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This summer, DefCon’s “Voting Machine Hacking Village” turned up a host of US election vulnerabilities (PDF). Now, imagine a more mainstream national hacking event backed by the Department of Homeland Security that has the same goal: to discover weaknesses in voting machines used by states for local and national elections.
That might just become a reality if federal legislation (PDF) unveiled Tuesday becomes law.

The proposal comes with a safe harbor provision to exempt participants from federal hacking laws.
Several federal exemptions for ethical hacking that paved the way for the DefCon hacking village expire next year.
The bipartisan “Securing America’s Voting Equipment Act” also would provide election funding to the states and would designate voting systems as critical infrastructure—a designation that would open up communication channels between the federal government and the states to share classified threat information.
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