FACT: The Obama presidential campaign has been lauded for innovative uses of the Web and social media, particularly for fundraising and volunteer recruitment. But as PC World has just reported, “Two months after their Web site was hacked, the organizers of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign are looking for a network security expert to help lock down their Web site…. Security experts said this is the first time they can remember seeing a Web security job advertised for a political campaign.”
ANALYSIS: I wrote before about my experience in 1994-95 helping build one of the Internet’s first political campaign websites – I designed the content and wrote much of it, for Mayor Frank Jordan of San Francisco. (The pages were literally built and posted by mayoral son Thomas Jordan, by the way, who was then a college student at UC-Berkeley; he went on to great things at Pixar.) At the time, with such a simple site, we didn’t have to worry much about security – or so we thought, and luckily the worst scandal in those early years involved domain-squatting by certain rival campaigns.
As PC World points out, though, “Obama’s Web site, built by Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes, has been the model of Web 2.0 campaigning, using social-networking techniques to raise funds and build a broad base of active, Internet-savvy supporters. But security experts have long warned that powerful Web site features also open new avenues for attack.”
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