How can the NSA, Microsoft, Google etc. vote?

A post got us thinking: Every Scary, Weird Thing We Know the NSA Can Do.  <read>

It seems they missed that the NSA and others with access can vote!

This post originally appeared on the website of The Brian Lehrer Show.

The trove of documents leaked by Edward Snowden has revealed the elaborate tricks the NSA can use to monitor communications and data around the world. Here, a running list of things we now know the NSA can do, based on media reports and other publicly available documents—so far. If we missed any, let us know in the comments page or by tweeting @brianlehrer.

  • It can track the numbers of both parties on a phone call, as well location, time and duration. (More)
  • It can hack Chinese phones and text messages. (More)
  • It can set up fake Internet cafes. (More)
  • It can spy on foreign leaders’ cellphones. (More)
  • It can tap underwater fiber-optic cables. (More)
  • It can track communication within media organizations like Al-Jazeera. (More)
  • It can hack into the U.N. video conferencing system. (More)
  • It can track bank transactions. (More)
  • It can monitor text messages. (More)
  • It can access your email, chat, and Web browsing history. (More)
  • It can map your social networks. (More)
  • It can access your smartphone app data. (More)
  • It is trying to get into secret networks like Tor, diverting users to less secure channels. (More)
  • It can go undercover within embassies to have closer access to foreign networks. (More)
  • It can set up listening posts on the roofs of buildings to monitor communications in a city. (More)
  • It can set up a fake LinkedIn. (More)
  • It can track the reservations at upscale hotels. (More)
  • It can intercept the talking points for Ban Ki-moon’s meeting with Obama. (More)
  • It can crack cellphone encryption codes. (More)
  • It can hack computers that aren’t connected to the internet using radio waves. (More)
  • It can intercept phone calls by setting up fake base stations. (More)
  • It can remotely access a computer by setting up a fake wireless connection. (More)
  • It can install fake SIM cards to then control a cell phone. (More)
  • It can fake a USB thumb drive that’s actually a monitoring device. (More)
  • It can crack all types of sophisticated computer encryption. (Update: It is trying to build this capability.) (More)
  • It can go into online games and monitor communication. (More)
  • It can intercept communications between aircraft and airports. (More)
  • (Update) It can physically intercept deliveries, open packages, and make changes to devices. (More) (h/t)

Did we miss any? Mischaracterize any capabilities? Let us know in the comments, or tweet @brianlehrer.

Lets add some corollaries relevant to voting and elections:

  • It can set up fake Internet cafes
    • They can use those to monitor, identify, change and drop votes submitted over the Internet or by email. And change ballots presented to voters.
  • It can tap underwater fiber-optic cables
    • And monitor, identify, change and drop votes submitted over the Internet, by email or fax. And change ballots presented to voters.
  • It can monitor text messages.
  • It can access your email, chat, and Web browsing history
  • It can map your social network
  • It can access your smartphone app data
    • They could determine your politics and intercept your electronic or absentee vote and eliminate it before it is counted.
      Because—>
  • It can physically intercept deliveries, open packages, and make changes to devices

They could use these facilities in a variety of ways to disrupt elections:

  • Change electronic results as they are transmitted or posted, confusing or changing the initially reported winner.
  • Discover embarrassing past statements or activities of candidates and caused these to be published.
  • Discover embarrassing past statements or activities of candidates and use them to intimidate candidates once elected.
  • Plant rumors about candidates.
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