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Old 24th July 2018, 01:04 PM   #41
Segnosaur
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
Per my post above, my immediate though was that it could be used to protect the data, while still providing anonymity for the source. The anonymity seems like an important requirement in a voting system, but it’s also going to be a source of problems when the system/process around the blcokchain is inevitably compromised.
Not only that, you can't have TOTAL anonymity, since you still need to record who has already voted to prevent multiple votes (as well as determining who is actually registered). So somewhere along the line you need some sort of records: "Voter X done. Voter Y, not voted yet".
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Old 24th July 2018, 01:13 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
No it is not! That is just your ignorance talking.

Bitcoin exchanges are a weak point in the currency exchange system but the blockchain itself is the most secure, immutable thing invented in cyberspace. Start learning about these things.
...do you see the problem for using blockchain for voting?
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Old 24th July 2018, 01:22 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
Not only that, you can't have TOTAL anonymity, since you still need to record who has already voted to prevent multiple votes (as well as determining who is actually registered). So somewhere along the line you need some sort of records: "Voter X done. Voter Y, not voted yet".
This has already been solved and is in practical use. Did you look at Monero (mentioned above) or did you just say, "I haven't heard of a solution so no solution exists"?

Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
...do you see the problem for using blockchain for voting?
No. Nobody has mentioned any problems with using blockchain.

Some pseudo-experts have said that "bitcoin EXCHANGES have been hacked" but that is about as relevant as saying that "flies spread disease".
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Old 24th July 2018, 01:25 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
Not only that, you can't have TOTAL anonymity, since you still need to record who has already voted to prevent multiple votes (as well as determining who is actually registered). So somewhere along the line you need some sort of records: "Voter X done. Voter Y, not voted yet".
I don’t think so. Again using bitcoin as an example, their blockchain doesn’t allow duplicate bitcoins but doesn’t know about all possible bitcoins in advance. In a voting system you’d know it was a valid ballot and who the vote was cast for. What you couldn’t do is figure out who actually cast it or if it were stolen, forged etc.
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Old 24th July 2018, 01:35 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
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Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) uses blockchain. Bitcoin EXCHANGES often gets hacked (with the loss of millions of dollars).
ftfy. Get the difference yet? There are no voting exchanges.
Actually there will be exchanges of a sort.

Some record of who is registered to vote, and who has already voted needs to be maintained. That will be the equivalent of an 'exchange'. There will also need to be some sort of data gathering process.
Quote:
Assuming that some malware exists that is able to change the keystrokes a user pushes when constructing a transaction or vote, the fact remains that without the user's private key, a node can not alter the contents of the message (vote) that it received.
Which is of course irrelevant if any malware infects the voting software itself, intercepts the message before it is sent, and either 1) doesn't send it at all (giving a false response) or 2) modifies the message to change the vote in the computer's memory before a key is applied.

Quote:
The point of the blockchain is that it is not some super secret voting file stored on government computers. It is available to everyone. Anybody can go through the blockchain and verify that the election results are as announced. That is its protection. You don't have to trust anybody. You can see for yourself.
Which of course may be true, but is totally irrelevant, if either the User's computer is compromised by malware, or the system for distributing voter ids is compromised, etc. Doesn't really help much to have access to the source code if some little old lady who's been using her computer only to view pictures of cats gets infected by a virus that prevents her vote from being registered properly. Doesn't help much if someone gets access to a list of registered voters and/or their IDs and uses it to "stuff" the electronic ballot box. The ability to verify the counts are reported correctly is of no value if the counts include thousands of fraudulent votes (or is missing valid votes).

Oh, and by the way... while Blockchain may be secure, that does not mean that it is 100% completely invulnerable.

Maybe I'm missing something here.... please, give us a rundown of how you think this mythical voting system might work. How will you identify what voters have voted? What software will people use to vote? How do you ensure security in the data collection process? It sounds like you're just taking the word 'blockchain' and assuming its some magic talisman that can cure all security problems.

(I actually tried bitcoin before... setting up various software that was needed, buying a small amount of bitcoin, etc. just to see what it was like. It would likely be outside the ability of a large segment of the population to use bitcoin. Yes, I know... bitcoin is not blockchain, but bitcoin does use blockchain, and if the same technology is used in a voting, the setup procedure would have to be made wayyyy simpler.)
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Old 24th July 2018, 01:37 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
"bitcoin EXCHANGES have been hacked"
Which demonstrates that blockchain did not keep the bitcoins secure. What the blockchain did keep secure is the identity of the thief.

It’s a practical example of why you can’t just say “we can use blockchain to make it secure!!!”
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Old 24th July 2018, 01:42 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
Actually there will be exchanges of a sort.

Some record of who is registered to vote, and who has already voted needs to be maintained. That will be the equivalent of an 'exchange'. There will also need to be some sort of data gathering process.

Which is of course irrelevant if any malware infects the voting software itself, intercepts the message before it is sent, and either 1) doesn't send it at all (giving a false response) or 2) modifies the message to change the vote in the computer's memory before a key is applied.

Also, thecentral systems are by definition not secure for the government itself and unlike paper ballots the it’s almost impossible for third parties to audit.
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Old 24th July 2018, 01:44 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
Which demonstrates that blockchain did not keep the bitcoins secure.
Woosh. Right over your head.
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Old 24th July 2018, 01:53 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Woosh. Right over your head.
Perhaps you should describe your proposed voting system in more detail so we can examine it for vulnerabilities.
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Old 24th July 2018, 02:03 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
No. Nobody has mentioned any problems with using blockchain.
The hint is in your previous post. If the exchanges are the weak point in bitcoin, guess where the weak point is in using blockchain for voting.
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Old 24th July 2018, 02:06 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
It sounds like you're just taking the word 'blockchain' and assuming its some magic talisman that can cure all security problems.
No, I have researched blockchain technology and found out how it can overcome the current concerns about security and hacking. All of the real and imagined problems with electronic voting listed here have nothing to do with blockchain itself.

I imagine that the voting process would work more in the internet banking style where one logs into a secure local server and casts their vote via that server. There may even be voting centres where one may go if they would rather not use a computer at all.

The real problem is not coming up with a suitable mechanism for voting but overcoming the objections of people who confidently say "blockchain is not secure" as if they know what they are talking about.
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Old 24th July 2018, 02:08 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
The hint is in your previous post. If the exchanges are the weak point in bitcoin, guess where the weak point is in using blockchain for voting.
Voting exchanges?????
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Old 24th July 2018, 02:09 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Voting exchanges?????
Voting machines. That's the point.
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Old 24th July 2018, 02:32 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Voting machines. That's the point.
I would like to say that voting centres aren't run by cowboys who would allow substandard voting machines to be used and that the machines would be tamper proof. Unfortunately, the "hanging chad" fiasco shows this is not always necessarily so.

BTW I thought voting machines were already universal in the US.
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Old 24th July 2018, 02:45 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
I would like to say that voting centres aren't run by cowboys who would allow substandard voting machines to be used and that the machines would be tamper proof.
Can you tell a substandard or tampered voting machine just by looking at it? More importantly, could your average poll worker?

Poll workers can identify when other poll workers are filling out ballots and stuffing the voting box. They cannot audit code to verify that it hasn't been modified to stuff the virtual voting box and/or blockchain.


Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
BTW I thought voting machines were already universal in the US.
I don't know about universal, but there has been one at at my polling place for several years now. I used it once or twice and then stopped.
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Old 24th July 2018, 03:06 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Quote:
It sounds like you're just taking the word 'blockchain' and assuming its some magic talisman that can cure all security problems.
No, I have researched blockchain technology and found out how it can overcome the current concerns about security and hacking.
Except of course for the concerns about malware on the client computer. And concerns about the integrity of voter identification methods.

So yeah, with the amount of handwaving you do, it still sounds like you are invoking "blockchain" as a magic talisman.
Quote:
All of the real and imagined problems with electronic voting listed here have nothing to do with blockchain itself.
Which again is irrelevant. Problems have been posted that have nothing to do with blockchain, and that blockchain would not fix. You haven't addressed them.
Quote:
I imagine that the voting process would work more in the internet banking style where one logs into a secure local server and casts their vote via that server.
You "imagine"? Could you get any more vague than that? Perhaps before you start running around suggesting "blockchain can solve all our problems" you should put a little more thought into implementation.

I access my bank through a web site. If your suggesting that the government would run a similar web site (and use block chain to store the results behind the scenes) then you are leaving yet another security vulnerability... the web server itself which can be compromised.
Quote:
There may even be voting centres where one may go if they would rather not use a computer at all.
So, how would you prevent someone from voting on line, then running down to their local polling station to cast a second (paper) ballot?
Quote:
The real problem is not coming up with a suitable mechanism for voting but overcoming the objections of people who confidently say "blockchain is not secure" as if they know what they are talking about.
No, the mechanism of enacting a voting system is actually a real problem, and can't be hand-waved away, regardless of how much you try. Even if blockchain is 100% secure, it does not mean that a system would be secure if there are vulnerabilities apart from blockchain.

So please, for the love of thor, quit talking about how secure blockchain is and tell us how you would build a voting system around it. I will even give you the benefit of the doubt and say that "blockchain is 100% secure", but you have to build a system that actually uses it. No handwaving away.
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Old 24th July 2018, 03:08 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Can you tell a substandard or tampered voting machine just by looking at it? More importantly, could your average poll worker?
A machine that had the proper official firmware installed, had the proper seals on it and was regularly tested would be hard to tamper with. Your video showing somebody inserting a thumb drive into a voting machine is fanciful.

But finding people who know what they are doing to set it up properly may not always be a priority in US politics.
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Old 24th July 2018, 03:34 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
A machine that had the proper official firmware installed, had the proper seals on it and was regularly tested would be hard to tamper with. Your video showing somebody inserting a thumb drive into a voting machine is fanciful.
As requested by WilliamSeger and Segnosaur, could you please describe how you would setup such an electronic voting system so as to make it secure.

You do know that right now in the US the present crop of voting machines are in fact programmed using a USB thumb drive don't you.

If a machine has the proper official firmware installed, how is that tested? Why do we trust the people testing it? Or the people making it? It's not just malicious attackers we need to defend against, put a comma in the wrong place and the code could be borked enough to put votes for the GOP in the Green party column.

Who put the seals on the machine after the test? - why do we trust them?

I agree with you that using blockchain technology to secure the results makes a lot of sense, but again, it's only secure *after* it's entered into the blockchain.
Before then there are any number of ways to tamper with machines/servers to make sure that they record the votes that you want them to record, rather than what the voters meant to record, if you wanted to influence an election.

And again the stakes are high.
If you were, say, Vladimir Putin, and you absolutely, positively did not want Clinton elected, and the US used electronic voting machines that were attackable from within Russia, wouldn't you direct your agents to try everything they could to do that?
If you were an oil company exec, and one party promised to sign a deal allowing a massive oil pipelines construction, while the other party refused to do so. Or if one party wanted to do away with environmental protections?
Or say you ran a big construction company that specialised in building walls?
Maybe a defense company with one party planning to massively increase military spending, in exactly your companies area of expertise, while the other party planned to reduce defense expenditure.
It's not hard to find people that want to try hacking computer systems that are supposedly impenetrable. People try stuff like that just for the lolz.


Paper ballots have been used for decades, and just about every means to attack them has been tried already, and defended against.

Have I mentioned the stakes are high?

If it's not broken why fix it?

What is broken is the two party trending FPTP voting system we use that does not represent the people well and disenfranchises lots of people from actually voting.

By all means come up with a system that is as secure as paper ballots, and let us try to pick holes in it. Blockchain only solves half the security problem, how do you propose to secure the other half?

A truly secure online platform to cast votes would revolutionise voting and make the guy who comes up with it a multi-millionaire.

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Old 24th July 2018, 04:20 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by Ambrosia View Post
You do know that right now in the US the present crop of voting machines are in fact programmed using a USB thumb drive don't you.
I didn't know that actually but it would not surprise me if it turns out that the voting machines are eminently tamperable. Maybe the Russians have already tampered with the machines.

On my own I can suggest a couple of methods to improve the security of voting machines but I am not a security expert and I wouldn't be able to make them foolproof.

Originally Posted by Ambrosia View Post
What is broken is the two party trending FPTP voting system we use that does not represent the people well and disenfranchises lots of people from actually voting.
Yes, that was what this thread was originally about and this discussion about electronic voting would fall under the category of "thread drift".

Originally Posted by Ambrosia View Post
By all means come up with a system that is as secure as paper ballots, and let us try to pick holes in it. Blockchain only solves half the security problem, how do you propose to secure the other half?

A truly secure online platform to cast votes would revolutionise voting and make the guy who comes up with it a multi-millionaire.
We may be close to that already. I don't have enough knowledge of the originating end of the voting process to make extravagant claims about it (but that doesn't stop others making extravagant claims against it). I know that you can create voting messages that are unalterable but I don't know how that process can be affected by a malware infested computer. Time will tell.
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Old 24th July 2018, 04:57 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
The past ten years have soured me on the Two Party system. Time to move to a multi party system in the US.
We have quite a few parties. The problem is nobody except for the Democrats or the Republicans can draw a significant amount of votes. So people suggest IRV or some other scheme. The idea seems to be that lots of folks would vote for Green Party candidates but they're just too doggone concerned that would result in the Republican winning. I think the actual number of those people is pretty miniscule, but suppose Jill Stein gets 10% in the first round. What does that actually mean? She's still not going to become president, her party still isn't going to win any seats.

So people will suggest proportional representation: That if the Greens get 10% of the votes they should get 10% of the seats. But proportional representation inevitably means that some districts will be represented by candidates that were largely rejected by that district in the actual election. Effectively it means indirect elections--certainly less democratic.

I do note too that some of the recent voting "improvements" have a decidedly mixed record. California's jungle primary has brought together two unlikely allies in opposing it:

Quote:
There isn’t much that unites Nancy Pelosi and Kevin McCarthy these days, but the two most powerful Californians in American politics agree wholeheartedly on this: They both despise their state’s “top two” primary, a system adopted by voters in 2010 that dispenses with party labels and has wreaked havoc for Democrats and Republicans alike.

“This is not a reform. It is terrible,” Pelosi, the House minority leader and former Democratic speaker, told reporters last month. She complained that the system costs too much money and shuts out smaller parties in the name of opening up the primary process to a broader population of voters.

“I hate the top-two,” McCarthy, the House majority leader and a potential successor to GOP Speaker Paul Ryan, told The New York Times last week.
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Old 26th July 2018, 11:18 AM   #61
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It seems like there is a lot of dishonesty and downplaying of the threat to our election system and whether there may have already been manipulation in past elections.

Normally I would quote parts of the articles but can't at the moment.

What are peoples thoughts regarding the articles below? How much confidence can we have in the accuracy of our voter rolls or election results?

Is the lying and downplaying because they worry being upfront would diminish confidence?

https://www.theroot.com/evidence-sho...cti-1827871206

https://www.extremetech.com/internet...-state-systems
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Old 26th July 2018, 01:50 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Quote:
By all means come up with a system that is as secure as paper ballots, and let us try to pick holes in it. Blockchain only solves half the security problem, how do you propose to secure the other half?
We may be close to that already.
We "may" be close to that? You keep shouting "blockchain" as some sort of magic talisman that will magically allow electronic voting to be secure, but give no thought of how it could actually be implemented and used.

Quote:
I don't have enough knowledge of the originating end of the voting process to make extravagant claims about it (but that doesn't stop others making extravagant claims against it).
Perhaps the reason we make "extravagant" claims against electronic voting is because we have some knowledge and experience with designing and developing computer systems, and know that in order to talk about the security of a system you have to deal with all elements of a system (not just data storage/records keeping.)

I'm a programmer/database administrator/analyst. While system security is not my primary job and I wouldn't say I'm an expert in the field, I have had exposure to security issues. (I've spent many an hour digging out junk PHP code out of a hacked web server, cleaning viruses off windows systems, searching Linux logs for hacker intrusions, and applying various security patches to systems.) When I talk of the potential risks of an electronic voting system, its not some idle "extravagant" claim, its an analysis employing both direct knowledge/experience of the computer field and a healthy degree of skepticism.
Quote:
I know that you can create voting messages that are unalterable...
Which, as has been pointed out, is only one of the many issues surrounding a potential voting issue.

Creating voting messages that are unalterable is completely worthless if the messages themselves are fraudulent in origin!
Quote:
...but I don't know how that process can be affected by a malware infested computer.
I know how it can be. In fact, I've already talked about it.

On the client computer you can have:

- Malware that redirects any web traffic to a bogus site (either a fake site that simply discards the vote, or a dead site that prevents someone from voting). Post a link to the maleware on a facebook page or twitter account that favors one candidate over another (The Nazis for Trump site for example), and hundreds of their supporters could become unable to vote when their computer gets infected. These type of viruses already exist. It is not some hypothetical situation. I've dealt with them before. I have real life experience in dealing with them..

- Malware that affects the web browser (or whatever software is used to capture the votes), inserts a key logger and changes the responses in memory before they are transmitted to the server and recorded.

In addition, you also have the risk of:

- Interception of whatever identifiers are used to show who has already cast their ballot, to use in "stuffing" the electronic ballot box. (Maybe you have to enter your social security number to vote, maybe every registered voter is sent an identifier. But, these identifiers will always have security vulnerabilities. Someone steals a list of these identifiers and they can vote multiple times, one for each stolen identifier). We've seen tons of similar data thefts before from banks and government computers.

- Hacking into the server that actually captures the vote before using blockchain for storage. (The problem is, since you haven't given any information about how the voting system is supposed to work, I am making an assumption that there will be a central server the vote is sent to before its recorded.) A hacked site could alter votes sent by the user but before they are written to storage. Again, I've dealt with system that have been infected this way.
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Old 26th July 2018, 03:04 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by Ambrosia View Post
You do know that right now in the US the present crop of voting machines are in fact programmed using a USB thumb drive don't you.

If a machine has the proper official firmware installed, how is that tested? Why do we trust the people testing it? Or the people making it? It's not just malicious attackers we need to defend against, put a comma in the wrong place and the code could be borked enough to put votes for the GOP in the Green party column.
Not forgetting that most, as far as I could find out, electronic systems use proprietary source code and old machines are (or used to be) available for sale

Quote:
Who put the seals on the machine after the test? - why do we trust them?
And how secure are the seals? (It's DEFCON, so NSFW language)

Another, non-technical, factor is how many people would fall for social media trickery? A tweet or Facebook message with a "Go and vote!, click here to get the app!!" and a shortened URL. Most peoples awareness of these sort of attacks is pretty rubbish and a dodgy link or two propagated through social groups is pretty easy to pull off.
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Old 26th July 2018, 04:14 PM   #64
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I'm a strong believer in the KISS maxim. Keep it Simple Stupid. I'm 100 percent against electronic voting. Paper ballots provides a paper trail that cannot be matched through electronic voting. This isn't to say that electronic voting can and is compromised. I wouldn't know. Our ability to count electronically while a little slower isn't enough slower to justify the concern that a smart hacker at some point might steal an election.
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Old 26th July 2018, 04:36 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
We file our taxes electronically. No reason we can't vote that way.
And there is a tremendous amount of fraud that goes along with that. One way that it is prevented? Past habits. Can't do that with elections. We can say that Joe was married with 4 kids last year. This year he is single and childless. Might want to check. Last year he he made 70K, this year he is trying to claim EITC. Things like that.

Voting is anonymous. No history is collected to compare. Joe has been voting a straight Republican ticket for the past 20 elections. This year he voted Peace and Freedom.

Also, if you filed and someone else filed using your credentials, we can void out the bad tax data and file it proper. A vote? Since we don't tie a ballot to a person, there is no way to void out a bad vote.

Unless we, as a society, want our votes to be tracked, or otherwise linked to an actual person, online voting probably can't happen.
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Old 26th July 2018, 05:38 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
We "may" be close to that? You keep shouting "blockchain" as some sort of magic talisman that will magically allow electronic voting to be secure, but give no thought of how it could actually be implemented and used. ...(blah)...(blah)...(blah)...
I conceded ages ago that originating computers (whether they be voting machines or mobile phones) are a potential weakness in an electronic voting system. Why so many novel length posts repeating that same point?
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Old 26th July 2018, 05:47 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by Ambrosia View Post
I was just about to post that video!

Paper votes are great, the system works and is more or less immune to hacking.

This is the FPTP video I frequently post in other threads.

I think this should be required viewing for all children of school leaving age.

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE
I agree. We don't need to be super-efficient when it comes to voting. The benefit of knowing the results X% faster is vastly outweighed by the vulnerability of the system to hacking.
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Old 26th July 2018, 06:38 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by Mongrel View Post
And how secure are the seals? (It's DEFCON, so NSFW language)
DEFCON report here (link to PDF):

https://www.defcon.org/images/defcon...e%20report.pdf

A fun tidbit: One brand of electronic voting machine all had the same, unchangeable password: "abcde" ("That's amazing. I've got the same combination on my luggage.")

Originally Posted by Mongrel View Post
Another, non-technical, factor is how many people would fall for social media trickery? A tweet or Facebook message with a "Go and vote!, click here to get the app!!" and a shortened URL. Most peoples awareness of these sort of attacks is pretty rubbish and a dodgy link or two propagated through social groups is pretty easy to pull off.
People probably fell for "Republicans vote on Tuesday, Democrats on Wednesday".
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Old 26th July 2018, 08:55 PM   #69
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Not really voting machine related, but it's shocking how insecure ATM's really are. It's not necessarily even the technology, it's that the humans connected to it are fallible. Voting systems would face the same issue.

eg 2 14 year old kids get into an ATM using manuals available online and default passwords.

https://arstechnica.com/information-...cked-your-atm/


Man places a skimmer on an ATM in a convenience store

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Old 26th July 2018, 10:35 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by WilliamSeger View Post
After 35 years as a software developer, I simply do not trust electronic voting and never will. I have no idea if any machines or tabulations have ever been hacked, and that's a big problem, but I know for sure that they can be.
Of course they've been hacked, it's well documented. What people are in denial about is if any election outcomes have been changed.

I lean toward, yes, yes they have and it's time to end the denial and fix the problem.

Links pending when I get to the end of the thread.
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Old 27th July 2018, 12:04 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
I conceded ages ago that originating computers (whether they be voting machines or mobile phones) are a potential weakness in an electronic voting system. Why so many novel length posts repeating that same point?
Because that's the fly in the ointment. It's the same problem we have now with touchscreen voting software being able to flip a vote before it's recorded, without a trace, so protecting the recorded votes only solves half the problem. There is no avoiding the fact that software is necessary to insert the votes into your blockchain, so that software will be vulnerable.

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Old 27th July 2018, 01:12 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by jnelso99 View Post
DEFCON report here (link to PDF):

https://www.defcon.org/images/defcon...e%20report.pdf
Cheers - I'll have a look at that later

Quote:
A fun tidbit: One brand of electronic voting machine all had the same, unchangeable password: "abcde" ("That's amazing. I've got the same combination on my luggage.")
So even the most basic security got shoved to the bottom of the priority list, sounds like Internet of Things devices

Quote:
People probably fell for "Republicans vote on Tuesday, Democrats on Wednesday".
Yeah, people fall for The Onion. I think this is the updated "They couldn't put it in the newspaper if it wasn't true"
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Old 27th July 2018, 08:34 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Quote:
We "may" be close to that? You keep shouting "blockchain" as some sort of magic talisman that will magically allow electronic voting to be secure, but give no thought of how it could actually be implemented and used. ...(blah)...(blah)...(blah)...
I conceded ages ago that originating computers (whether they be voting machines or mobile phones) are a potential weakness in an electronic voting system. Why so many novel length posts repeating that same point?
Because you JUST DON'T SEEM TO GET IT.

Some of your earliest posts stated "Blockchain technology has the potential to make electronic voting unhackable".

Yet after your supposed "concession" about malware being a probelm (which of course you almost immediately walked back with more blather about how secure block works), you

- immediately started pushing more "blockchain is wonderful" rhetoric, even though most of the criticism was about issues other than data storage, with a claim that "it can overcome the current concerns about security and hacking". (Well, no it can't). I posted problems with malware, voter identification, etc. because they are concerns about hacking and your infatuation with blockchain does not address that. You also stated the problem was not in coming up with a mechanism for voting so I posted potential security flaws because they are actual real issues

- Labeled people who actually had security concerns "pseudo experts" (even though it appears that those people have more experience and a better grasp on the issues than you do

- Claim that we "may be" close to coming up with a solution that solves the other (non-blockchain issues), yet you did so without providing any evidence to support your claim. (post 59)

- Suggested that claims of other security vulnerabilities are "extravagant" (post 59)

Your whole "concession" was basically a Trumpism... like his "Russia did not interfere in our elections. Ok, I concede that they did. But they maybe it was someone else". Except with you its "Blockchain will make electronic voting secure! Ok I concede that there may be other security issues. But look how great blockchain is and anyone who claims there are other problems is wrong".

And that is why we felt it was necessary to give more details about how a voting system could be hacked, even if the voting records themselves are unalterable.... Because you just don't seem to have a grasp of all the other security issues, and basically hand-wave away the concerns of others that appear to have more knowledge and experience than you.

The proper thing to do would have been to say "I underestimated potential security problems. Blockchain can make actual vote records secure but there are issues other than data storage that make electronic voting too risky". Instead you decided to attack those who have shown more knowledge and understanding than you, labeling them "pseudo experts" and suggesting their concerns are "extravagant", all with a massive hand-wave dismissal of the concerns.
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Old 27th July 2018, 01:31 PM   #74
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And not forgetting the cynical companies cashing in on the blockchain\cryptocurrency hype. People running around exclaiming that "Blockchain will solve everything!" tend to get asked to explain "How?"
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Old 27th July 2018, 03:49 PM   #75
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There are some "do you need a blockchain?" flowcharts out there. They generally look like this:


Do you need a blockchain? -----> No.
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Old 27th July 2018, 04:00 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
Not only that, you can't have TOTAL anonymity, since you still need to record who has already voted to prevent multiple votes (as well as determining who is actually registered). So somewhere along the line you need some sort of records: "Voter X done. Voter Y, not voted yet".
The UK has a system that is robust with effective anonymity unless an investigation is required when the paper trail can be looked into.

I have no doubt that nobody could find how I voted unless there was a court order.

pencil and paper FTW.
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Old 27th July 2018, 09:08 PM   #77
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America is still reeling after Monty Hatchet, the write in candidate, somehow wins the election just a month after announcing his "bundle the entire federal budget into Russia subsidies" campaign promise. No one in any state has come forward to say they voted for the man with no official party but the results are clear he got 85% of the vote. A figure that is assuredly correct according to noted online experts who say "blockchain is unhackable, the guy that promised all our money to Russia just somehow won!"
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Old 28th July 2018, 01:54 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
Because you JUST DON'T SEEM TO GET IT.
On the contrary, I get it very well.

Earlier postings on this thread indicate that despite your expertise, you didn't know:
- How votes would be stored in the block chain.
- How voters could be identified on the blockchain but how they voted would not be available to others.
- How votes could be added to the blockchain without being corrupted in transit.
- Why we don't need a centralized store for the block chain or the nodes.

When I that I could answer each of your objections, you adopted a new two-pronged strategy:
- You accused me of a "blockchain is wonderful" mentality to the exclusion of everything else.
- You repeatedly made lengthy posts about flaws in originating computers.
(I hope your intention wasn't to drown out our earlier discussions).

You may not know how malware infested computers can be prevented from altering votes before they get "put out there" but that doesn't mean that it is impossible.
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Old 28th July 2018, 02:22 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I'm a strong believer in the KISS maxim. Keep it Simple Stupid. I'm 100 percent against electronic voting. Paper ballots provides a paper trail that cannot be matched through electronic voting. This isn't to say that electronic voting can and is compromised. I wouldn't know. Our ability to count electronically while a little slower isn't enough slower to justify the concern that a smart hacker at some point might steal an election.
Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
On the contrary, I get it very well.

Earlier postings on this thread indicate that despite your expertise, you didn't know:
- How votes would be stored in the block chain.
- How voters could be identified on the blockchain but how they voted would not be available to others.
- How votes could be added to the blockchain without being corrupted in transit.
- Why we don't need a centralized store for the block chain or the nodes.

When I that I could answer each of your objections, you adopted a new two-pronged strategy:
- You accused me of a "blockchain is wonderful" mentality to the exclusion of everything else.
- You repeatedly made lengthy posts about flaws in originating computers.
(I hope your intention wasn't to drown out our earlier discussions).

You may not know how malware infested computers can be prevented from altering votes before they get "put out there" but that doesn't mean that it is impossible.
You are missing another point. The people need to understand and trust the process. I have no doubt that you know far more about computer science than me - although that isn't much of a plaudit.

I can explain the UK system in a few sentences
  • Each household receives a form for registering to vote and the householder fills the form in (with it being an offence to make a false declaration).
  • Shortly before an election, each registered voter receives a polling card with the details of the poling station (based in the electoral ward, and nearby and with only a few hundred people - in my constituency, it ranged from 88 to about 1500 per polling station)
  • The polling station opens at 7am and closes at 10pm but if you are in a queue to vote at 10pm, it will remain open until the queue has voted
  • When you go to the polling station, it's easiest to take your polling card, but not necessary. At the polling station, someone looks for your name and gives you a numbered ballot paper, and writes the number against your name.
  • You then go to the voting booth and put a cross in the box by your preferred candidate and put it in the ballot box
  • If there is suspicion of foul play, then the votes can be tallied to the voter but it would require an official investigation, and because the data isn't collated until such an investigation is started, under normal circumstances, there is no chance of leakage of who voted for who.

This system is transparent and easily understood. People can see that the votes aren't tampered with.

With blockchain, the fact that you are saying that people with computer-science backgrounds don't understand how it is going to be secure means that the system is not going to be transparent or trusted.

ETA: And the current systems are far from unhackable. I would contend that electronic systems are inherently vulnerable to advances in technology. Paper and pencils aren't
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Old 28th July 2018, 04:04 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
ETA: And the current systems are far from unhackable. I would contend that electronic systems are inherently vulnerable to advances in technology. Paper and pencils aren't
Another facet is that, in a normal environment, old school pen and paper can be subverted but at only at an tiny volume. It's hard to do more than a couple of votes at a time.
If electronic voting is compromised the bad actors could alter thousands of votes at a time, more than enough to swing key seats\states.
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