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Hacking Democracy

Cybersecurity and Global Election Interference

Task Force 2018

Task Force Report 2018 - Hacking Democracy: Cybersecurity and Global Election Interference


Paul Nicholas

Senior Director, Global Security and Diplomacy, Microsoft

Faculty Adviser


Jessica L. Beyer

Assistant Teaching Professor

In the year since the 2016 U.S. presidential election, evidence has piled up that multiple types of actors attempted to shape the outcome of the election using the Internet. Suspects include the Russian government, patriotic hackers who may or may not have been working for the Russian state, creators of fake news, so-called “troll farms,” so-called “meme factories” and online communities, and political bots or “computational propaganda” designed to spread mis- and disinformation. Internet-related election interference has been observed in other elections as well, including The Netherlands and France. The purpose of this task force is to create profiles of election interference and policy tackling such interference in countries across the world, including the U.S., and use those profiles to extract best government practices for dealing with such action. The client will be the U.S. federal government.

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