Top voting vendor, ES&S, admits lying to public and election officials for years

Article from Mother Board by Kim Zetter: Top Voting Machine Vendor Admits It Installed Remote-Access Software on Systems Sold to States <read>

Wyden told Motherboard that installing remote-access software and modems on election equipment “is the worst decision for security short of leaving ballot boxes on a Moscow street corner.”

I would add that lying about ballot boxes being left on a Moscow street corner is equivalent to flat out lying about the software installed on your products. We should expect more from companies whose hands and integrity upon which our elections depend.

VoteAllegheny Analysis of Election Risks in One County

VoteAllegheny presents a report by Carnegie-Mellon researchers on the vulnerabilities in a single county in a swing state. The biggest takeaway for us is understanding that a top-down analysis of vulnerabilities can yield the most cost-effective areas to focus on preventing election fraud. Where we spend our resources can make a difference in the results!

Suggestions for reading and viewing on the 4th of July


Once again, we have a suggestions for the 4th of July. A Centennial address from 1876.

Book Review: Reporter: A Memoir by Seymour Hersch

If you think it’s unfair to Hersh to reveal all his secrets in a review, don’t worry — this is not even 1/100 of what his book contains…

“Reporter” provides detailed explications of how Hersh has used these lessons [about investigated journalism], making it one of the most compelling and significant books ever written about American journalism. Almost every page will tell you something you’ve never heard before about life on earth. Sometimes it’s Hersh elaborating on what he’s already published; sometimes it’s new stories he felt he couldn’t write about when he first learned of them; and sometimes it’s the world’s most intriguing, peculiar gossip.

There is an excellent interview with Sy Hersh just released as an Intercepted podcast

Starting at about 10min in to the interview, Sy provides his take on the evidence that Russians accessed the DNC emails in the run-up to the Nov 2016 election…

The “Real” Lawyers Only Need Apply Rule

As this CTNewsJunkie post implies, it will always be called The Bysiewicz Test <read>

Ambiguously defined in law and only slightly less ambiguously by the Connecticut Supreme Court. All we know for sure is that you have to be a lawyer in CT for at least ten years and have different experience than Susan Bysiewicz had in 2010.  As I commented in on the article:

I always find it interesting that the AG and Judge of Probate are the only offices that have qualifications, as far as I know. They are both related to law. I wonder if the composition of the General Assembly makes the legislature realize how important qualifications are, in just these cases?

There remains no necessary training whatsoever to be Secretary of the State, while some of her employees, but not all, need to be lawyers to give advice to the public, would be candidates, and election officials. That could be going better, but of course, certification by itself does not preclude errors and incompetence, or as Jon Lender puts it Bungling

One blow behind closed doors, two blows to open government

Statement from the Connecticut Freedom of Information Council: Restore public access to public hearings

To the surprise of many, the vast majority of transcripts from public hearings held during the recently adjourned 2018 legislative session are not available. Officials from the Office of Legislative Management and the House and Senate say that transcription services have fallen victim to budget cuts, with the elimination of the service expected to save about $100,000 annually. The decision apparently was made without public input and has been condemned by open-government advocates.

This directly effects me, CT Voters Count, and the Citizen Audit. It effects anyone involved in the legislative process or litigation related to Connecticut law. This effects you indirectly, and significantly.

Election Vulnerability: What we can learn from Ed Snowden and the NSA.

Now I have your attention, we can discuss the NSA and Ed Snowden in a bit. Let’s start with an Editorial:

Protecting Against Russian Cyber Risks is Insufficient. The attention on Cybersecurity, election hacking and Russian interference is good. There are cyber risks and Russia is capable. We should improve our cybersecurity across the board, including elections. Every vote should be backed up by a, so called, voter verified paper ballot. Yet that is far from sufficient.

Life on the Internet “Frontier”

Today we all live on the Internet Frontier. Many of us in Connecticut had a reminder yesterday from our major communication provider Frontier Communications Corp.  As reported in the Hartford Courant: Customers Blast Frontier After Internet Outage

Customers of Frontier Communications Corp. in Connecticut complained Tuesday about lost internet service that the telecommunications company said was due to a software update…

What might we learn?

  • We are very dependent on a very risky infrastructure.
  • This is costly.

Testimony to the Connecticut Cybersecurity Task Force – UPDATED

I testified in my capacity as Executive Director of the Connecticut Citizen Election Audit. I was the only member of the public providing testimony.

Why are post-election audits and paper ballots a critical component of protecting our elections?  “[D}data protection involves prevention, detection, and recovery”.  Cybersecurity and other measures protecting voting equipment and voting systems are primarily prevention measures and to a lesser degree detection measures. No matter how much effort we put into cybersecurity, software testing, and hardware maintenance there will always be a significant level of vulnerability.

Paper ballots, sufficient post-election audits, and recounts provide a primary means of detecting cyber, software, human, and hardware failures. They also provide a means of recovery. They provide for, so called, software independent verification of election results, resulting in justified public confidence.

It’s Impossible to Know (how) Your Internet Vote Counted

As West Virginia plans, once again, to allow Internet voting for military voters, it is a good time to remind everyone that Internet voting (web page, web application, email, fax voting etc.) are all unsafe for democracy. And that block-chains cannot solve those problems.

One of those problems is that there is no guarantee that your laptop or smart phone has not been hacked in a way that  alters your vote. Another challenge is the, so called, Secret Ballot.

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