The Roots of the United States’ Cyber (In)Security*

Research paper by Fuller C.

Indexed on: 23 Dec '18Published on: 11 Jun '18Published in: Diplomatic History


In June 1983, a Harvard study on the impact of computers upon American political campaigns concluded that the technology’s penetration into the world of elections had brought significant advantages for candidates. Alongside their use for managing information bases, assisting in accounting and budgeting, and lightening the load of basic office management, the report identified “intra-campaign communication” and “nearly instantaneous … transfer of information among the widely dispersed staff” as a particular advantage.11 For the first time, press releases, speech drafts, and schedules could be composed, revised, accessed, and printed via remote terminals. While the report identified that the Republican National Committee (RNC) held a significant advantage over their Democratic National Committee (DNC) opponents in the adoption and application of this new approach, it noted the Democrats, intense efforts to catch up and duplicate the Republicans, revealing the birth of computer-driven campaign management.