The State Department is offering a reward of up to $10 million for information on foreign interference in U.S. elections, the department announced Thursday.
The department said in a release that it's looking for information leading to the identification or location of "any foreign person, including a foreign entity, who knowingly engaged or is engaging in foreign election interference, as well as information leading to the prevention, frustration or favorable resolution of an act of foreign election interference." Examples of that could include tampering with databases, running bot farm campaigns or malicious cyber activity.
The reward announcement comes ahead of the 2022 midterms, which will determine control of the House and Senate.
After the 2016 presidential election, the Senate Intelligence Committee found that Russia overwhelmingly favored Donald Trump and "engaged in an aggressive, multifaceted effort to influence, or attempt to influence, the outcome of the 2016 presidential election." Special counsel Robert Mueller found Russia interfered with the election by messing with Democrats' computer networks and going after local election offices.
Ahead of the 2020 election, officials warned of the possibility of foreign election interference. In October 2020, top intelligence officials said Iran and Russia attempted to compromise the presidential election.
Still, after the last presidential election, former President Trump's own federal election infrastructure officials said in a joint statement that the 2020 election was the "most secure in American history."
Funding for the State Department reward comes from election security fund provided by the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act. More information is available at www.rewardsforjustice.net.
First published on July 1, 2022 / 9:24 AM
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