Re: I need some help

From: Ron Crane <voting_at_lastland_dot_net>
Date: Tue Apr 26 2005 - 21:16:14 CDT

I am very familiar with realtime systems, having designed and
implemented them for some years. My request does not go to the nature
of such systems, nor to any questions about their language of
implementation, nor to the silliness of the comparison between voting
systems and flight control systems. My request is merely for a citation
for the given proposition.

By the way, nothing about Java prevents a vendor from writing a cheat
("Trojan Horse" or "trapdoor") into a system implemented using it.
Java's security model is concerned with protecting items in the
environment in which the Java VM runs (e.g. your files) from malicious
Java apps downloaded from untrusted sources (e.g. the web). It is not
concerned with protecting users of a Java program from code that
computes its result (e.g. a tabulation of votes) differently from the
manner in which it is advertised. The latter is much more important to
voting system security than the former.

-Ron

On Apr 26, 2005, at 5:33 PM, JamBoi wrote:

> One vital difference with flight control and elections is the nature of
> flight control systems. Flight control system are what are called Real
> Time (RT) systems with Real Time Operating Systems (RTOS). They must
> be absolutely precise re: their timing. They are highly sophisticated
> programs done frequently on a very low level of programming. Their
> reliability is a matter of life and death. There are a few other
> applications like medical, military and manufacturing that typically
> are RT, but ELECTION SOFTWARE IS MOST CERTAINLY NOT ONE OF THEM.
>
> There is absolutely no need for nanosecond precision on a voting or
> tabulating machine. The software could theoretically be written in
> extremely high level languages with little problem unless the
> performance becomes so slow that the user interface is compromised.
> That is really the only contraint as far as timing goes, so there is
> absolutley no need for an RT election system. As a matter of fact,
> because of the difficulty of maintaining such software there are many
> reasons you would NOT want to design an RT election system!
>
> This looks like an extremely ignorant argument to me. The only good
> reason I can think of that someone who was knowledgable might make it
> would be if they wanted to try to premptively disqualify Java or a
> Java-like system from the running (since regular run of the mill Java
> is not certifiable for RT systems although there are RT Java variants
> out there). This might be done because Java is designed from the
> ground up to not allow cracking the system. So if someone were wanting
> to crack an election system they might not want a Java platform to be
> used. Other than that it makes the person making the argument seem
> quite out of touch IMO.
>
> JamBoi
>
> JamBoi
>
> "Live humbly, laugh often and love unconditionally" (anon)
> http://dailyJam.blogspot.com
>
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Received on Sat Apr 30 23:17:16 2005

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