We have some big news to share today: Members of our leadership team at the Institute have been personally invited to attend the inaugural Global Democracy Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark this week focused on improving the integrity and security of elections.

Co-Founder & COO Gregory Miller, and Associate General Counsel & Director of International Development, Joy London were extended invitations last week by the Summit's host and founder of the Alliance of Democracies Foundation, former NATO Secretary General and Danish Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Needless to say, we're greatly honored and very excited to attend.

Unfortunately due to logistical and schedule challenges, Mr. Miller will not make this trip, but will be meeting with Alliance officials in October in Europe and other officials stateside later this summer.  However, our Director of International Development, Ms. London, made the trip having landed this morning and is currently acclimating (9-hours ahead of PDT).  Joy will be sending us pictures, content, and updates throughout Thursday and Friday from Copenhagen and we will provide updates on our primary Twitter feed and recaps here on our blog.

A Companion Event: Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity

As part of the Summit, former NATO Chief Rasmussen and former US Secretary of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff, have also formed the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity (TCEI), and will hold the Commission’s first meeting on Thursday, 21st June, the day before the Summit. The TCEI seeks to fill a critical gap by fostering a more transatlantic and collective approach to prevent the next wave of election attacks and interference.  It will raise awareness on what foreign powers, especially Russia, are doing to undermine democracies and recommend solutions to address this challenge.

Rasmussen said ahead of the Summit, “The Western world is far too vulnerable to efforts, led by Russia, to undermine our democracies from within.”  Chertoff added, “Our strength is our bipartisan and transatlantic nature. We face a dilemma of governments either failing to act or rushing into badly designed measures that could have unintended consequences.  Our Commission will make recommendations that strike this important balance.”

The Ideal Venue to Explore How the Institute Can Help Globally

The Copenhagen Democracy Summit is dedicated to strengthening the resolve of the world’s democracies by providing a high-level strategic forum exclusively focused on the cause of democracy. The Summit has a packed agenda and strong line-up of speakers from both sides of the Atlantic, and across the political spectrum. The conference will bring together current and former heads of government, as well as leading business executives, academic experts, and democracy technology experts.

The work of the OSET Institute is really at the center of this conversation,” said Institute co-founder Mr. Miller, “and with a steady increase of international interest in the TrustTheVote Project and its publicly available election technology, we’re thrilled to be invited.”

Ms. London explained, “The U.S. is not the only nation struggling with vulnerable election technology.  Our technical work is applicable to other democracies, and perhaps more easily. So, we’re honored to be included in this transatlantic conversation.” Added Miller, “In fact, we've already been having discussions with a couple of nations and international election organizations such as IFES, the NDI, and IRI about localization opportunities for ElectOS.  So, our hope is that we can globalize our development process, and find opportunities to accelerate the completion of our technology for any nation needing to improve the verifiability, accuracy, security and transparency of their electoral systems.”

One Step at a Time

Ms. London cautioned that this is just a first opportunity to be part of a global conversation about how to improve the integrity and security of election technology. “Voting systems are only one attack surface for electoral interference, which includes weaponized content and electioneering.  Our focus is on the platform of election administration, and this is the first step to introduce our work abroad because our work should be a global initiative.  I look forward to learning as much as possible and meeting as many thought leaders there as I can,” London stated.

This should be an amazing event. Stay tuned.