Aug 1, 2018
Since the 2016 election, our country has been questioning whether our elections are secure, fair, and accurate. In this episode, we examine the threats to our election administration, both real and overblown.
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Report: Dramatic increase in voters purged from voter rolls between 2014 and 2016 by Adia Robinson, ABC News, July 24, 2018.
Article: Mueller's latest indictment suggests Russia's infiltration of U.S. election systems could get worse by Lawrence Norden, Slate, July 26, 2018.
Article: State election officials didn't know about Russian hacking threat until the read it in the news, emails show by Sam Biddle, The Intercept, June 20, 2018.
Article: Supreme court upholds Ohio's purge of voting rolls by Adam Liptak, The New York Times, June 11, 2018.
Article: What we know and don't know about election hacking by Clare Malone, FiveThirtyEight, April 10, 2018.
Report: America's voting machines at risk - An update by Lawrence Norden and Wilfred U. Codrington III, Brennan Center for Justice, March 8, 2018.
Article: The dark roots of AIPAC: America's Pro-Israel Lobby by Doug Rossinow, The Washington Post, March 6, 2018.
Article: Wyden presses leading US voting machine manufacturer on potential hacking vulnerabilities by Olivia Beavers, The Hill, March 6, 2018.
Article: They myth of the hacker-proof voting machine by Kim Zetter, The New York Times, February 21, 2018.
Article: No instant profits in US electronic voting machines, Financial Times, 2018.
Article: Virginia is replacing some of its electronic voting machines over security concerns by Andrew Liptak, The Verge, September 10, 2017.
Report: It took DEF CON hackers minutes to pwn these US voting machines by Iain Thomson, The Register, July 29, 2017.
Article: Russian hackers broke into elections company used in Miami-Dade, Broward by Tim Elfrink, Miami New Times, June 6, 2017.
Report: Exclusive: Trump says Clinton policy on Syria would lead to world war three by Steve Holland, Reuters, October 25, 2016.
Article: The best Congress AIPAC can buy by L. Michael Hager, Foreign Policy Journal, March 22, 2016.
Article: AIPAC-linked group launches $5 million ad campaign against nuke deal by Adam Kredo, The Washington Free Beacon, July 17, 2015.
Article: The non-pliticians who profit from Election Day by Megan McCarthy, Fortune, November 4, 2014.
Report: Diebold indicted: Its spectre still haunts Ohio election by Bob Fitrakis, Columbus Free Press, October 31, 2013.
Article: The mysterious case of Ohio's voting machines by Kim Zetter, Wired, March 26, 2008.
Article: Ohio's odd numbers by Christopher Hitchens, Vanity Fair, March 2005.
Article: Diebold's political machine by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman, Mother Jones, March 5, 2004.
Brennan Center for Justice: The Help America Vote Act
Congress.gov: S.2261 - Secure Elections Act
Internet Research Agency Indictment: Mueller
John Husted, Secretary of State of Ohio Report: President/Vice President Voting Report: November 2, 2004
Justice.gov: New Indictment of Mueller
Source Watch: Ashcroft Group Info
Noah Praetz - Director of Elections for Cook County, Illinois
2:40 Senator Roy Blunt (MO): January of 2017, the Department of Homeland Security designated our country’s election infrastructure to be critical infrastructure. This designation began the formalization of information sharing and collaboration among state, local, and federal governments through the creation of a Government Coordinating Council, some of our witness this day are already sitting on that newly formed council. More recently, in the 2018 omnibus, Congress appropriated right at $380 million to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to help states enhance their election infrastructure. As of this week, 38 states have requested $250 million of that money, and about 150 million of it has already been disbursed to the states.
Nina Jankowicz - Global Fellow at the Wilson Center
9:00 Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA): We know that Russia orchestrated a sustained and coordinated attack that interfered in our last presidential election. And we also know that there’s a serious threat of more attacks in our future elections, including this November. As the United States Intelligence Community unanimously concluded, the Russian government’s interference in our election—and I quote—“blended covert intelligence operations, such as cyber activity, with overt efforts by the Russian government agencies, state-funded media, third-party intermediaries, and paid social-media users or trolls.” Over the course of the past year and a half, we’ve come to better understand how pernicious these attacks were. Particularly unsettling is that we were so unaware. We were unaware that Russia was sowing division through mass propaganda, cyber warfare, and working with malicious actors to tip scales of the election. Thirteen Russian nationals and three organizations, including the Russian-backed Internet Research Agency, have now been indicted for their role in Russia’s vast conspiracy to defraud the United States.
Michael Sulmeyer - Director, Cyber Security Project, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
7:15 Senator Ben Nelson: First, the department has cyber forces designed and trained to thwart attacks on our country through cyberspace, and that’s why we created the Cyber Command’s National Mission Teams. A member of this subcommittee, Senator Blumenthal, Senator Shaheen, we all wrote the secretary of defense last week that they, the department, ought to be assigned to identify Russian operators responsible for the hacking, stealing information, planting misinformation, and spreading it through all the botnets and fake accounts on social media. They ought to do that. That’s—the Cyber Command knows who that is. And then, we ought to use our cyber forces to disrupt this activity. We aren’t. We should also be informing the social-media companies of Russia’s fake accounts and other activities that violate those companies’ terms of service so that they can be shut down.
Matthew Blaze - Associate Professor, Computer and Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania
4:24 Representative Robin Kelly (IL): In September of this year, DHS notified 21 states that hackers affiliated with the Russian government breached or attempted to breach their election infrastructure. In my home state of Illinois, the hackers illegally downloaded the personal information of 90,000 voters and attempted to change and delete data. Fortunately, they were unsuccessful.
Barbara Simons - Association for Computer Machinery, Public Policy Committee Co-Chair
19:54 Edward Felten: Two weeks ago my colleagues, Ari Feldman and Alex Halderman, and I released a detailed security analysis of this machine, the Diebold AccuVote-TS, which is used in Maryland, Georgia, and elsewhere. My written testimony summarizes the findings of our study. One main finding is that the machines are susceptible to computer viruses that spread from machine to machine and silently transfer votes from one candidate to another. Such a virus requires moderate computer-programming skills to construct. Launching it requires access to a single voting machine for as little as one minute.
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