In the private sector, when one company wants to share proprietary data or trade secrets with another company, the two companies enter into a non-disclosure agreement and anyone violating the agreement is subject to legal consequences if they violate the agreement.
Governments use security classifications and a “need to know” to justify a lack of transparency.
For example, in 2016, Russian bad actors tried to hack into election systems in Iowa. Until about mid-2018, only, supposedly two election officials in the State of Iowa were privy to what the Russians tried to do, and which counties they targeted. I still do not know which Iowa counties were targeted and why, and I am non-the-wiser as to whether I have the same vulnerabilities as those counties.
Today, I received a response to the public records request (FOIA) mentioned in my HAVA complaint. The response was disappointing – see attached. I requested “… all correspondence regarding Ivoters development from January 2018 to the present date.” The response contained one email dated 12/26/2017 with four vague references (see my highlighted text) to I-Voters, and a letter indicating “additional records … are considered confidential under Iowa Code 22.7.”
Unfortunately, State and Federal officials seem to believe that by avoiding transparency, they are keeping our election systems secure. I believe the exact opposite is true, i.e., their lack of transparency is jeopardizing the security of local election systems run by county commissioners of elections and others. Surely, those officials including Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate, the current President of the National Association of Secretaries of State, can find a way to share information with the local officials who are responsible for administering ALL elections in Iowa. Why can’t Pate give his county auditor and county auditors across the State definitive proof that I-Voters is secure without jeopardizing the security of I-Voters?
Supposedly, Pate is one of the two election officials in the State of Iowa with a Federal security clearance that provides him with information of the vulnerability of election systems. Is that Federal information less secure because Pate knows about it? The Feds trust Pate. Why doesn’t he trust us? Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor & Commissioner of Elections.