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Center for Internet Security - CIS



Citizens Research Project

Center For Internet Security

4/18/23

EIN

The Center for Internet Security is a Non-Profit, 501(c)(3), founded in 2000 to make the connected world a safer place by developing, validating, and promoting timely best practice solutions that help people, businesses, and governments protect themselves against pervasive cyber threats, according to their mission statement.


In 2020 they received nearly $16 Million in government grants from DHS, working with the Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to provide cyber security and information sharing by operating the Election Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center (EI-ISAC) and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC).


There are many questions about the election system monitoring operations performed by CIS.

Why is DHS partnering with a Non-Profit to perform services that could be performed by CISA?


According to the Memorandum of Agreement with CIS, election offices give them everything about their IT system with this provision “Computer Users have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding communications or data transiting, stored on or traveling to or from Entity’s information system”.


What are the vulnerabilities of the Albert Sensors that CIS deploys for their network security monitoring and management services?


What is the relationship between CIS, EI-ISAC and the Election Integrity Partnership (EIP)? In the 2020 Election, CIS was reporting incidents of Misinformation, Disinformation & Malinformation (MDM) to EIP, who then sent the information to social media companies. Censorship?


What is the relationship between CIS and the Global Cyber Alliance (GCA), who shares their address, and some of the members are CTCL, Brennan Center, Facebook and CEIR according to Influence Watch?


What is the relationship between CIS and the Democracy Fund (Pierre Omidyar) a Left-wing, partisan donor operation? According to the CIS 990’s, the Democracy Fund donation has grown from $51,581 in 2018 to $290,555 in 2020.


Why does CIS need 308 employees, 184 volunteers and 21 officers and directors, with payroll/benefits of $33 Million, and other costs of $18 Million, according to the 2020-990?

CIS 2020 revenue $16 Million Government Grants, $36 Million Program Services, total $52 Million. So, a Non-Profit made a profit $468,764, what happens?


At a recent Congressional Hearing, Jen Easterly, Director of CISA, was asked by Representative Cloud to submit all contracts, grants and funding for any Non-Profits that are working with her agency. She said she would, but nothing so far. We’ll keep following up.

There is a robust debate about CIS and its election system monitoring operations. There too many unanswered questions to say that it is a passive, non-partisan election office internet traffic monitoring operation. And, there is no absolute proof that the CIS monitoring system was used to affect the outcome of the 2020 Election. The lack of transparency from the federal government regarding the CIS and CISA involvement in our elections has contributed to the latter.


We need to continue our research into CIS and CISA to learn as much as we can about this monitoring program, and keep the pressure on the federal government to provide the requested documentation.


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Response from Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)/Department of Homeland Security to questions from Representative Cloud in an appropriations committee hearing.



  1. Provide confirmation on whether CISA provided a “voter registration and voter education plan” to the White House in response to Executive Order 14019. And if so, provide a copy of CISA’s submitted plan.

Response: The Department of Homeland Security only submitted one draft plan responsive to Executive Order 14019 to the White House which was provided by the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. Currently, there is no final Department of Homeland Security plan responsive to the Executive Order No. 14019. Additionally, the draft plan is a matter of current litigation (AFL v. USDA, et al., 1:22-cv-3029) (D.D.C. 2022) whereby the Department of Homeland Security has asserted the deliberative process privilege and the presidential communications privilege and, therefore, the draft plan is not available for release.

2. An accounting of the recipients of all CISA grants over the last two fiscal years.

Response: In FY21, FY22, CISA awarded the following grants using appropriated funds:

Fiscal Year (FY)

Grant or Cooperative Agreement Name

Grant or Cooperative Agreement Recipient

Grant or Cooperative Agreement Amount

FY 2022

Cybersecurity Awareness Month Campaign Grant

National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA) – staysafeonline.org

$549,996

FY 2022

Rural Emergency Medical Communications Demonstration Project (REMCDP)

University of Mississippi Medical Center – Jackson, MS

$1,892,500

FY 2022

Cybersecurity Education and Training Assistance Program (CETAP)

Cyber Innovation Center – Bossier City, Louisiana

$6,800,000

FY 2022

State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Security Operations Center – Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC) program

Center for Internet Security, Inc. - East Greenbush, NY

$38,003,000

FY 2021

Cybersecurity Education and Training Assistance Program (CETAP)

Cyber Innovation Center – Bossier City, Louisiana

$6,000,000

FY 2021

State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Security Operations Center – Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC) program

Center for Internet Security, Inc. - East Greenbush, NY

$26,344,000

FY 2021

Cybersecurity Awareness Month Campaign Grant

National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA) – staysafeonline.org

$549,996

FY 2021

National Information Exchange (NIEM) Project

Cybersecurity Support Network

$625,000

FY 2021

Threat SLTT Sharing Program

Cybersecurity Support Network

$625,000

FY 2021

SLTT Indicators of Compromise

Johns Hopkins University

$500,000


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