Thursday, August 23, 2007

Official Threatens to Fine E-Vote Firm

The Contra Costa Times article, "Official Threatens to Fine E-Vote Firm," discusses how California Secretary of State Debra Bowen is threatening to fine voting computer manufacturer Election Systems & Software if it is determined that ES&S supplied 5 California counties with voting computers that had not been certified. In addition to the proposed $15 million fine, ES&S would be banned from doing business in the state for 3 years. Current ES&S equipment would be removed.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

E-voting predicament: Not-so-secret ballots

Cnet's article, "E-voting predicament: Not-so-secret ballots," discusses how it is possible to link voting place sign-in logs with paper trails from voting computers and determine with reasonable accuracy how people voted. TRUST's David Wagner is quoted as saying:

"This summer I learned that Diebold's AV-TSX touchscreen voting machine stores a time stamp showing the time which each vote was cast--down to the millisecond--along with the electronic record of that vote," Wagner said in an e-mail message. "In particular, we discovered this as part of the California top-to-bottom review and reported it in our public report on the Diebold voting system. However, I had no idea that this kind of information was available to the public as a public record."

Friday, August 17, 2007

Dark Matters: Yerba Buena Center Exhibit

Dark Matters is an exhibit at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco with a security bent:

A group exhibition of hi-tech installations, photography, video and conceptual projects that uncover the unexpected, the invisible and the hidden. Delving into the obscure and often sinister, the works allow us to experience what we only suspect exists. Projects include the internet-eavesdropping installation Listening Post by Ben Rubin and Mark Hansen; surveillance projects by artist/experimental geographer Trevor Paglen; and multi-channel panoramic videos by Bull.Miletic. Additional works by Sergio Prego, Walid Raad, Kambui Olujimi, Alison Sant, Richard Johnson, Richard Barnes, Alex Schweder, Charles Mason and David Maisel.

Listening Post is particularly compelling, the combination of real time input scraped from chat rooms and synthetic voice audio makes that room difficult to leave. See also "Limit-Telephotographer Spies on Stealth Military Installations."

Thursday, August 09, 2007

How do you build a new internet?

The Guardian's article, "How do you build a new internet?," discusses the US based Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI) and the EU Future and Internet Research (Fire) program.

Voting Computer News Roundup

Computer Voting has been in the news quite a bit recently, below are a few items of note:

August 2, 2007: A Reuters article, "Halt "high risk" e-voting-British watchdog," discusses a report by the UK Electoral Commission that trials in Internet voting should be halted.

July 31, 2007: California Senator Diane Feinstein announced "Chairman Feinstein Announces Plans for Rules Committee Hearing to Examine Security of Electronic Voting Machines." See also this Wired Blog

July 30, 2007: Eweek's article, "Security Header What the U.S. Is Doing Wrong with E-Voting," discusses the Red Team report on Voting Machines. See the California Secretary of State Voting Systems Review page for reports by TRUST members David Wagner, Aaron Burstein, Deirdre Mulligan, Chris Karlof and others. Interestingly, some of the coverage seems to take an unusual angle indicating that the reporter is happy that some voting computers will be permitted or that the report is somehow a "bad thing". For examples, see this Santa Rosa, CA Press Democrat Article, "Mendocino voting machines allowed," this AP article, "County officials fear new voting standards will be hard to meet."

Privacy winning search engine war

The Center for Democracy and Technology's report "Search Privacy Practices: A Work In Progress" discusses privacy practices by search engine companies. See also Press ESC's Blog, Slashdot and the Scientific American article, "A Little Privacy, Please."