Watchdog Group: Obama Website uses No Safeguards against Fraud, Foreign Donations 

Oct. 22, 2012

Earlier this month, a government watchdog group created a stir by indicating that Websites accepting campaign contributions for President Obama were operating in violation of federal law because they accept payments from foreign donors. In addition, the Government Accountability Institute (GAI)—in a report on Newsweek’s online Daily Beast—said the Obama campaign does not use basic antifraud techniques on its Website, which could enable the site to accept “robo-donations” (technology that uses false names to split large illegal donations into hundreds of smaller increments to evade reporting requirements).

The GAI said simply using CVV would be enough to prevent this and that Republican candidate Mitt Romney and nearly every other recent presidential candidate in either party employ the simple antifraud tactic. At the time of the report, the GAI did not allege the campaign had received any foreign donations, nor that it was employing robo-donations—just that those things were possible given the security measures employed by the Websites. A separate report in the New York Post yesterday, however, identified at least one non-U.S. citizen to have successfully made an online donation to the President’s campaign.

Chris Walker, a British citizen, told the Post he was able to make a credit card payment to Obama’s campaign by using his street address in England, entering Arkansas as his state and 12345 as his ZIP code (an actual ZIP code in Schenectady, N.Y.). When he tried the same thing at Romney’s site, Walker said his card was rejected because it did not match the address he gave.