Will Hurd, the Texas Republican who served in the House from 2015 to 2021 and became a leading voice in Congress on IT and security issues, said this week that he sees ongoing foreign-influence operations as a lasting concern for next month’s midterm elections in the United States.

Speaking Oct. 19 at an event organized by Axios, Hurd pointed to current foreign-influence activity, which he identified as primarily coming from pro-Russia sources.

“The thing that I’m most concerned about right now in our upcoming elections, is how foreign influence operations are permeating through the campaign information ecosystem,” said the former congressman, who is now a managing director at Allen & Co.

“You’re seeing candidates, you know, parroting Kremlin talking points,” he said. “Some of these candidates may win and that may have an impact on foreign policy going down the road.”

He said he sees Russian-directed influence operations as more of a concern than those that may emanate from other adversaries including China and Iran.

“When it comes down to it, it’s Russia, and specifically their messaging on their invasion of Ukraine,” he said. “They’re trying to question, you know, that Ukrainians shouldn’t be able to exist. They’re trying to question whether or not America and our allies should be supporting Ukraine.”

More on the emerging tech front, Hurd said it was important for the U.S. to stay ahead of adversaries in the race to develop quantum computing.

“The things that right now I’m most concerned with and worried about is quantum computing attacks into the future,” he said. “This technology doesn’t fully exist. But it’s going to be so devastating that if we’re not starting to prepare for it now, it’s going to be a problem.”

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) earlier this year released a report that lays out how government should be moving towards getting prepared for the development of quantum tech.

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Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.