2016 saw an unprecedented use of cyberattacks during a U.S. presidential election. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Russian government directed theft of emails and release of information in an apparent attempt to influence the election.
What does this mean for the coming year? I asked Professors Karl Levitt, Matt Bishop, Hao Chen, and Felix Wu of the UC Davis Computer Security Laboratory for some thoughts about cybersecurity in the wake of the 2016 election hack. Here’s what they had to say.
The Sacramento Bee will host a live debate on the California Supreme Court’s ruling upholding Proposition 8 at noon today. The panelists are Vikram Amar, professor and associate dean of the UC Davis law school; Professor Alan Brownstein, an expert on constitutional law at UC Davis; and John Cary Sims, a professor at McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific.
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The Obama/Palin ticket: Law professor Vikram David Amar asks, why not have separate votes for President and Vice President?
Dancing in the streets: Professor emeritus of history Ruth Rosen writes that the last time Americans danced in the streets was 1945.
Conceding gracefully: Bob Ostertag, professor of technocultural studies, asks why politicians seem to give their best speeches when conceding defeat.
Blogviating: More post-election blogging from UC Davis historians at The Edge of the American West.
Full post: Post-election roundup
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Barack Obama’s support is strongest among young voters and declines in older age groups, according to this AP story. It’s not just that race is not an issue for younger voters who have grown up with black celebrities and politicians: his biracial background actually seems to be an advantage.
Patricia Turner, a professor of African-American studies at UC Davis, says that race is just one factor that appeals to Obama’s supporters.
The National Security Agency has once again designated the Computer Security Laboratory at UC Davis as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Research. The designation runs through 2013. The lab was one of the first to be recognized as a national Center of Excellence when the NSA began this program in 1999.
Some previous articles about computer security research at UC Davis: “Protecting a World Online,” from 2002, and my magazine article on malware from Fall, 2005.
It’s not just about computer networks: with more data moving over wireless networks, Professor Hao Chen has been finding vulnerabilities in cell phones, too.
Yolo County clerk Freddie Oakley was breathing a bit easier Saturday, after California Secretary of State Debra Bowen ruled that the Hart voting machines used in the county could be used for next February’s election. Late on Friday, Bowen decertified three voting systems that a UC study showed had serious security flaws. She then recertified the systems provided strict security precautions were met, but limited the Diebold and Sequoia systems to one per polling place, for use by disabled voters. The Hart Intercivic machines, like those used in Yolo County, could be more widely used, although with additional security.