Official Named to Election Cybersecurity Panel Oversaw Breach of Millions of Voters’ Private Data

Typical for government jobs: reward someone who should have been fired. 

One of the members of panel who will be working with the Department of Homeland Security to ensure the cybersecurity of American elections recently oversaw a data breach of millions of private Social Security numbers.

The National Association of Secretaries of State named four state officials who serve in that role to DHS’s Election Infrastructure Cybersecurity Working Group, which will work to safeguard the integrity of American elections.

Ironically, one of those picked, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, was in charge of a department that inadvertently committed a massive breach of private information of millions of registered state voters.

Under Georgia law, the Secretary of State’s office is allowed to give some voter information to media – such as their name and residence. However, Kemp’s office last fall accidentally mailed CDs to twelve media organizations that included not just this allowed information, but also the Social Security and driver’s license number of all six million voters in the state.

Shortly after the incident, Kemp blamed snafu on “human error,” firing an IT employee he said was involved. He hired Ernst & Young to review the department’s cybersecurity practices, and promised Georgians that such a breach would “happen again.”

Better Georgia, an advocacy group in the state that works on election integrity issues, criticized Kemp’s new role. “As the person responsible for one of the worst voter data breaches in history, shouldn’t Kemp be taking cybersecurity classes instead?” the group asked in a Facebook post.

Via The Intercept