Fwd: Trusted Persons

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Fri Apr 08 2005 - 13:16:49 CDT

>> I think that, by providing these terms, we will begin
>> to open peoples' minds to the degree of trust that is
>> required by most existing voting systems which
>> may, in turn, help them to see the wisdom of replacing
>> trust with openness and verification.

> On Apr 8, 2005, at 8:44 AM, Alan Dechert wrote:
> I kinda sorta see the logic, but I still don't want it in there --
> certainly
> is not what OVC wants to advance. We want, as much as possible, to
> have the
> glossary reflect what the language we want to use -- not entrench
> what's
> been practiced in the past. That is, what if the terms are accepted?
> How
> do we get them out? I'd rather not have them in at all.

The definitions of Trusted and Untrusted Persons were principally the
contribution of Ron Crane; but I wholly endorse their inclusion for two
reasons:

(1) The language is genuinely needed to clarify discussion of existing
voting systems
(2) Even in OVC's ideal system, different persons will be trusted to
perform different actions and receive different information.

This distinction is not going away, even if we can temper the trust
granted to *any* person.

For example, it may be decided that raw ballots should not be disclosed
to the general public because of the anonymity-compromising potential
of vote-correlation and "marked" votes. We've discussed this issue on
the OVC list several times; I'm not declaring a final opinion on this,
but just suggesting an example. Nonetheless, even in a system where
the general public is not TRUSTED to see raw ballots, SOMEONE must be
granted access to them for any totals to be produced for disclosure.

Likewise, chain-of-custody in the handling of hardware or
software-media is a matter of trusting someone, to however limited
extent, and with whatever safeguards. It's not enough to let any
undocumented person transport the voting machine under the assumption
that the hash checks and signatures will detect tampering. Yeah, we do
those cryptographic checks, but we do both things.

That said, the recent revision of the comments disclaim official
endorsement by any affiliated organization. I am writing only for
myself, not for IEEE P-1622 or OVC; and similarly for the other
endorsers of my comments (and their various affiliations). There's
been some discussion of IEEE officially endorsing my comments, but I'm
not sure that can happen by the deadline. If the OVC board wants to
talk about an official endorsement, we can do that--but I'm not
claiming such now.

Yours, David...

---
Dred Scott 1857; Santa Clara 1886; Plessy 1892;
Korematsu 1944; Eldred 2003
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Received on Sat Apr 30 23:17:04 2005

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