Iowa caucuses to use new smartphone app despite cybersecurity fears

Iowa’s Democratic Party will use a smartphone app to calculate the results from the state’s caucuses next month, according to NPR

The move came despite warnings of potential cybersecurity breaches in light of Russia’s election interference in 2016.

The caucuses are scheduled to take place Feb. 3 in public buildings and churches throughout the state.

The internet-connected app is supposed to help get the results out in a more timely fashion, according to Troy Price, the chairman of the state Democratic Party, allowing caucus leaders to compile the results from participants and submit them to the central party via the app.

Iowa Democrats will prioritize security, Price told NPR, but he declined to provide details on which companies designed the app or to detail security measures in place. 

The state party worked with the cybersecurity team of the national party and with Harvard University’s Defending Digital Democracy project, according to NPR.

Since the caucuses are an in-person affair, there are several witnesses and paper records that could correct a potential cyber attack. However, caucus leaders worry that a hiccup in the app could lead to delayed or inaccurate results.

“We as the party have taken this very seriously, and we know how important it is for us to make sure that our process is secure and that we protect the integrity of the process,” Price told NPR. “We want to make sure we are not relaying information that could be used against us.

The Iowa Democratic Party did not immediately reply to a request for comment from The Hill.

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