In this article, David Siman-Tov et al highlight how elections are vulnerable to cyberattacks and other information operations, and how such weaknesses leave democratic nations open to the influence of foreign powers. Our authors conclude that the threat posed by such vulnerabilities is such that nations must recognize elections as a form of critical infrastructure. Further, states must protect each competent of electoral processes – including the media, public discourse, political parties and the voting system itself – if they are to preserve the health of their democracy.
The challenge of defending the election process and all other democratic processes, such as the rule of law and freedom of expression, is not just safeguarding the operation of the infrastructure; rather, it also encompasses the preservation of the public’s faith in the system, which is a far more evasive achievement that may be undermined in a variety of different ways. Thus, this article presents the need—for which there is wide consensus— to defend the network of computers that operates the election system. In addition, it addresses the necessity of protecting the political discourse from external interference, which seeks to undermine the public’s faith in the entire democratic system but is still not widely recognized, because, inter alia, it challenges the democratic principles, such as safeguarding freedom of speech (in social media and the traditional media).
Source : CSS ETH