Friday, July 25, 2003

Electronic Voting
is none too secure. And the worst part is that researchers ( who discovered that the code is vulnerable to a number of hacks (See "Jargon" below) ) looked at code as much as a year old. So all of the elections that used electronic voting last fall are questionable. Overall that means about 32,000 machines, 11,000 in my very own state of Maryland.

"Three computer researchers from the Information Security Institute at Johns Hopkins University, with help from a computer scientist at Rice University, say they've uncovered vulnerabilities in the software purportedly used by Diebold Election Systems. As a result, one person can cast multiple votes, elections can be delayed, the anonymity of voters can be breached, and cast votes can be modified or even deleted, the researchers say." David Dill, a computer science professor at Stanford says ""There are election officials that just don't want to hear about the potential security problems. They won't listen."

This is waaay more than very troubling. It gets to the heart of the electoral system.

[Btw I am a computer weenie in another life. If some of this stuff is more technical than you want, yell at me and I'll try to clean up my act. ]

JARGON: Hack - An appropriate application of ingenuity. .Whether the result is a quick-and-dirty patchwork job or a carefully crafted work of art, you have to admire the cleverness that went into it.
(Thanks as always to Eric S. Raymond.)

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