An online platform set up to recruit 12 000 volunteers to monitor ballot counting on Bulgaria’s April 4 parliamentary election day came under malicious attack this week, the Yes Bulgaria party, founder of the platform, said on January 15.
The “You Count” campaign was launched on December 22 to recruit volunteers for each polling station in Bulgaria to monitor counting of ballots and compiling of tally sheets.
Yes Bulgaria said that this week, the data of hundreds of citizens was input on the platform without their knowledge and consent.
“We have good reason to believe that this attack is the result of carefully planned and coordinated actions for the implementation of which significant resources have been invested, while illegal personal data of Bulgarian citizens have been used illegally.”
The party said that the goal probably was to overload the work of its team and upset people whose data had been used without their agreement.
“We suspect also a scenario to discredit the ‘You Count’ national campaign and generate a controversy in the media at the same time,” Yes Bulgaria said.
It said that it had taken timely measures, including changing the online form to more effectively block malware participants and discover their IP addresses.
It also had filed a complaint to the Commission for Personal Data Protection that the data filled in on the form may have leaked from another source.
“We call on our political opponents not to resort to such methods in the election battle,” Yes Bulgaria said.
“Election observation is a legally guaranteed process and an attempt to sabotage it is an attempt to sabotage the democracy of elections,” the party said.