January 10, 2017

FBI Director James Comey confirmed that state and local voter databases were breached by Russian hackers and data obtained.

They stopped short of saying that the data had any effect on the election, claiming they saw no evidence that the databases were used on Election Day.

There are a lot of ways to use voter databases, and one of the most effective is use in data modeling for GOTV efforts and microtargeting individuals. It only takes 1 or 2 voters peeled off in each precinct to drastically change election outcomes, and it's not easily provable.

To me, the fact that these databases were breached brings Cambridge Analytica into sharper focus, given their emphasis on data-driven efforts with regard to the election behind the protection of a corporate veil. We may never, ever know whether they had the data and what they might have done with it, but I would suggest that we should know, and it should be investigated.

Transcript below:

WYDEN: The report has a brief description of Russian cyber intrusion into state and local electoral boards. The reason I quote DHS assesses the types of systems we observed Russian actors targeting or compromising are not involved in vote tallying. My question to you, and I think I'd like to have you involved in this too, Director Clapper. Director Comey, Director Clapper, what systems in your view were compromised by the Russians? And what was the nature and extent of those compromises?

COMEY: There were intrusions, attempted intrusions at state level voter registration databases. That is, not containing the voting mechanism but who registered to vote at the address and the particulars of that sort. What the purpose was of those intrusions is not clear to us at this point. We saw no activity on Election Day that reflected, that anyone had messed with a voter registration databases. But there's no doubt that the Russians attacked, entered and took data from some of the systems.

Director Clapper agreed with Comey's answer and added no further details.

According to reports in September which were largely based on leaks from anonymous sources within the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and more, at least ten state voter databases were breached. Among those were Arizona and Illinois, but as many as 20 states may have been breached, according to other reports. Additionally, evidence of hacks into a voting machine vendor in Florida was also found.

We should ALL be disturbed by this. Every one of us, no matter what party we belong to or what candidate we supported.

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