Re: Re: SB 1376 passes senate...

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Wed Aug 18 2004 - 11:58:20 CDT

> (b) A civil action may be brought pursuant to this section for a
> civil penalty not to exceed fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) for each
> act and for injunctive relief, if appropriate.

Say a Senate Candidate--who is spending millions on a rac--finds a
hacker (e.g. maybe an insider at one of the proprietary firms), and
offers him/her $500,000 to alter the DREs to make sure Candidate is
elected. Does it seem likely that Hacker will say: "I -would- tamper
with the machines, but I'm too worried about the possibility of being
fined 1/10th of the amount you're paying me."

This penalty portion is utterly trivial. It's barely a bump on the
road of doing (corrupt) business.

Similarly for a voting systems vendor who gets a multi-million dollar
contract, of course. Directly modifying machines to throw elections
probably has criminal penalties apart from this civil fine. But just
using idiotic security protocols, even knowingly, isn't quite vote
fraud. And facing a $50k fine for such idiocy isn't much if it comes
out of a $30M contract.

Now if it were, say, $50k per compromised vote... well, that's starting
to be a deterrent. But one "act" can effect millions of votes.

Of course... generally I'm with the other David in being very little
fond of enshrining escrow. Conceivably this is a baby step in the
right direction; but it's not hard to imagine it might be a step in the
wrong direction instead.
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Received on Tue Aug 31 23:17:15 2004

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