Part of the media's narrative for the Iowa caucus is that pro-Trump pranksters/trolls from 4chan prank called the Iowa caucus locked up the phone lines preventing the redundant system from assisting when the app failed.

  • If a number is released online expressly for the purpose of phoning in election results,
  • And, if you knew that and intentionally tried to lock up the line

Did you commit a criminal act, and can you be changed?

  • 1
    Commenting because I'm not a lawyer and can't speak with authority on the laws in question. However what you are describing is potentially a Telephony Denial of Service (TDOS) attack, and is a known cyber security threat. DHS and the FBI have published bulletins regarding their use against public safety organizations or in coordination with other cyber crime. It seems likely that there may be ramifications outside of just election specific laws. VOIP telephony may make this a Computer Fraud and Abuse Act issue. I know that there is established CFAA case law for Denial of Service.
    – Tal
    Commented Feb 12, 2020 at 17:15

1 Answer 1


There seems to be no current applicable prohibition state law in Iowa in Iowa Code 39A, the Election Misconduct and Penalties Act. It is also not at all clear that precinct caucuses count as "elections" as applicable to the sections with criminal prohibitions (the precinct caucus does not appear to constitute a "primary election" under Iowa law).

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .