Abstract

https://ssrn.com/abstract=2852461
 


 



Making Democracy Harder to Hack: Should Elections Be Classified as ‘Critical Infrastructure?’


Scott Shackelford


Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Business Law; Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs; Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research; Stanford Center for Internet and Society; Stanford Law School

Bruce Schneier


Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society

Michael Sulmeyer


Harvard University - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Anne E. Boustead


Belfer Center, Harvard Kennedy School

Ben Buchanan


Harvard University - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Amanda Craig


Indiana University Maurer School of Law

Trey Herr


Harvard Kennedy School

Jessica Zhanna Malekos Smith


University of London, Kings College London, Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy, War Studies Group, Department of War Studies, Students

October 14, 2016

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, 2017
Kelley School of Business Research Paper No. 16-75

Abstract:     
With the Russian government hack of the Democratic National Convention email servers, and further leaks expected over the coming months that could influence an election, the drama of the 2016 U.S. presidential race highlights an important point: Nefarious hackers do not just pose a risk to vulnerable companies, cyber attacks can potentially impact the trajectory of democracies.  Yet, to date, a consensus has not been reached as to the desirability and feasibility of reclassifying elections, in particular voting machines, as critical infrastructure due in part to the long history of local and state control of voting procedures. This Article takes on the debate in the U.S. using the 2016 elections as a case study but puts the issue in a global context with in-depth case studies from South Africa, Estonia, Brazil, Germany, and India. Governance best practices are analyzed by reviewing these differing approaches to securing elections, including the extent to which trend lines are converging or diverging. This investigation will, in turn, help inform ongoing minilateral efforts at cybersecurity norm building in the critical infrastructure context, which are considered here for the first time in the literature through the lens of polycentric governance.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 40

Keywords: cybersecurity, cyber attack, election, voting, critical infrastructure


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Date posted: October 19, 2016 ; Last revised: November 17, 2016

Suggested Citation

Shackelford, Scott and Schneier, Bruce and Sulmeyer, Michael and Boustead, Anne E. and Buchanan, Ben and Craig, Amanda and Herr, Trey and Malekos Smith, Jessica Zhanna, Making Democracy Harder to Hack: Should Elections Be Classified as ‘Critical Infrastructure?’ (October 14, 2016). University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, 2017; Kelley School of Business Research Paper No. 16-75. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2852461

Contact Information

Scott J. Shackelford (Contact Author)
Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Business Law ( email )
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs ( email )
79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research ( email )
Wylie Hall 105
100 South Woodlawn
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States
Stanford Center for Internet and Society ( email )
Palo Alto, CA
United States

Stanford Law School ( email )
Stanford, CA 94305
United States
Bruce Schneier
Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society ( email )
Harvard Law School
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Michael Sulmeyer
Harvard University - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs ( email )
Cambridge, MA
United States
Anne E. Boustead
Belfer Center, Harvard Kennedy School ( email )
Ben Buchanan
Harvard University - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs ( email )
Cambridge, MA
United States
Amanda Craig
Indiana University Maurer School of Law ( email )
211 S. Indiana Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States
Trey Herr
Harvard Kennedy School ( email )
79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Jessica Zhanna Malekos Smith
University of London, Kings College London, Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy, War Studies Group, Department of War Studies, Students ( email )
King's College London, Strand
London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom
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