There is no more important warrior in the battle to bring transparent, safe voting to the people of the State of Georgia. Foundation leadership works on a volunteer basis. No one associated draws a salary of any kind. 100% of all donations go toward litigation and education about Georgia’s national embarrassment of a voting system. Help #protectGAvote.
Today’s announcement from Upguard that
the data, which was stored in a publicly accessible cloud server owned by Republican data firm Deep Root Analytics, included 1.1 terabytes of entirely unsecured personal information compiled by DRA and at least two other Republican contractors
This makes it the largest breach of its kind.
Gizmodo reports that
Deep Root’s server was discovered by UpGuard’s [Chris] Vickery on the night of June 12 as he was searching for data publicly accessible on Amazon’s cloud service. He used the same process last month to detect sensitive files tied to a US Defense Department project and exposed by an employee of a top defense contractor.
It is now becoming clear that the network of voter databases allow well funded actors to combine information from various sources. Someone with bad intentions can piece together enough information to interfere and disrupt elections.
Political operations might view such databases as easily commoditized marketing data that can be discarded after an election. A hacker, on the other hand, might take a longer view, realizing the damage to be done in misusing knowledge of voting patterns.
Georgia election officials, especially Secretary of State @BrianKempGA, are prone to claim that the Georgia election system has never been hacked. It was a pillar of their argument in front of a Superior Court judge a couple of weeks ago. Absence of evidence should be taken as evidence of absence, according to Kemp, evidently not realizing that this is an argument so stupid it actually has a name. It is called argument from ignorance, a logical fallacy.
People make wild claims, and get away with them, simply on the fact that the converse cannot otherwise be proven.
Shame on anyone in a position of authority who falls for this ruse. We should be equally compelled to believe that unseen, undetectable unicorns run amok in our living rooms at night, unpending furniture and littering carpets but cleaning up so thoroughly that we never know about it.
Yet that is exactly what Georgia wants us to believe, because the voting machines in use there have been precisely engineered to support the undetectable unicorn theory:
As Wired magazine’s analysis made clear last week,
Georgia’s voting issues aren’t rooted in any specific hacking threat. The problem instead lies in the state’s inability to prove if fraud or tampering happened in the first place.
According to Pamela Smith, president of the advocacy group @VerifiedVoting,
You have an un-provable system…It might be right, it might not be right, and that absence of authoritative confirmation is the biggest problem. It’s corrosive.
Proudly proclaiming virtues that are impossible to verify should not be rewarded.
The polls in #GA06 indicate a razor-thin margin for Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff over former Georgia Sec. of State Karen Handel. A non-partisan group known as the New Georgia Project has been canvassing minority neighborhoods to get out the vote, but the behavior of Georgia election officials has increased unease about the security of voting machines.
People are really concerned that a couple of hundred votes here, a couple of hundred votes there could be changed, [New Georgia Project director ] Ufot said.
@thinkprogress found voters like new #GA06 voter Jill Meyers who decided not to vote early in the hope that a lawsuit compelling the use of paper ballots would succeed. As the defendants in that litigation pointed out, any voter can request a paper ballot at any time. It was a claim that clearly annoyed Judge Adams, who pointed out that without clear announcements advising voters of their right to vote on paper, such a choice is meaningless.
“We’re a very trusting society,” [Meyers] said, “but these machines are really bad.”
When testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding Russia, James Comey said:
They’re going to come for whatever party they choose to try and work on behalf of. And they’re not devoted to either, in my experience. They’re just about their own advantage. And they will be back…
There should be no fuzz on this whatsoever. The Russians interfered in our election during the 2016 cycle. They did it with purpose. They did it with sophistication. They did it with overwhelming technical efforts. And it was an active-measures campaign driven from the top of that government. There is no fuzz on that.
And here we are conducting a special House election #GA06 using machines that don’t allow us to verify that the votes cast match the voter’s intent.
Logan Lamb and Chris Grayson emerged this week as heroes of a story that leaves experts and patriots from every political stripe shaking their heads in disbelief. Lamb, who in August 2016 stumbled into an open door at Georgia’s Center for Election Systems at Kennesaw State University, informed the Center’s director of the vulnerability.
In March , a security colleague Lamb had told about the flaw checked out the center’s website and discovered that the vulnerabilities had only been partially fixed…The researcher Chris Grayson, said he, too was able to access the same voter record databases and other sensitive files in a publicly accessible directory.
Grayson and Lamb were questioned by the FBI. Lamb said he wanted to come forward after an NSA report about Russian hacking of U.S. elections became public. Grayson said:
At the end of the day we were doing what we thought was in the best interest of the republic.
Experts have warned Georgia Secretaries of State for years that continued use of its outdated and compromised election technology was risky. Those warning have been dismissed or even ridiculed. @BrianKemp, the current Georgia SOS, seems content to repeat a now-discredited fiction that the state’s election system is “completely secure.”
It’s not often the the Drudge Report picks up on the same signals as everyone else, but yesterday’s reports must have a been a bridge too far even for @DRUDGE .
There were scattered reports that Georgia’s Trump campaign officials were talking about a protest march. That would be an interesting crowd.