So much for the Defense Department's super secret $4.5 million survey of the troops to ask them how they feel about repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." I, an avowed gay activist, just took the online chat part of the survey - three times in fact. Perhaps DOD should reconsider just how good and informative, and accurate, this survey is. (They also might want to get their money back.)
In a nutshell, I was able to get three different PIN numbers to gain access to the online chat part of the survey three times, as three different people. Two of those times I was on the same computer, meaning there are no adequate safeguards to stop people from taking the survey multiple times - hell, I was logged in to the two surveys at the same time. And one of the three times, I was able to have a kid, who isn't military, participate in the survey, answering questions from a real human being (apparently) in a chat room of sorts. My intent - to find out whether or not the survey is secure, whether or not it can be hacked (well, this isn't even hacking). It's not, and it can.
Aravosis was contacted by a spokeswoman for Westat, the company hired to conduct the survey. She said that the chat room was not part of the official survey and that the survey itself was not a referendum. Aravosis countered that if he was able to access the survey and chat room, so could anti-repeal activists who may take the survey multiple times, contaminating the results. This weakness in the system, Aravosis contends, renders the entire survey and its results null and void.
As for the statement that the survey is not a referendum on DADT repeal, Aravosis told the spokeswoman, "Well, you decided to survey the troops, so don't try to convince us that their opinion now won't matter. This is a tool that DOD will be using to gauge how to proceed with repeal, it's results may very well influence Congress' legislation on repeal. If the tool is corrupted, if the responses can't be trusted, then it may influence DOD in a way that doesn't benefit any of us."
Read the full story at AmericablogGay.