Cyber risks of Internet voting and electronic voting

Two articles this week on cyber risks, one refuting Colorado’s Secretary of State on online voting. Another articulating the risks of hacking electronic voting in general.

Stay tuned and stay involved!

Larry Wilkerson on Computerized Elections

Are Larry Wilkerson’s concerns justified? Without sufficient audits and recounts, we can never be certain. As he tells us, history tends toward cheating whenever it is possible.

Our position is that paper ballots and optical scanning followed by sufficient security, audits, and recounts is the optimum system available. Yet, in Connecticut we need stronger security, audits, and recounts to achieve justified integrity and confidence in our elections.

The Selfie Threat To Democracy

What could be more patriotic in our narcissistic social-media age than posting a picture of yourself on Facebook with your marked ballot for president? Show off your support for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) or former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.  Last week, a federal court in New Hampshire struck down that state’s ban on ballot selfies as a violation of the First Amendment right of free-speech expression.

That might seem like a victory for the American Way. But the judge made a huge mistake because without the ballot-selfie ban, we could see the reemergence of the buying and selling of votes — and even potential coercion from employers, union bosses and others…

NonScience Nonsense, another claim of electronic voting security

In late June a respected source published a non-peer-reviewed article: The case for election technology Which despite its title is actually a marketing piece disguised as science, not for election technology but for electronic voting, including Internet voting. The case actually made is for skepticism and peer-review.

That skepticism is well addressed in posts by Jeremy Epstein and E. John Sebes: How not to measure security and A Hacked Case For Election Technology

Online Voter Registration: Vulnerable too!

An independent report by the state auditor general found Florida’s voter registration database flawed.

Susanna Randolph, one of the candidates running for Alan Grayson’s 9th district congressional seat, sent a letter today asking Attorney General Loretta Lynch to launch a Department of Justice probe into the state’s voter system.

Unfortunately, we took a shot that was pretty close last month!

Last month, after a report of drone hacking, I speculated wildly, according to some:

My concern is that if cars can be hacked, why not police vehicles, especially, those armored military vehicles now in the hands of our local police?

Its even worse than we thought. A couple demonstrate graphically the hacking and controlling of a sniper rifle.

Top Six Ways Hackers Could (have) Disrupt(ed) an Election

The election system is particularly vulnerable because it involves a combination of state, local, and federal government agencies with their own systems, software, hardware, and security protocols. Often, government departments are running old “legacy” computer systems that are extremely vulnerable to malware and hacking; and even if they have new systems, these are often put into place without a comprehensive security audit and performance review.

Who exactly is in charge of securing these overlapping networks isn’t always clear in government either.

Wisconsin’s One-Up Connecticut moment?

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker wants to replace their election watch dog agency, apparently because it investigated his campaign.

Yet Wisconsin’s Governor may not be that far ahead of Connecticut’s.  Like Wisconsin our watch dog agencies were joined and weakened several years ago by Governor Malloy to “cut costs”.  How is that going for us?  It seems that the Governor is not out to do away with them, yet there has been some questionable attacks, just as the watchdog is working on investigating the Governor’s last campaign,

Statistician battles government to determine whether vote count is flawed

“Paper receipts are the obvious answer,Florida gave recounts a bad name. But there is something much worse than a recount: the utter inability to recount votes, and reconstruct voters’ true intent, in light of a serious computer error.”

Actually slightly worse and even more suspicious might be having paper ballots and being barred from using them to verify elections.

Consensus Reached on Recommendations Toward the Future of Internet Voting

USVoteFoundationThe U.S. Vote Foundation has released a report on the feasibility and requirements for Internet voting. This is the result of about eighteen months of work by computer scientists, security experts, and election officials.  The goal was to answer definitively once and for all if Internet voting was feasible today or in the future.

The short version is the Internet voting is not ready for prime time, not ready for democracy. Yet, it is possible in the future that a system may be developed which could provide safe Internet voting.  The paper lays out the requirements and testing criteria for such a system.

(Internet voting includes online voting, email voting, and fax voting).

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