The result of 21-D elections cannot be manipulated. The Spanish electoral system is based on manual counting of ballots, in presence of auditors and members of tables. In case of a claim, counting can be repeated. Anor thing is provisional results that spread on election night. An alteration of se data would not change end result, but would create confusion and damage confidence in democratic system. The government has set in motion a plan to avoid this chaotic scenario.Learn More
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The objective of disinformation campaigns "is not to obtain a concrete result [in elections], but to undermine confidence in results," director of NATO's Strategic Communications Center, Janis Sarts, warned this Thursday.
The Spanish electoral system does not admit fraud, but sensitivity is to skin and social networks have flooded with messages, coming from independence circles, suggesting possibility of a system in elections of 21st. The Catalan National Assembly (ANP) and CUP have even announced that y will make a parallel count to official through an application.
Government sources admit that PSOE and citizens, ir main allies in activation of article 155 of Constitution, have urged to develop a plan to counteract campaigns of disrepute against Spanish democracy.
The government has set up a working group to ensure that nothing changes normality of electoral process. It is composed of representatives of Ministry of Interior, secretariat of State of Public administration, National Cryptologic Center and secretariat of State of Communication, in collaboration with Center for Communications and Information Technology (CCIC ) and information Security Centre of Catalonia (Cesicat), both of Generalitat. Among its functions is to oversee Indra's work, signature to which provisional vote count has been awarded.
The main concern is period from closing of ballot boxes (at 8 pm on 21st) to proclamation of results (between third and sixth day following election Day).
The Task Force has already assessed risks facing interim count. The main threats are a denial-of-service (DoS) attack on web through which interim results and replication of website will be disseminated. Both a blackout in diffusion of count and a proliferation of false pages with erroneous data would cause considerable concern in a country accustomed to having reliable results only a few hours after closing of ballot box.
In order to prevent a attack from tipping official website, security measures have been overlooked and attempts to falsify official website have been put to point of a device that facilitates a court order to close fraudulent webs with immediate effects.
However, possibility of an attack cannot be ruled out. The activists of Anonymous have reactivated ir campaign proindendentista and presume to have Inflitrado for 20 days in networks of Indra to prove ir vulnerability. The company supports attack, but denies that it has compromised customer data or may affect 21-D electoral count.
Anor different question is how to respond to false news. The responsibility of detecting its appearance and trying to rebatirlas "with more zeal" and speed of what it has done so far corresponds to secretariat of State of communication.
The government has consulted with countries that have suffered se campaigns in ir electoral processes. Spain lacks legislation that allows m to be tackled and many of m have origin abroad, which makes task difficult. But "lack of credibility of governments," NATO expert acknowledged yesterday, is its greatest vulnerability.