Voter Fraud Commission: Beyond Stupid.

As with all things Tiny Tyrant, incompetency and stupidity rule. Politico has the story on how the so-called commission on voter fraud is open to yet more hacking, and would provide a goldmine for those with cybercrime on their mind.

Cybersecurity specialists are warning that President Donald Trump’s voter-fraud commission may unintentionally expose voter data to even more hacking and digital manipulation.

Their concerns stem from a letter the commission sent to every state this week, asking for full voter rolls and vowing to make the information “available to the public.” The requested information includes full names, addresses, birth dates, political party and, most notably, the last four digits of Social Security numbers. The commission is also seeking data such as voter history, felony convictions and military service records.

Digital security experts say the commission’s request would centralize and lay bare a valuable cache of information that cyber criminals could use for identity theft scams — or that foreign spies could leverage for disinformation schemes.

“It is beyond stupid,” said Nicholas Weaver, a computer science professor at the University of California at Berkeley.

“The bigger the purse, the more effort folks would spend to get at it,” said Joe Hall, chief technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology, a digital advocacy group. “And in this case, this is such a high-profile and not-so-competent tech operation that we’re likely to see the hacktivists and pranksters take shots at it.”

Indeed, by Friday night, over 20 states — from California to Mississippi to Virginia — had indicated they would not comply with the request, with several citing privacy laws and expressing unease about aggregating voter data.


Experts also criticized the commission’s two options for states to submit their data: via a White House email address and a Pentagon-run file-hosting service.

“Email is the worst; it’s like sending all your postal mail using postcards instead of letters in envelope,” Hall said. “It’s one of the harder methods of communication to secure.”

The commission’s alternative option, a file-hosting service run by a branch of the Army, isn’t currently configured to properly encrypt web traffic, which Hall said was “a massive red flag for their ability to properly secure other forms of secure file transfer.”

The perceived digital security miscues left many specialists stunned.

“Nothing about this letter appears to take information security into account,” said Matthew Green, a computer science professor and cryptography expert at Johns Hopkins University. “If I didn’t know this letter was real, I would assume it was a clever spearphishing campaign.”

When it comes to my state, I’m afraid to look, but I’m sure they are being compliant. Yet another thing to worry about. Politico has the full story.


  1. says

    Well, I wouldn’t go so far as to say voting isn’t problematic here, it is, highly so. There’s a great deal of voter suppression in many states, and gerrymandering. This particular commission is founded on bullshit anyway, because Trump is still convinced he won the popular vote, and the only reason that the numbers don’t agree with him is a massive case of voter fraud.

    The only thing this “commission” will do is find a way to declare Trump right, especially seeing as its head, Kris Kobach, has a very nasty record when it comes to fraudulent voting.

  2. says

    How to put it.

    I have a sayng at work -- if shit happens, it is not important to find whom to blame, but how to solve the problem.

    I do not in any way think this is even remotely related to solving the problem, if there is a problem, of voter fraud. It is completely needless waste of money, since Trump won. This only serves two purposes:
    1) stroking his ego
    2) paving the way towards more voter supression, in which only those that vote according tho the GOP wishes are allowed to vote unsupressed.

    That is why I wrote my first comment. Every modern totalian system dismantles democratic voting, but keeps its facade to give him the aura of legitimity.

    In just a short time as a decade you might have only one option to “voluntarily” vote “or else”.

  3. rq says

    Some of those refusal letters were very strongly worded -- one of the M states (sorry, it’s morning and memory hasn’t booted yet -- could have been Mississippi), I believe, essentially told the commission to go jump into the Gulf of Mexico. That response encourages, but “over 20 states” equals not “all 50″, and I haven’t heard this initiate any other kind of resistance in otherwise compliant states yet. So I’m guessing that after a bit of waffling and some external convincing, some of those ” over 20 states” will roll over.

  4. johnson catman says

    North Carolina will be sending only information that is already public.

    That means the commission, chaired by Vice President Mike Pence, won’t get the last four digits of people’s Social Security numbers, their dates of birth or their driver’s license numbers. It will get voters’ names, party affiliations and a record of what elections they voted in, though not whom they voted for.
    From the same article:

    Reading between the lines, though, it looks a lot like a prelude to suppression, Common Cause North Carolina’s Bob Phillips said.

    “It’s hard to look at that letter and think legitimately it’s an attempt to protect the integrity of our elections,” he said. “It’s hard not to be skeptical. It’s almost like they’re trying to fish … what are they fishing for.”

    EXACTLY! Nothing but a fishing expedition to see what they can do to further suppress votes they don’t like.

  5. says

    Yeah, I saw a map on Twitter, nDakota is in partial compliance. For once, sDakota got something right, they are refusing to comply.

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