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Despite Election Security Fears, Iowa Caucuses Will Use New Smartphone App (247 hits)


by Kate Payne, Miles Parks NPR Jan. 15, 2020 11:16 a.m.

Iowa's Democratic Party plans to use a new internet-connected smartphone app to help calculate and transmit results during the state’s caucuses next month, Iowa Public Radio and NPR have confirmed.

Party leaders say they decided to opt for that strategy fully aware of three years’ worth of warnings about Russia’s attack on the 2016 election, in which cyberattacks played a central role.

https://www.opb.org/news/article/npr-despite-election-security-fears-iowa-caucuses-will-use-new-smartphone-app/
Posted By: Steve Williams
Tuesday, February 4th 2020 at 10:45AM
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In an interview, Price declined to provide more details about what company or companies designed the app, or about what specific measures have been put in place to guarantee the system’s security.

But security is a priority, he says.

The state party worked with the national party’s cybersecurity team, and with Harvard University’s Defending Digital Democracy project, but Price declined to answer directly whether any third party has investigated the app for vulnerabilities, as many cybersecurity experts recommend.

“We as the party have taken this very seriously and we know how important it is for us to make sure that our process is secure and that we protect the integrity of the process,” Price says. “We want to make sure we are not relaying information that could be used against us.”

Tuesday, February 4th 2020 at 10:51AM
Steve Williams
This is a great post Steve, full of information that got me thinking about the old fashion way, was the best security system that would provide the integrity, the accuracy and the credibility of the Vote.




Tuesday, February 4th 2020 at 11:32AM
Deacon Ron Gray
I agree Ron. There's been a lot of foot-dragging on this story but it's finally starting to confirm my suspicions.

The results of the Iowa Democratic caucuses were further delayed after supporters of President Donald Trump reportedly clogged the hotline being used to report results after trolls posted its phone number online. The number was posted to a right-wing message board on 4chan and urged Trump supporters to "clog the lines," according to NBC News.

The Iowa Democratic Party confirmed on Thursday it received "an unusually high volume of inbound phone calls to its caucus hotline." some of which came from Trump supporters.

"The unexplained, and at times hostile, calls contributed to the delay in the Iowa Democratic Party's collection of results, but in no way affected the integrity of information gathered or the accuracy of data sets reported," Mandy McClure, the party's communications director, said in an emailed statement.

https://www.cnet.com/news/iowa-caucus-results-further-slowed-by-trump-supporters-spamming-the-hotline-report-says/

Thursday, February 6th 2020 at 4:11PM
Steve Williams
Why did the app break down? From early reports and stories from Iowa, it appeared to be hastily conceived and not fully vetted, and it quite simply didn’t work that well. We’ll surely get a full forensic breakdown of what happened in the future, but the app’s functionality was known to be vulnerable. From the Times: “J. Alex Halderman, a professor of computer science at the University of Michigan, and David Jefferson, a computer scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, said Monday night that they had warned state officials that the mobile reporting app was vulnerable to what is known as a ‘denial of service attack,’ in which hackers flood the central servers used to power the app with traffic, stalling them or knocking them offline.”

With the app by all accounts not functioning, and the phone lines to report hundreds of precinct totals jammed, the party finally called time on its effort to get results up and out Monday night. Given the digital failure, the party is now piecing together the votes the old-fashioned way, using the paper trail.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/02/what-happened-in-iowa-caucus-app-malfunction-reporting-democrats.html

Thursday, February 6th 2020 at 4:21PM
Steve Williams
When I read this paragraph, I was convinced, this app to vote is a bad idea: " Why did the app break down? From early reports and stories from Iowa, it appeared to be hastily conceived and not fully vetted, and it quite simply didn’t work that well. We’ll surely get a full forensic breakdown of what happened in the future, but the app’s functionality was known to be vulnerable.

And they used it anyway. WOW!!!


Thursday, February 6th 2020 at 8:08PM
Deacon Ron Gray
Steve, was you aware of this NEWS: Report: Trump Supporters Jammed Iowa Caucus Phone Lines

Trump supporters reportedly jammed the phone lines for the Iowa Democratic caucuses. “Besides an untested, buggy smartphone app that was used for the first time, a backup hotline number for caucus organizers to call in results was flooded with nuisance calls after the number was disseminated on social media, party leaders said.

READ MORE: https://breakingnewsusa.com/2020/02/06/report-trump-supporters-jammed-iowa-caucus-phone-lines/


Thursday, February 6th 2020 at 9:29PM
Deacon Ron Gray
Ron, I heard something this morning about Trump supporters and also 4chan, I think during Haley Jackson's show. I found this about 4chan but I can't read German.

https://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/Wahlprobleme-in-Iowa-4chan-Trolle-blockierten-Telefonleitungen-4654723.html

Thursday, February 6th 2020 at 11:52PM
Steve Williams
'Clog the lines': Internet trolls deliberately disrupted the Iowa caucuses hotline for reporting results

https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/security/clog-lines-iowa-caucus-hotline-posted-online-encouragement-disrupt-results-n1131521

Friday, February 7th 2020 at 12:00AM
Steve Williams

Despite Election Security Fears, Iowa Caucuses Will Use New Smartphone App

SUBJECT

Iowa is a short distance from me....and I KNOW that IOWA and SMART do not belong in same sentence

**************************************************************************

"...Steve, was you aware of this NEWS: Report: Trump Supporters Jammed Iowa Caucus Phone Lines..."

Thursday, February 6th 2020 at 9:29PM
Deacon Ron Gray

*****************************************************************************

"WAS YOU"

no...NO...grown man from IOWA or CHIRAQ or Russian!.....not WAS but... W E R E you.....!

…..sorry steve.....as an Educator....this misuse of the English Language is what I have had to CORRECT

for 60+ YEARS

....NO person at BIA, an African American Family site needs to be this IGNORANT...!

JUST AS

....NO person in Democratic/Republican Party in IOWA needs to be that IGNORANT...!




Friday, February 7th 2020 at 7:51AM
robert powell
Ron, I heard something this morning about Trump supporters and also 4chan, I think during Haley Jackson's show. I found this about 4chan but I can't read German.

https://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/Wahlprobleme-in-Iowa-4chan-Trolle-blockierten-Telefonleitungen-4654723.html

Steve, be careful of using material that you do not understand. Let me dust of my German on this report:

Wahlprobleme in Iowa: 4chan-Trolle blockierten Telefonleitungen

Noch immer ist die Vorwahl der Demokraten in Iowa nicht ganz ausgezählt. Für die massiven Probleme waren wohl auch Internettrolle verantwortlich.


ENGLISH TRANSLATION: Election problems in Iowa: 4chan trolls blocked phone lines

The Democratic primary in Iowa is still not fully counted. Internet trolls were probably also responsible for the massive problems.


GERMAN: Die Auszählung der Vorwahlen der Demokratischen Partei in Iowa wurde offenbar nicht nur durch massive technische Probleme mit einer neuen App verzögert, sondern auch durch Online-Trolle. Wie der US-Sender NBC berichtet, hatten Internetnutzer mit einer einfachen Google-Suche die Telefonnummer der Parteizentrale der Demokraten in Iowa herausgefunden und auf dem berüchtigten Imageboard 4chan veröffentlicht. Die Einträge sind dort immer noch abrufbar.

ENGLISH: The counting of the Democratic Party primaries in Iowa was apparently delayed not only by massive technical problems with a new app, but also by online trolls. As reported by US broadcaster NBC, Internet users had found the phone number of the Democratic party headquarters in Iowa with a simple Google search and published it on the infamous Imageboard 4chan. The entries are still available there.

GERMAN: "Die dürften jetzt die Ergebnisse durchgeben. Berichte über lange Wartezeiten", schreibt ein anonymer 4chan-Nutzer. "Wie ungünstig es wäre, wenn eine Gruppe von Unruhestiftern die Leitungen verstopfen würden", lautet die Antwort eines anderen "Anon". Ein Parteivertreter hatte am Mittwoch laut der Nachrichtenagentur Bloomberg berichtet, dass "Trump-Unterstützer" angerufen und die Leitungen blockiert hätten.

ENGLISH: The counting of the Democratic Party primaries in Iowa was apparently delayed not only by massive technical problems with a new app, but also by online trolls. As reported by US broadcaster NBC, Internet users had found the phone number of the Democratic party headquarters in Iowa with a simple Google search and published it on the infamous Imageboard 4chan. The entries are still available there.

GERMAN: Probleme mit einer App

In Iowa hatten am Montag die Vorwahlen der beiden großen Parteien in den USA begonnen. Während sich bei den Republikanern der Amtsinhaber Donald Trump klar durchsetzen konnte, steht das Ergebnis der Demokraten zur Stunde noch nicht endgültig fest. Es gibt ein Kopf-an-Kopf-Rennen zwischen Pete Buttigieg und Bernie Sanders.

ENGLISH: The counting of the Democratic Party primaries in Iowa was apparently delayed not only by massive technical problems with a new app, but also by online trolls. As reported by US broadcaster NBC, Internet users had found the phone number of the Democratic party headquarters in Iowa with a simple Google search and published it on the infamous Imageboard 4chan. The entries are still available there.


GERMAN: Bei den Demokraten hatte es zahlreiche Probleme gegeben. Noch am Folgetag waren lange keinerlei Zwischenergebnisse bekannt, was auch auf den komplizierten Prozess zurückgeführt wurde. In dem dort praktizierten Caucus-Verfahren werden nicht einfach alle Stimmen gezählt, sondern in einem mehrteiligen Verfahren die aussichtsreichsten Kandidaten ermittelt. Die jeweils ermittelten Unterstützerzahlen und nicht nur die Endergebnisse mussten übermittelt und ausgezählt werden. Dabei sollte eine neue App helfen, die aber offenbar vielerorts nicht richtig funktionierte, weswegen Wahlhelfer auf das Telefon auswichen.

ENGLISH: There had been many problems with the Democrats. For a long time, no interim results were known for a long time, which was also attributed to the complicated process. In the caucus procedure practiced there, not all votes are simply counted, but the most promising candidates are determined in a multi-part process. The respective supporter numbers and not only the final results had to be submitted and counted. A new app was supposed to help, but it didn't seem to work properly in many places, so election aides dodged the phone.


Friday, February 7th 2020 at 10:31AM
Deacon Ron Gray
Thanks Ron. Bernie has a list of 14 irregularities and has asked for a re-canvass of some precincts. In spite of the party's disastrous attempt at a technology assist, I think Bernie proved the usefulness of the caucus system. Bernie by far was the first choice but overall there is more moderates in the party than socialists and it looks like the moderates i.e. Buttigieg will win out. Too bad because Bernie is probably the only one who can beat Trump.

Saturday, February 8th 2020 at 9:51PM
Steve Williams
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