UK energy companies and other “critical infrastructure” were targeted by hackers believed to have been backed by Russia during last month’s general election, according to Motherboard and The Telegraph. GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre recently sent a letter to UK energy companies, manufacturers, and water companies that was leaked to Motherboard, Vice’s technology website.
Articles about voting issues in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Britons are politically more divided by age than at any time over the past four decades, with a surge in support for the opposition Labour Party among younger voters the key factor in a shock election result, pollster Ipsos Mori said on Tuesday. Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May lost her parliamentary majority in the June 8 election after a lacklustre campaign during which her poll lead of 20 points or more evaporated. The Conservatives still won the largest number of House of Commons seats, but are now having to seek a deal with a small Northern Irish party to support their minority government. Ipsos Mori said age was a bigger dividing factor than in any election since it began keeping detailed records in 1979.
Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain suffered a major setback in a tumultuous election on Thursday, losing her overall majority in Parliament and throwing her government into uncertainty less than two weeks before it is scheduled to begin negotiations over withdrawing from the European Union. Mrs. May, the Conservative leader, called the snap election three years early, expecting to cruise to a smashing victory that would win her a mandate to see Britain through the long and difficult negotiations with European leaders over the terms of leaving the union. But according to results reported early Friday morning, the extraordinary gamble Mrs. May made in calling the election backfired. She could no longer command enough seats to avoid a hung Parliament, meaning that no party has enough lawmakers to establish outright control.
We do our banking, our shopping and manage our relationships online. But our democracy remains decidedly analogue: in 2017, the simple act of casting a vote requires citizens to trudge down to a polling booth, queue up, and tick a box on a voting slip. … The most clear threat to online voting is the prospect of a cyber attack. If malicious actors were able to hack into the voting system, they might be able to manipulate the result. The threat of this has grown in recent years. Russian hackers are said to have interfered in last year’s US election by stealing information from US Democrats. Being able to target the voting system itself would be a much bigger prize. Hackers might not even have to gain access to the voting system. Launching a distributed denial of service (DDos) attack, in which a system is flooded with internet traffic to the extent that legitimate attempts to access it cannot get through, could hamper the online voting process.
United Kingdom: On the Campaign Trail with Cornelia Parker, the U.K.’s Official Election Artist | The New Yorker
Like many things in British politics, the job of the official U.K. election artist is a bit make-it-up-as-you-go. Dreamed up by the maverick former sports minister Tony Banks, in the early two-thousands, the post was one of the feel-good innovations of Tony Blair’s first term in office. “It just occurred to me that we have war artists, so why not have an election artist?” Banks said at the time. Each election cycle, an artist joins politicians, pundits, and news photographers on the campaign trail and produces his or her own interpretation of events. The only requirement is that the artists betray no political bias and that, upon completion, the works they create go on display in the Houses of Parliament. The painter Jonathan Yeo, the first artist appointed, in 2001, produced respectful oil portraits of Blair and his rival party leaders. Most recently, in 2015, the illustrator Adam Dant made a fantastical pen-and-ink drawing, “The Government Stable,” which crowded many of the events that he’d witnessed in the course of the campaign onto a single “Where’s Waldo?”-ish canvas more than six feet wide.
United Kingdom: British voters head to polls in a political landscape jolted by terrorism | The Washington Post
A country once again buffeted by terrorism will go to the polls Thursday in the latest test of the relationship between mass violence, carried out with the most everyday of tools, and democratic debate over security and ties to the outside world. Saturday’s attack, which left seven people dead, marked the third major terrorist strike in Britain in as many months — the first unfolding steps from Parliament and the second outside a packed pop concert in Manchester. Each was claimed by the Islamic State. The latest assault, in which three suspects mowed down pedestrians on London Bridge before slashing their way through a nearby market, inserts an unpredictable new dynamic — the fear and uncertainty sowed by terrorism — into this week’s contest, which was already tightening.
With less than a week until the UK General Election takes place, attention is turning towards the danger of cyber criminals or state actors hacking into party, governmental or parliamentary systems, or disrupting the voting system itself. With similar attacks hitting both the US and French presidential elections, such concerns are founded in reality — but does that necessarily mean such an attack is likely? The IT Pro team considers the possibility that our democracy is the next area to be disrupted.
United Kingdom: Nigel Farage is ‘person of interest’ in FBI investigation into Trump and Russia | The Guardian
Nigel Farage is a “person of interest” in the US counter-intelligence investigation that is looking into possible collusion between the Kremlin and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, the Guardian has been told. Sources with knowledge of the investigation said the former Ukip leader had raised the interest of FBI investigators because of his relationships with individuals connected to both the Trump campaign and Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder whom Farage visited in March. WikiLeaks published troves of hacked emails last year that damaged Hillary Clinton’s campaign and is suspected of having cooperated with Russia through third parties, according to recent congressional testimony by the former CIA director John Brennan, who also said the adamant denials of collusion by Assange and Russia were disingenuous.
Britons vote for a new government on June 8 and, until recently, election campaigns have been tightly controlled affairs with limits on how much parties can spend per constituency, the requirement to submit detailed accounts and no political advertising on television. But the rules don’t cover online advertising – allowing Facebook to cash in, having used the Conservative Party’s 2015 victory as a case study. The Electoral Commission, which exists to regulate elections, estimates that in the 2015 general election more than 99 per cent of spending on social media was with Facebook, with the Conservatives splashing out £1.21m, Labour £160,000, Ukip £91,000, the Liberal Democrats £22,245, the Green party £20,000 and the Scottish National party £5,466.
Britain’s anti-EU UK Independence Party (UKIP) will unveil its policy pledges on Thursday, restarting an election campaign which was suspended after a suicide bomber killed 22 people and injured dozens more in the northern city of Manchester. Britons are due to vote on June 8, with the latest polls, published before Monday’s attack, showing Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservatives comfortably ahead of the main opposition Labour Party, albeit with a narrowing lead. The two main parties will restart their national campaigns on Friday but UKIP, which was key to securing Britain’s exit from the European Union, said the best response to the attack was to begin as soon as possible.