FBI Director Chris Wray said Wednesday that Russia is engaged in "information warfare" heading into the 2020 presidential election, though he said law enforcement is not seeing ongoing efforts by Russia to interfere in America's election infrastructure.
Wray told the House Judiciary Committee that Russia, just as it did in 2016, is relying on a covert social media campaign aimed at dividing American public opinion and sowing discord. That effort may have an election-year uptick, but is also an around-the-clock threat that is in some ways harder to combat than an election system hack.
"Unlike a cyberattack on an election infrastructure, that kind of effort - disinformation - in a world where we have a First Amendment and believe strongly in freedom of expression, the FBI is not going to be in the business of being the truth police and monitoring disinformation online," Wray said.
The FBI and Department of Homeland Security Department are on alert for possible election-related instructions like those that occurred in 2016 when Russians hacked emails belonging to the Democratic campaign of nominee Hillary Clinton and probed local election systems for vulnerabilities.
But, Wray said Wednesday, "I don't think we've seen any ongoing efforts to target election infrastructure as we did in 2016."