI after it was reported this week that Russian government hackers had targeted Florida counties in the 2016 Presidential election.
The GRU, a Russian military spy agency, is accused of penetrating two Florida counties, but federal authorities have asked that the names of the two counties be kept confidential.
Both Governor Ron DeSantis and Florida’s congressional delegation have been briefed on the attack, but no further information can be provided for the general public.
To this, many lawmakers are voicing their disapproval.
After being briefed on the matter, Florida rep. Michael Waltz (R) released a statement, commenting that the “briefing is further confirmation that our national security is constantly under siege. Our electoral system – the heart of our democracy – is under persistent attack from our adversaries. The victims of this attack aren’t local elections supervisors – they are the voters and our democracy.
Although the FBI is not planning on releasing the names of the counties that were attacked, they did disclose that Russia did not alter vote tallies or voter information.
Waltz continued by calling for transparency, noting that “it is unacceptable that we cannot inform the voters what happened in 2016. Maintaining the integrity of our elections is an ongoing battle.”
Furthermore, Waltz commented that “the first step to preserving our electoral system is by being transparent and declassifying the names of the affected counties.”
In turn, “those voters and all Floridians deserve to know what happened in 2016.”
In response to the attacks, Waltz asserted that he would “be working with my colleagues to standardize our defenses across counties and states and clarify public notification procedures to ensure we’re doing all we can to protect our elections going forward.”
Florida rep. Stephanie Murphy (D), who earlier this month directed a letter to the FBI seeking a briefing on the matter, echoed Waltz’s remarks, saying that “it is untenable to continue to hold this information classified and not to let the public know.”