The United States Postal Service (USPS) reportedly secretly built and tested a mobile phone voting system prior to the 2020 election.
The shocking foray outside of simply delivering the mail was revealed by the Washington Post recently.
“The U.S. Postal Service pursued a project to build and secretly test a blockchain-based mobile phone voting system before the 2020 election,” the Post writes.
They also note that the USPS secret project amounted to “experimenting with a technology that the government’s own cybersecurity agency says can’t be trusted to securely handle ballots.”
The Washington Post is quick to note that the project was abandoned and never deployed in a live election.
What caused the USPS to abandon the mobile phone voting system?
“Cybersecurity researchers,” they write, “conducted a test of the system during a mock election and found numerous ways that it was vulnerable to hacking.”
The USPS pursued a project to build and secretly test a blockchain-based mobile phone voting system before the 2020 election, experimenting with a technology that the government’s own cybersecurity agency says can’t be trusted to securely handle ballots. https://t.co/a6G0DYLRlH
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) December 13, 2021
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USPS Election ‘Meddling’
According to the report, the USPS secret mobile voting system was built and tested without any involvement from agencies focused on election security.
And the covert operation became a concern.
“The secrecy of the Postal Service’s mobile voting project alarmed election security officials and advocates who fear it could spark conspiracy theories and degrade public faith in the democratic process,” according to the Washington Post.
“Those concerns have grown immensely since the 2020 election, bolstered by baseless claims of election fraud by former president Donald Trump and his supporters.”
“It’s scandalous for a govt entity to conduct research into the security of blockchain online voting, which shows how insecure it is, but then hide the results and deprive the public & officials of these findings for over two years”
— FSFP’s @SEGreenhalghhttps://t.co/IUqSmXiFqh
— FreeSpeechForPeople (@FSFP) December 13, 2021
Trust In Elections
It isn’t solely Trump supporters who have cultivated a sense of distrust with government and election results. It’s just that they’re a little more vocal about it.
A FiveThirtyEight analysis of polling after the 2016 election shows Democrats were less confident in the election results than they were in 2020.
“Lest we think that Republicans are the only ones susceptible to having their view of the electoral process colored by the outcome, polling shows that some Democrats did lose confidence in the election after Trump won in 2016,” they write.
File this one under “WTF, USPS?”: The Postal Service spent years secretly developing a blockchain-based mobile-app voting system (it sounds like Voatz’s setup) before scrapping it in 2019 after researchers “found numerous ways that it was vulnerable.” https://t.co/lRAqjE4t9t
— Rob Pegoraro (@robpegoraro) December 14, 2021
In fact, polls show 84% of Democrats trusted election results just weeks before the 2016 election, but just 65% trusted the results in January of 2017.
That’s not nearly to the degree of distrust amongst Republicans after President Biden won the election, but it still indicates voters are wary.
The latest USPS mobile phone voting project isn’t their first foray into tasks that could be considered odd for their line of work.
A report in September indicates the USPS ran a ‘covert operations program’ that monitored Americans’ social media activity following the January 6 Capitol riot.
Politico revealed in a striking column that the United States Postal Inspection Service’s Internet Covert Operations Program – or iCOP – sprang into action just five days after the events at the Capitol.
So the postal service now spies on their customers..
— Peter Boykin For NC Congress TAKE BACK AMERICA 🎄⛄ (@Boykin4Congress) September 27, 2021
Among USPS’s activities were sending bulletins to law enforcement agencies throughout the country “on how to view social media posts that had been deleted” and providing descriptions of their surveillance of posts on a ‘fringe’ social media network.
“Few Americans are aware that the same organization that delivers their mail also runs a robust surveillance operation rooted in an agency that dates back to the 18th century,” Politico writes.
They add that iCOP’s involvement in the days after January 6 “raises questions about how broad the mandate of the Postal Service’s policing arm has grown from its stated mission of keeping mail deliverers safe.”
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