19 Items

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D3P Information Operations Technical and Policy “Hack-a-thon”

March 2018

The Defending Digital Democracy Project wants your help in solving one of the biggest problems facing democracy and our society—information operations intended to influence domestic opinion, inflame divisions, or undermine trust in institutions. There has been a lot of discussion in the media, academia, and policy circles about the dangers of information operations—like spreading information through fake social media personas to further social divisions and influence public behavior. But we need more than talk to stop this—we need action. That is what this contest is all about.

Audio - War on the Rocks

War on the Rocks Podcast: The Big Cyber Spectacular

| Feb. 15, 2018

In our latest episode, Usha Sahay and Ryan Evans were joined by Thomas Rid, Michael Sulmeyer, and a mystery guest (ok, ok, it’s Corinna Fehst) to talk about cyber-security, election meddling, reports about U.S. intel agencies buying back pilfered hacking tools, going dark, legislatures as the vulnerable soft cyber underbelly of democracies, and the different threats posed by Russia and China.

Also, “Password1” is not a good password according to our guests. So you should probably change that.

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Hearing: Department of Defense’s role in Protecting Democratic Elections

| Feb. 13, 2018

Election Security The Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Cybersecurity held a hearing on the Defense Department’s role in ensuring the U.S. election process is secure from foreign influence. Much of the discussion focused on Russian meddling, which took place in the 2016 presidential election and was expected to continue in future U.S. elections as well as those around the world. Committee members and witnesses agreed that the issue would continue to get worse and that there must be a solution that includes both the government and the private sector, while understanding that each has different interests in terms of national security and profit, respectively. 

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Press Release - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Defending Digital Democracy Releases New Playbooks for States to Counter Election Cyberattacks and Information Operations

Feb. 13, 2018

Defending Digital Democracy (D3P), the bipartisan project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, released three new playbooks today in its mission to help campaign and election officials defend themselves against cyberattacks and information operations aimed at undermining trust in the American election system.

A view of the podiums during a news conference in the Rose Garden at the White House, Monday, April 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Election Cyber Incident Communications Coordination Guide

| February 2018

This Guide is primarily intended for use by the EI-GCC to coordinate multiple voices (and multiple facts) in an election cyber incident that crosses traditional jurisdictions. We are releasing the Guide publicly, because a range of officials may be interested in learning more about how state and local leaders can, and should, coordinate their communications in the event of this type of cyber incident. We hope this Guide becomes a starting point for the EI-GCC to establish its role as a central communications node in the event of an election cyber incident.

Voting machines in Miami Shores, Fla., Nov. 8, 2016.

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

The State and Local Election Cybersecurity Playbook

| February 2018

This Playbook is intended for leaders at every level who play a role in running elections. While the future threats elections face are multifaceted, one principle stands clear: defending democracy depends on proactive leadership. This Playbook focuses on the U.S. experience, but it is also relevant to election officials around the world facing similar threats. We have designed it to identify risks and offer actionable solutions that will empower state and local election officials to protect democracy from those who seek to do it harm.

Microphones sit on a podium following Vice President Mike Pence’s speech at an event at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, Ga., Friday, June 9, 2017.

AP Photo/David Goldman

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Election Cyber Incident Communications Plan Template

| February 2018

This Plan Template document is primarily intended for use by state and local election officials as a basis for developing their own communications response plans, which include best practices for use in an election cyber incident. We are releasing the Plan Template publicly, because election officials are among those best prepared and always looking for industry best practices, as well as practical checklists. This plan will aid in that effort.

The room in Bethesda, Md., is prepared Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, for state election officials from all 50 states to attend classified briefings being held to raise awareness of foreign meddling in state election systems. (Brian Murphy/Office of the Director of National Intelligence via AP)

Brian Murphy/Office of the Director of National Intelligence via AP

Analysis & Opinions - The Guardian

Encryption Keeps Us Safe. It Must Not be Compromised With ‘Backdoors’

| Feb. 12, 2018

When the stolen information was exploited to generate news coverage or concoct “fake news” – such as that Democratic operatives were running a sex ring out of a pizza parlour – we learned some hard lessons in why privacy really matters. I worry the current rhetoric around encryption is ignoring that lesson.

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Press Release

Bipartisan Secretaries in Kentucky & West Virginia Arm Candidates with Cybersecurity Playbook

| Jan. 30, 2018

To mark their states' candidate-filing deadlines, Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democratic Secretary of State of Kentucky, and Mac Warner, the Republican Secretary of State of West Virginia, are distributing the "Cybersecurity Campaign Playbook" to candidates in their states seeking to be on the ballot in 2018.

Analysis & Opinions - Lawfare

Assessing the Bipartisan Secure Elections Act

| Jan. 03, 2018

On Dec. 21, all eyes were on the Republican bill to cut taxes. Yet a bipartisan group of six senators also had their eyes on the far less sexy (but still important!) topic of election hacking. They quietly introduced a bill called the Secure Elections Act that, if passed, would be a good down payment on improving the confidence we can have in the integrity of our elections. This short, stocking-stuffer size review will: review some of the core questions around election security, assess the bill’s provisions to improve information sharing, its grant program, and its bug bounty, and conclude with some tough realism about additional work that needs to be undertaken to protect our elections.