Given the extent of foreign interference in the 2016 election, every American should be concerned about election security in 2020. But what can computer hackers teach us about it? To find out, I went to Las Vegas earlier this month to attend DEFCON 27, the largest annual hacking conference in the United States, knowing this was probably my last chance to see a legal election hacking.
Voting machines are protected from hacking under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. But the Library of Congress, which has certain authorities under the law, set a three-year window to allow hacking of voting machines to test their security. Barring an extension by the Library of Congress, 2019 is the third and last year these hacks are legal.
DEFCON is a huge event, and I saw fellow conference-goers all over Las Vegas with their distinctive glowing badges. I was only interested in the DEFCON Voting Village, which included a large assortment of voting equipment for participants to test, hack, and break.
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