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Democratic Committee exposed private email addresses of 6.2 million Americans

The data was exposed for years.

Democrats and email security – they just don’t seem to mesh well.

In 2016, a Democratic National Committee email leak caused a major controversy ahead of the US presidential election that year.

And the world also learned that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was committed to using private email servers for official business while serving in the highly sensitive role as Secretary of State.

Now, that a group campaigning to get Democratic candidates elected to the US Senate, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), managed to leave a spreadsheet that contained the email addresses of 6.2 Americans exposed on a server.

The problem was discovered by the UpGuard security firm – and reportedly taken care of within “a few hours” after the group was contacted and explained the error of their security ways.

UpGuard chose them as the media outlet to publish the details of the case – saying that the problematic spreadsheet file, named “EmailExcludeClinton.csv” was first uploaded to “an unprotected Amazon S3 bucket without a password” in 2010.

It could have been any Clinton – but, due to the timing, it’s believed the file’s name is believed to be referencing none other than Hillary Clinton, who was at the time in office for a year as the head of the US State Department.

The emails that got exposed came from Gmail, Hotmail, AOL, Yahoo, and also “more than 7,700 US government email addresses and 3,400 US military email addresses,” the security company said.

However, a spokesperson for the Democratic group, DSCC, would not acknowledge that the exposed email data originated from Clinton’s campaign – claiming instead that its source was the data collected by the group itself.

The spokesperson, Stewart Boss, also tried to downplay the significance of the revelation by referring to it as “a spreadsheet from nearly a decade ago” that had since been removed to comply with the rules the group has since implemented, according to him.

But the email response sent by Boss was all he wrote – as the website’s attempts to learn more about how the email addresses were collected, where the information came from, what the email addresses were used for, and for how long the data was exposed – all went unanswered.

And UpGuard was optimistic, saying that things could have been much worse that simply exposing a list of email addresses – as “other political data sets contain far more information on individuals.”

And when that’s out in the open – not only political campaigns, but everybody else who gets their hands on the data, can use to “contact and influence” voters.

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