EPIC Seeks Release of Records About Election Cybersecurity
June 26, 2020
EPIC has filed a cross motion for summary judgement in EPIC v. DHS seeking records about the agency's assessment of election vulnerabilities in 2016 and 2018. EPIC filed the Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security after the agency designated election systems as "critical infrastructure" in 2017. The agency has released hundreds of pages of records to EPIC about the agency's role in election cybersecurity, but continues to withhold four categories of records including: (1) documents concerning contacts between DHS and state election officials, (2) Election Security Task Force meeting minutes, (3) the agency's assessment of cybersecurity risks to election infrastructure in September 2016, and (4) incident reports concerning vulnerabilities to election systems. EPIC explained that “[t]here is a profound and urgent public interest in the release of [these] records" because it "is necessary for the public to evaluate DHS's response to past incidents, to assess future threats to election systems, and to ensure accountability of the federal agency with the legal authority to safeguard our election systems." With the 2020 presidential election mere months away, it is critical that the public and Congress have access to these records so they can assess the effectiveness of the agency's election cybersecurity program and what steps the agency has taken to protect our democratic institutions. The case is EPIC v. DHS, No. 17-2047 (D.D.C.).