September 2015

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VW demonstrates the Myths of Conspiracy Theories

Myth:  Conspiracies don’t exist

Truth: Conspiracies exist.  People, corporations, and governments are frequently discovered to have committed conspiracies, often charged, and even convicted of Conspiracy to Commit [some crime]. The recent Libor financial scandal comes to mind, the Tobacco companies covering up studies linking tobacco to cancer, the recent disclosure that Exxon hid studies predicting global warming for decades, the NSA cover ups exposed by Snowden, and the FBI conspiring with Whitey Bolger, to name a few.

Myth:  If Conspiracy X were true, too many people would know and it would have come out by now.

Truth: There are may conspiracies that remain unknown or not well-known for years or decades.  Some may never be known.  Many actually take only a few individuals who are highly motivated by fear of consequences, real intimidation, or perceived intimidation.  Many suspected conspiracies are not investigated, even some where participants come forward publicly or surface their concerns through channels.

“Who Could Have Imagined” System rigged to make tests look good.

Over the years, we an others have pointed out that voting systems cannot be tested to assure performance before an election.  Not the system itself before it is setup/programmed for a particular election.  Not a setup and programmed system either.  Not even if a system is completely secured and is somehow proven to run approved/certified software.

Here is some proof, not from a voting system – from a crime by an automaker.  In this case it only puts the environment and lives in danger, rather than Democracy.

TSA provides “Security Theater” , not “Peace of Mind”

The Intercept covers the lack of security and abundance of BS from the TSA: TSA Doesn’t Care That Its Luggage Locks Have Been Hacked 

In a spectacular failure of a “back door” designed to give law enforcement exclusive access to private places, hackers have made the “master keys” for Transportation Security Administration-recognized luggage locks available to anyone with a 3D printer…

Now that they’ve been hacked, however, TSA says it doesn’t really care one way or another.

What reminders and lessons can we learn from this?

Sierra Club pitches nonscience nonsense for obscure company

It seems that for the Sierra Club, reason and science end at the edge of the environment.  They are now touting a product for Internet voting from a company that simultaneously claims that they have a product that is “a revolutionary mobile voting platform designed to securely cast votes in elections across the globe.” while running a Contest  awarding $230,000 to actually accomplish that “In this Challenge, we are asking Solvers for help in overcoming the significant obstacles that stand in the way of bringing safe, secure, and easy voting to people worldwide.”

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!