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A Biden administration agency under the auspices of the Department of Homeland Security is reportedly trying to prevent the release of a “secret report” about the alleged security vulnerabilities of the voting system being used by Georgia.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) submitted a court filing Thursday requesting that “public disclosure” of the report should at least be delayed until the agency can review the report for itself.
The filing was made in a “long-running” case, Curling v. Raffensperger, “challenging Georgia’s voting machines,” according to the Associated Press.
FYI, the defendant in the case is none other than Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who, since taking office in 2019, has been fighting off allegations that there’s something seriously wrong with his state’s voting machines.
And the voting machines are none other than those made and operated by Dominion Voting Systems.
The “secret report” was penned by J. Alex Halderman, a computer scientist who’s highly respected by the establishment as he’s often sided with them.
Following the 2016 election, Halderman joined left-wing activists in urging failed Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to call for an election recount in the swing states that Republican nominee Donald Trump had won.
And after the 2020 election, he penned a separate report claiming that the voting irregularities seen in Michigan were the result of “human error,” not purposeful malfeasance.
But in the “secret report” that’s yet to be released and has reportedly been under seal since July, he seemingly went in the other direction.
According to the AP, he recently “said in sworn declarations filed publicly with the court that he examined the Dominion Voting Systems machines [in Georgia] for 12 weeks and identified ‘multiple severe security flaws’ that would allow bad actors to install malicious software.”
These flaws are detailed in the “secret report” that CISA seeks to keep temporarily hidden.
What’s unusual is that on this particular issue, Raffensperger, the defendant, has sided with the plaintiffs. In a press release released last month, he called on Halderman to personally “ask the judge [in the case] to publicly release his findings on Georgia’s election system.”
Why does he support this? Because he appears to believe that the report is an incompetently produced work of fiction and that its release will make it easier for him to prove as such. And indeed, his press release included a statement from Dominion Voting Systems president and CEO John Poulus saying exactly that.
“Security assessments of any system, including voting systems, should always include a holistic approach of all safeguards in place, including procedural and technical safeguards. There is a reason why US voting systems rely on bipartisan election officials, poll-watchers, distributed passwords, access controls, and audit processes,” the statement reads.
“The review conducted in the Curling case did not take this approach. Dominion supports all efforts to bring real facts and evidence forward to defend the integrity of our machines and the credibility of Georgia’s elections.”
The latest development in Curling v. Raffensperger came on Feb. 2nd when U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg agreed to allow CISA access to the report.
The plaintiffs’ attorney exploited the release to argue that since CISA would be reviewing the report, it could redact classified information and then release a redacted version of the report to the public.
“Sending it to CISA for this purpose so that they can basically make the independent decision of how to do that balancing act is appropriate. The public is entitled to have an understanding of the general matters covered in the report,” the attorney said, according to the Washington Examiner.
But in its filing Thursday, CISA pushed back on this, arguing that “premature disclosure of Dr. Halderman’s report, even in redacted form, could, in the event any vulnerabilities ultimately are identified, assist malicious actors and thereby undermine election security.”
“CISA thus respectfully submits that public disclosure, even in redacted form, should await completion of the normal CVD process and proposes that it notify the Court within 30 days of any status updates regarding the process and its anticipated timeline, as well as any updates regarding CISA’s views as to scope and information to be included in a future public disclosure,” the Thursday court filing reads.
CVD is an acronym for “coordinated vulnerability disclosure.”
Raffensberger meanwhile continues to talk trash about Halderman.
“Raffensperger said during an Atlanta Press Club event Thursday that Halderman had unlimited access to the touchscreen ballot-marking machines and was given the security codes, so he wasn’t operating in ‘the real world,'” according to the AP.
In fairness to the Georgia Secretary of State, part of his distrust for Halderman stems from the computer scientist’s goals being awfully similar to the goals of the plaintiffs.
“The lawsuit alleges that Georgia’s voting machines are not secure and should be replaced with hand-marked paper ballots. Halderman, an expert witness for the plaintiffs, is a staunch supporter of hand-marked paper ballots,” the AP notes.
Granted, Halderman appears to have a legitimate reason for this belief: “Halderman wrote in a declaration for the court that attackers could install malicious software ‘either with temporary physical access (such as that of voters in the polling place) or remotely from election management systems.'”
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