Trump’s ‘Election Integrity Commission’ Dumped Citizen Complaints Online Without Redacting Their Contact Info

07.14.17 1 week ago 5 Comments

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While the Trump administration’s contempt for basic cybersecurity has been an ongoing problem both ways large and small, nowhere has it been more visible, or more criticized, than in the president’s supposed “Electoral Integrity Commission.” The commission demanded the voting records and personal details of every voter in America from all 50 states and met an enormous blowback, not least from data security experts, who criticized the commission’s order that the data be sent to an unsecured email. They claimed that it showed the commission had, at best, a poor understanding of data security, arguably a point it has proven by dumping 112 emails online without redacting a single name or address.

While not every email has a name and an email address visible, and some are clearly sent from “burner” email addresses, this is a worrying break from tradition in an era of internet harassment. Furthermore, many of the emails include enough personal data that with a little Google detective work, a person who sent the email can plausibly be found. Some include personal addresses, small business contact data, or phone numbers. Why the commission posted this data remains unknown, as it did so without comment.

This appears to be a completely unredacted dump of every message — positive or negative, with no editing — sent to the email address the commission requested that secretaries of state use, which also seems to serve as its email address for public comment. It’s not a flattering document for the commission, either. Nine pages of this 112-page document is one email that is simply every sex crime allegedly perpetrated by a Republican politician or political candidate over the last few years, which would seem odd to just publish unredacted. Five pages are the same email, clearly sent repeatedly by mistake, several are blank pages, and there are only three emails that offer any support for the commission.

Most of the rest range from the impassioned to the blunt:

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