Brexit referendum website might have been hacked, report

FILE PHOTO - A web page on a voting registration site for the forthcoming British EU referendum is seen on a laptop computer and a smart phone in London, Britain, June 8, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo
FILE PHOTO – A web page on a voting registration site for the forthcoming British EU referendum is seen on a laptop computer and a smart phone in London, Britain, June 8, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

A website which allowed Britons to register to vote in last year’s European Union referendum might have been targeted by foreign hackers causing it to crash before the deadline, a committee of British lawmakers said on Wednesday.

More than a million potential voters applied to register online in the run up to the deadline two weeks before last June’s vote and the government extended the cut-off point after the website crashed, blaming it on a late rush by mainly young citizens.

In a report, parliament’s Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) said it did not rule out the possibility that the crash was caused by a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) cyber attack.

“PACAC is deeply concerned about these allegations about foreign interference,” said the report, adding the committee did not believe any interference had impacted the outcome.

Russia has been accused of trying to influence the 2016 U.S. election and the committee said the government needed to ensure future elections and referendums were monitored with plans in pace to respond to and contain any cyber attacks.

“The US and UK understanding of ‘cyber’ is predominantly technical and computer-network based. For example, Russia and China use a cognitive approach based on understanding of mass psychology and of how to exploit individuals,” the report said.

“The implications of this different understanding of cyber-attack, as purely technical or as reaching beyond the digital to influence public opinion, for the interference in elections and referendums are clear.”

The committee was also critical of the government’s failure to prepare for a vote for Brexit and former Prime Minister David Cameron’s motives for calling the referendum in the first place, saying using plebiscites as a “bluff call” to close down “unwelcome debate” was questionable.

Cameron, who had campaigned to stay in the EU while many in his party backed Brexit, quit after losing the vote.

“There was no proper planning for a Leave vote so the EU referendum opened up much new controversy and left the prime minister’s credibility destroyed,” the report said.

REUTERS

  • Niemals

    Why should we trust this Dr. Paul Craig Robert (an anti-establishment, with liberal conservative perspective) claiming that the EU, is a CIA Covert Operation?
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/40f8994512eec77aef4fe1e82c2ad9ee32e486991bf2036e1e59da2ad52410a6.jpg This Dr. Paul Craig Robert should blame the Jews….

    As Y K replied to Hindler Abyada;
    “Because of Euro Coudenhove Kalerji Plan white Genocide.”
    For a “white” person, your language of communication is strangely close to Pidgin English. Why is that? :-)”
    https://twitter.com/AbyadHind/status/975813322967801857
    The flooding of our European Continent with non-White “migrants” from Africa and the Middle East, who are disguised as so-called “Refugees”, is not a MISTAKE, a “Humanitarian Act”, or a matter of “Incompetence”, but a precise, strategic political move of a globally organized and intricate occult network, which is implementing and achieving plans that are decades, if not centuries, old.
    The flooding of Afrikan Continent with non-White “migrants” from America…. http://disq.us/p/1r0pwuo
    Due to suffering from prejudice and racism – left the United States for Africa.
    It is not a MISTAKE, only a “Humanitarian Act” – of young black Americans, discovered that there are quite a few places now in Africa where you can live a life much like the United States, yet with some crucial differences. Lauren mentions two directly: racism and violence.