Friday, February 17, 2006

Voter Databases Must Be Secured, Report Says

Declan McCullagh writes on C|Net News:

American history does not lack political entrepreneurs who invented novel ways to manipulate the results of elections, from Tammany Hall in the 19th century to Richard Daley's Chicago Democratic machine a century later.

But those party bosses never dreamed of computerized databases of voter records that would be vulnerable to even more stealthy and undetectable forms of manipulation by political operatives. Such centralized databases are now mandated by a federal law, and state election officials are scrambling to digitize reams of paper documents to meet its deadlines.

A professional organization of computer scientists warns, though, that state election officials may not have taken proper security precautions to guard against fraud. In a report released Thursday, the scientists call for more aggressive steps to protect the security, privacy and reliability of those databases.

More here.


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