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Shifting the Conversation from “Shoring-up” to “Re-engineering”

This afternoon a bipartisan group of authorities on election administration and cybersecurity presented a Congressional Briefing on current election security challenges facing federal and state policymakers. While it was a worthy discussion, I keep having this sinking feeling that we’re simply re-arranging furniture on the deck of a large cruise ship steaming toward an icebreaker in the dark…

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Recapping the Copenhagen Democracy Summit

The Copenhagen Democracy Summit was held a little over a week ago on June 22, launching a global alliance for democracy, while that very form of government is under siege in many nations.  This is the first of several reflections, recaps, and reporting on this inaugural event.  Our Director of International Development Joy London, and our Chief Operating Officer, Gregory Miller we’re both fortunate to have received invitations to attend and participate in an invitational group of 250 attendees. Mr. Miller was unable to attend due to logistical conflict, however, Ms. London did in fact attend, and this article utilizes portions of her reporting back….

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Election Vulnerabilities: No Exploit Too Small; No Impact Too Large

The American public is currently in the midst of a rude awakening as increasing numbers of reports diagnose the state of American cybersecurity, especially as it pertains to elections. The nature of attacks isn’t limited to election administration equipment. Lots of havoc can be wreaked just attacking voter services web site…

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Recounting Cyberscoop's SF CyberTalks Election Security Panel

Our CTO John Sebes was a featured speaker at Cyberscoop’s recent San Francisco CyberTalks held last week in downtown San Francisco. A huge success, SF CyberTalks was a TED-like conference for the cyber-security leadership community that brought together top influential leaders from the cyber-security community, technology industry and the government. We recap the Election Security Panel discussion John participated on, including recaps of his comments and answers to the moderator’s questions.

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Senate Intelligence Committee Announces Election Security Recommendations

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) offered up its first set of draft recommendations today (Tuesday) from its on-going investigation of foreign intervention in American sovereignty—specifically our election processes including both campaigns and electioneering, and the actual process of election administration. They were announced earlier today with a press conference held by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Those draft SSCI recommendations are as follows in this article with some commentary of our own...

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Critical Democracy Infrastructure: Our Briefing Launches

We are pleased to announce the release of the OSET Institute’s Critical Democracy Infrastructure (CDI) Briefing.  It’s been over a year in development.  Early review by several in Government, Media, and Advisors tell us this may be the most important publication on the issue of election infrastructure yet.  We humbly hope so. This Briefing provides a thorough review of the technology infrastructure of election administration and operation.  We address its critical nature and what is required for it to be treated as such, and assess the challenges of official designation, as well as the immediate and longer-term challenges to protecting this vital aspect of our democracy...

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Recapping Our 4 CAP Briefing Posts

You may wonder why we spent 4 blog posts reviewing and discussing the CAP Briefing.  Here’s briefly why. This Briefing is the kind of substantive consideration and conversation America (e.g., election officials, U.S. security officials, policy strategists, policy makers, and other stakeholders) needs to be having right now. Any set of recommendations deserves fair, intellectually honest, and open consideration and debate...

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Another Look at the CAP Briefing on Solving Election Security

We want to give credit to the great points the Center for American Progress recently made in their Briefing about election integrity. While we have some strategic differences, we generally endorse CAP’s tactical steps for improving election integrity in the near term.  The CAP Briefing was well researched and brought together many points that are widely agreed upon by the election integrity community including the OSET Institute.  Given Greg’s desire to limit the length of his response recently, and focus on the structural issue we’re so concerned about, we decided I would post a list here of the points we agree with and those we differ on...

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Another Proposed Solution Set to Protect U.S. Elections

Danielle Root and Liz Kennedy at the Center for American Progress (“CAP”) published an important Briefing today highlighting nine solutions to secure America’s elections. The Briefing is well researched and offers a keen assessment of our current public elections’ average level of integrity.  I want to say right up front, this is good and important work.  What we offer as a review and comment here is intended to catalyze an intellectually honest conversation, and not to serve as some critique of their good work.

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Reviewing the Brennan Center Study on Election Security—Part 2

Our commentary in the last segment on the Brennan Election Security Report might seem nit-picky, but the OSET Institute believes that in order to properly design a solution for a specific problem you need to be able to identify it precisely.  We’re going to make a bold assertion: Many of the solutions in the Brennan Report, while undoubtedly helpful, fail to do enough to increase the security of our elections. The recommendations fall short of properly addressing the problem as we described it in Part 1. These solutions are actually incremental steps that try to improve a system that needs to be fundamentally re-invented. ...

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Reviewing the Brennan Center Study on Election Security—Part 1

The Brennan Center for Justice recently released a fairly thorough, well done report on the security needs and vulnerabilities of the U.S. election system—a topic of considerable attention here at the Institute.  It’s a vital element of the current debate and discussion of democracy administration and national security.  This is the first of a three-part series examining the Brennan Report on election security.

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One Last iVoting Consideration: Blockchain

One last item for this series on iVoting that I’m adding by popular inquiry is this new bright shiny object called “Blockchain.” If you’re involved in election technology or computer science in general you’ve probably heard of Blockchain.....

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Can iVoting Change the Electorate?

We produced this series of posts on Internet Voting or “iVoting” and its challenges because there is increasing interest in understanding how to innovate our election infrastructure.  We concede it can be a potential and prospective advance in voting technology—a next frontier of elections for the 21st century if you will. And some even speculate this new way of exercising our civic duty and civil right could expand participation....

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The Technical Challenges Facing iVoting

iVoting faces several technological challenges before it can begin to be implemented.  Most election officials and experts in the field are hesitant or skeptical about implementing iVoting with current Internet and Web technology.  Even when we view iVoting as simply returning a digital absentee ballot or the digital equivalent of voting by mail, as I explain in this installment of my series, there are still substantial innovations required....

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The Challenges of iVoting Implementation

When we last left this discussion, I had laid out a basis for our interest in technologies just over the horizon or "ready next" and in particular the growing interest in smartphone voting. I am essentially carving up a technology backgrounder white paper for easy reading here. Today I help us dive in with a survey of the challenge areas to "Pajama Voting" (I love that phrase)...

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