Sunday, December 20, 2015


Keywords or Terms: Bernie Sander’s Campaign team; Data Voyeurism; Data Compromise; Hillary Clinton’s Campaign team; Priority Data; Democratic National Committee’s Network; Total Overreach of Voter data; What is mine is mine; What’s yours is mine too”; Wiggle room answers; Democratic Party Watergate of 2015; Donor’s List; Pragmatic Network Protection; and, Euphoria of the Moment

Through nearly eleven months of Democratic Competition for party nomination, nothing has been sizzling or juicy as the current data breach or compromise of one of the aspirant by another. As Secretary Clinton’s commanding polls successes were galloping and the Democratic front-runner was more interested in solidifying her progress by resorting to the old political tactic of labeling or demonizing her rival as a single issue candidate, little did she know that her closest rival campaign team were abrading her lid through data pilferage. Senator Bernie Sander’s campaign team, either knowingly or unknowingly, was engaging in the unexpected and unimaginable error of data abridgment. Allegation against Bernie’s team of staffers, including possible misbehavior of data voyeurism: viewing, searching and saving donor’s data and deploying shifting messages regarding the actual time of access to Hillary Clinton’s campaign priority data, started flowing around town.

Could this be Democratic Party Watergate of 2015; or, has the situation not risen to a level of clandestine campaign data pilferage? With this critical event, can Senator Bernie Sander reassure Secretary Clinton’s campaign team of the start time of the data compromise, as each team gets to know how much and to what extent this unfortunate event  has taken place; and, how both campaign teams can rise above this misunderstanding and develop a new “tone” and “spirit” of trust; or, has things gone too far too soon, to arrive at a conciliation that can put each team at rest that no fishy stuff has been going on; and, no one should be expecting any form of truce or apologies for any misconstrued activities?

Looking to the future, has the time come for Senator Bernie Sander’s campaign team to acknowledge the superiority of Secretary Clinton’s campaign team and opt for a negotiation of the complicated issue of gaining access to the latter’s donor’s list through the data abridgment? Or, is this the best moment to come clean and quit presenting itself as victim of a cautious and deliberate effort to abridge campaign data that are propriety information for Hillary Clinton’s campaign? Answers to these questions depend on where your support or reservations lie. Further, has the Democratic National Committee been complicit or part of a scheme to provide democratic leaning voters’ list to Bernie Sander’s campaign? Is there really no chance for Bernie Sander’s campaign team to catch up with the twenty-percent deficit in polling against the former US Secretary of State’s Campaign without playing dirty? At one time, it appeared Bernie Sander’s campaign team were defensive or playing fast and loose regarding data abridgment; however, the alleged forty-five-minute data breach on the Democratic Party National Committee portal has introduced another dynamic to campaigning for party nomination within the Democratic Party.

A defensive system of protecting democratic leaning voters’ list on the Democratic National Committee’s portal is likely to change in light of this dramatic event. Not far behind is the data security policy of both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Both campaign teams are more likely to quickly streamline their access and use of secondary data sources in the wake of current friendly “mishap”. Democratic National Committee like Hillary Clinton’s campaign team is now confronted with the reality of data insecurity and how this may inadvertently undermine campaign efforts. Data insecurity can confound unwitting campaign teams and shift chances of redoubling campaign contributions from potential donors. The rise of data espionage is not limited to national governments or security; it is also found in political campaigns. The offensive nature of data abridgment is found in associated data or information stripping of campaign rivals, juxtaposition of the dynamics of “what is mine is mine” and “what’s yours is mine too”, and the often difficult question of who is really at fault. A sometimes irrational or immoral activity that ends up in a law suit by either the aggrieved and the offender are face saving if only for a while.

Any Presidential campaign team, Democrat or Republican, has the onus to protect its data source in the modern age of electronic campaigns for a number of reasons, some obvious, others oblivious to an uncanny eye. One pragmatic reason is probably what Hillary Clinton campaign suffered, the chance your closest rival gaining access to data and information on your donors and using the same source for seeking funds for his or her campaign. Data security issues are not only relevant for enterprise or agency private networks, as it turns out, it is just as relevant to modern day campaigns, as an aspirant attempt to build a supporters’ base, donor’s and contributors’ list, and broadcasting the goals and ambitions of the campaign. Political office seekers now have to defend their campaign, extend their policy and programs, answer press questions as well as protect their campaign data network to survive the challenge from rivals and competition. In brief, data security calls for greater awareness and constant monitoring of data sources and network administrations of both the candidate and the affiliated political party.

Indolent and unimaginative campaign outfits that fail to establish probable strategies for transferring and receiving data from a clearing committee or agency, is more likely to face the kind of sudden data abridgment currently experienced by the Clinton’s camp. If Clinton’s campaign fail to quickly recognize and respond to possible or potential data abridgment, it may not be in a position to determine the extent of that abridgment because of immediate insufficient information regarding the extent of compromise. The lines may be drawn between the Sander’s Campaign and Clinton’s Campaign teams, the Sander’s campaign team’s litigation against the Democratic National Committee and probably the Clinton’s campaign, may be an attempt of a cover-up; however, no one is sure; and no one is certain of the ultimate outcome of the litigation, which may leave everyone involved miserable and despondent. This can actually lead to reputation issues for Democrats and their ultimate party flag bearer in the general election. Certainly, Democrats must expect the Republicans to exploit this unfortunate event that can easily be managed with a sense of comrade as a political party with a sense of purpose to retain the White House oval office. 

To satisfy data security needs of political campaign networks, there is a need for establishment of parameters regarding data and information sharing and movement on those networks: between campaign networks; among aspirant’s networks; and, the local interface usage by multiple users on the network(s). There is need for incremental policies, as the campaign move through the months of campaigns to general election. Dealing with inhibited use of network data and sources and or watching closely entry and exit into a campaign electronic network(s), is as important as winning the nomination or election in an information age.

The salient and changing facts regarding when the Sander’s campaign team actually gained access to Hillary Clinton’s Campaign network and when they exited, are still opaque. Leaving wiggle room in answers to actionable questions on data abridgment of any sort, is a difficult is a difficult circumstance to be in. For Sanders, the presidential aspirant rival of Ms. Clinton, it means a gawkier eye on the activities of its data managers or network interface users to avoid possible criminal allegation against its campaign on bases of data abridgment. For the Clinton’s camp, the genie has been out of the bottle, defending your data source on all networks, the party’s and yours, is your prominent task or responsibility. Indeed, the strength of either candidate’s presidential campaign team is probably based on the ability to maintain transparency in the reception and use of data and information from whatever sources, without being labelled as a culprit.

The struggle for survival and campaign successes in a bid for party flag bearer and subsequent victory in a general election is a matter of territorial data protection and ability to refrain from defaulting to suspicious activities against rivals. The entire campaign exercise is both a territorial protection of strategies as well as well, protection of propriety and priority information. It is also going to require self-imposed restraint from using rivals’ information without authorization. Advances and successes in primaries and caucuses must depend on tactical and strategic offenses and discipline from defaulting to fraud or suspicious data abridgment in order to win. Aspirant and Senator Bernie Sanders must terminate any of his staff involved in the purported suspicious activity to rise above the fray and maintain the often touted moral transparency that his campaign has been known for till now.

Accusation of stealing campaign data from an opponent is bad press enough for a struggling campaign that is attempting to make a difference and overcome polling differentials. Senator and aspirant Bernie Sanders after all, has projected a campaign of restraint and one strictly on principles and possibilities of alleviating many Americans from poverty. The alleged data abridgment from his campaign must now be accepted as an aberration; however, if Aspirant Hillary attempt to use this as a campaign crutch, a simple apology at the third democratic party debate appropriate and hopefully sufficient, to move ahead of the controversy.

Hillary Clinton campaign team’s enthusiasm to use this error as a rope to hang Bernie Sander must be cautious as things like this has a tendency to boomerang. Yes, the suspected data abridgments from the rival candidate present new set of problems for former Secretary of State’s campaign; however, going too aggressively against Bernie Sander’s team may create other political pitfalls and challenges that may not be immediately apparent. The danger of going heavy handed in criticism may cause unintended consequences when it comes to general elections in November of 2016. This is the reason why a nuclear option of dragging Bernie Sander’s campaign through the mud may not be advisable.

The conventional wisdom is that Secretary Clinton Campaign is still the front runner; and that this unfortunate event may cripple the efforts of the Democratic Party to hold on to the White House as a whole if the issue of data abridgment is not handle with some maturity. Senator Bernie Sander may come out completely scratched in the litigation initiated against the Democratic National Committee and fall apart from this unfortunate event. Could an extended litigation within the Democratic Party scuttle the chances of the party from fielding a better prepared flag bearer? Can Secretary Hillary Clinton fear an excessive exposure of her campaign strategies at a litigation forum and thereby exposing or tearing asunder hitherto protected strategies of her campaign? These are issues and questions that must be contemplated in light of the current difficult experience.

The euphoria of the moment regarding the data abridgments dictates a new strategy for the former’s secretary’s campaign, as well as the Democratic National Committee. There is no longer a time to take things for granted by either party or any other candidate in the race. Just as Secretary Clinton is building a better bandwidth of policies and programs for her campaign, now is the time to correlate that effort with keener strategies and technologies to protect her campaign network. There is an option to implant device drivers  and encryption technology that are automatic defense managers against intruders; or queries from inter-agency or inter-candidate’s electronic networks. This will eliminate agency or candidate’s network invasion by anyone, friend or foe.

Finally,  Secretary Clinton’s campaign initiative to cut fees for immigrants seeking citizenship is probably uplifting for progressives; advancing proactive policies on national security, income inequality and a more equitable justice system are even more clear-able; however, leaving your network susceptible to invasion, or data swap from Democratic National Committee Network  that may lead to allegation of criminal activities, is hardly a sign of a proactive data network user and dynamic campaign outfit. Working with the Democratic National Committee to exchange or transfer data of opponents may be construed in multiple context; however, shying away from impropriety may be a better option. Perfect is the enemy of the good, right? Thus, working to establish data sharing guidelines or date transfer protocols on networks is better than good; it is Perfect!

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