WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 (UPI) — The Democratic National Committee suspended Bernie Sanders’ campaign’s access to its voter database after at least one staffer accessed Hillary Clinton’s confidential campaign data.
The DNC said the campaign took advantage of a software glitch that allowed access to the proprietary data including information about voters nationwide and is used by campaigns to set strategy.
The DNC told the Sanders campaign it would not be allowed access to the data again until provides information about the breach and assurances that all of Clinton’s data has been destroyed.
Sanders’ campaign said a low-level staffer viewed the information and has since been fired. However three people close to the Sanders campaign said there were four user accounts that ran searches on Clinton’s database. The Vermont senator’s campaign manager blamed the software vendor hired by the DNC for the glitch that allowed access.
“On more than one occasion, the vendor has dropped the firewall between the data of different Democratic campaigns,” Sanders’ campaign spokesman Michael Briggs said. “Our campaign months ago alerted the DNC to the fact that campaign data was being made available to other campaigns. At that time our campaign did not run to the media, relying instead on assurances from the vendor.”
The DNC maintains a master list of voters and rents it to campaigns, which then add their own information gathered by field workers and volunteers. Firewalls between the campaigns are supposed to prevent breaches, but the technology company that runs the software, NGP VAN, dropped the firewall briefly Wednesday for repairs.
“This was an isolated incident, and we’re conducting a full audit to ensure the integrity of the system and reporting the findings to the DNC,” Stu Trevelyan, NGP VAN’s chief executive, said.