Paul Bedard of Washington Secrets reported that a blockbuster report, after an extensive "nine-month investigation into presidential and congressional fundraising" uncovered thousands of cases of credit card solicitations and donations to Obama and Capitol Hill, allegedly from unsecured accounts, and many from overseas. That might be a violation of federal election laws.
Bedard also reported that the Obama campaign had attempted to block the report from being released.
This morning, as promised, it was released and it is titled "America The Vulnerable". The watch dog group is the Government Accountability Institute and they have created a website specifically geared to the released of the report, Campaignfundingrisks.com.
The full 109 page report can be read or downloaded here.
The report finds that many congressional sites are vulnerable to foreign entities influencing American elections by not utilizing proper security protocols.
The report also delves into the vulnerabilities of the Romney campaign as well as the Obama campaign.
Romney's campaign has more security protocols, via the CVV number requirement, which is the three-digit securing code on the back of credit cards, but is not 100% secure.
Obama's campaign requires the CVV to purchase merchandise but not to donate money to his campaign coffers.
The Key Findings page of the Campaign Funding Risks site, specifies at least three major security vulnerabilities with the Obama campaign's online donation system:
Given the state-of-the art digital sophistication of the President’s re-election campaign—including social media, micro-targeting and data-mining—its online donation system contains at least three major security vulnerabilities:
1. The absence of the industry-standard CVV and unknown use of AVS anti-fraud security for online credit card donations.
2. The presence of a branded, major third party-owned website (Obama.com) redirects its 68% foreign traffic to a campaign donation page.
3. Active foreign solicitation using indiscriminate email solicitations and exposure to social media.
Obama Campaign Lacks the Industry-Standard Level Of Credit Card Security For Donations, But Uses It For Merchandise Purchases: To purchase Obama campaign merchandise, the campaign requires buyers to enter their credit card CVV security code, but does not require the credit card security code to be entered when making an online campaign donation. By GAI’s estimates, the Obama campaign’s failure to utilize industry-standard protections potentially costs the campaign millions in extra processing fees.
Obama.com Purchased By An Obama Bundler In Shanghai, China With Questionable Business Ties to State-Run Chinese Enterprises: In 2008, Obama.com was purchased by an Obama fundraiser living in Shanghai, China, whose business is heavily dependent on relationships with Chinese state-run television and other state-owned entities.
68% Of Traffic To Anonymously Registered Obama.com Is Foreign: According to industry leading web analytics site Markosweb, an anonymously registered redirect site (Obama.com) features 68 % foreign traffic. Starting in December 2011, the site was linked to a specific donation page on the official BarackObama.com campaign website for ten months. The page loaded a tracking number, 634930, into a space on the website labeled “who encouraged you to make this donation.” That tracking number is embedded in the source code for Obama.com and is associated with the Obama Victory Fund. In early September 2012, the page began redirecting to the standard Obama Victory Fund donation page.
Search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, using common spamming techniques, may have been undertaken by unknown third-parties, generating foreign traffic to Obama.com.
Peter Schweizer from the GAI, gave Power Line a statement:
When it comes to money in this campaign all the focus has been on SuperPACs. But far more troubling in my mind is the reality of how easily foreign governments or individuals can inject funds in the US presidential campaign. The FEC does not require basic security for Internet donations. And in the case of the Obama campaign the gate appears to be wide open. You need to use the CVV security code on your credit card to buy an Obama hoodie, but not to make a donation. And there is very real evidence that the campaign is not using the address verification system (AVS) in any real way. There are simply too many contributions they accept with either no zip code or an incorrect zip code. To make matters worse, donations under $200 don’t even need to be disclosed. Twenty years ago that might not matter but in the era of robo-donations its a huge problem.
Katie Pavlich over at Townhall has an amazingly detailed comprehensive pieces written up after going through the report. A must-read.
Others headline already are Matthew Boyle with "Claim: Obama campaign illegally solicited foreign donors via social media website," and Wynton Hall with "BOMBSHELL: OBAMA.COM OWNED BY BUNDLER IN SHANGHAI WITH BUSINESS TIES TO CHINESE GOVERNMENT
Searching Google News this morning, nothing yet from ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, Fox News or any of the major outlets online as of this time.
Let the spin begin..................
[Update] Report embedded below:
America the Vulnerable
(Changes have been made to this post)