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posted by martyb on Saturday December 26 2015, @10:22AM   Printer-friendly
from the something-there-is-that-doesn't-love-a-wall dept.

As you probably already know, Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign was involved in some recent hijinks involving improper access to campaign data from the Hillary Clinton campaign, after a buggy software patch applied by the contractor maintaining the Democratic Party's voter database, NGPVAN, inadvertently opened a data firewall. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) suspended the Sanders' campaign access to Democratic voter lists (a subscription that the campaign had paid for); Sanders responded by suing the DNC; after a brief negotiation, the DNC restored the Sanders campaign access; and Sanders apologized to Clinton for the hack in Saturday night's debate. Clinton accepted the apology, and noted that most Americans don't care anyway.

Present company (possibly) excepted. Veteran Democratic campaign consultant David Atkins, who evidently has hands on experience using the software in question, pieced together what he thinks happened; including useful background on NGPVAN's software and its use by the Democratic party.

Atkins' bottom line:

As it turns out the ethical breach by Sanders operatives was massive, but the actual data discovery was limited. So it made sense and was fairly obvious that the DNC would quickly end up giving the campaign back its NGPVAN access—particularly since failing to do so would be a death sentence for the campaign and a gigantic black eye to the party.

Atkins also had some choice words for DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, agreeing with David Axelrod (Obama's former chief campaign strategist) that the DNC overreacted.

DNC CEO Amy Dacey blogged that the suspension of access to Sanders wasn't punitive:

This action was not taken to punish the Sanders campaign — it was necessary to ensure that the Sanders campaign took appropriate steps to resolve the issue and wasn't unfairly using another campaign's data.

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  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 26 2015, @11:56AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 26 2015, @11:56AM (#281156)

    First off, the 'security contractor' was somebody who'd worked for Clinton in the past. Second the 'drops' in the firewall had been happening over the course of WEEKS. The Sanders guy who looked into it was following the assumption that anything on the clinton side they could see clinton's staff would have been able to see during the previous weeks and until the firewalling issue was resolved.

    Long story short, when the staff raised concerns when disclosing how major the breach was, the staff member got fired, Bernie's campaign got the penalty box, and nobody seems to inquire if any of Clintons staff had done 'similiar investigations' in the weeks prior, perhaps including copying Sanders campaign data into the clinton campaign to give them a unfair (but temporary) advantage.

    Somebody who was unrelated to the incident but on the Sanders tech staff commented further on it giving insight into what the system is actually like. Suffice it to say 'government contractor' quality of work.

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  • (Score: 0, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 26 2015, @07:19PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 26 2015, @07:19PM (#281247)

    > Suffice it to say 'government contractor' quality of work.

    FYI the DNC is not a government organization, that would be unconstitutional.