Re: Fw: Meet the $499 Mac.

From: Ron Crane <voting_at_lastland_dot_net>
Date: Fri Aug 26 2005 - 23:06:34 CDT
charlie strauss wrote:
 The trusted computing platform is only a good thing for Voting systems, regardless of how you feel about it on your home computer.
Please enlighten us as to why it is "only a good thing". As far as I can see, it is yet more firmware that can be manipulated by a malicious vendor to inject malicious software into a voting system.
While devel's advocacy is always an important job, I'm puzzled about why you are on this forum if you intrisicly oppose computerized voting.  Maybe you should enlighten us.
Once I thought there might be a practical way to ensure reasonably secure e-voting, and that OVC was pioneering that way. Now I believe that there is no such way, and that those who would plant malicious code will always be several steps ahead of those who would uproot it. Computers will only get more flexible and capable, and hacks (whether planted by vendors or otherwise) more complex and difficult to detect. Further, others' discussions of the nature of representative democracies have convinced me that, even aside from its many unsolved security issues, e-voting removes effective supervision of elections from the general public and places it (and thus the determination of who controls the levers of power) with a very small elite. Thus 21st-century technology births 12th-century politics.


-----Original Message-----
From: Ron Crane <>
Sent: Aug 26, 2005 9:00 PM
To: Open Voting Consortium discussion list <>
Subject: Re: [OVC-discuss] Fw: Meet the $499 Mac.

That's included in the $599 and $699 models: . And 6 months from now it'll probably be 
in every one. Along these lines, Intel recently announced a single-chip 
WIFI solution. You just plop it down, connect it to VCC and ground, add 
an antenna (which can be a trace on a circuit board), and connect the 
command/data bus, and voila! instant WIFI. This kind of thing, along 
with BPL, will soon become broadly standard in COTS systems. And when 
Intel's "Trusted Computing Initiative" (read: hardware DRM) gets going, 
it'll probably be used to monitor, and to report on, your use of 
DRM-protected materials. Lest you think this is paranoid nuttery, 
wouldn't film studios love to know which movie scenes viewers replay the 
most, and wouldn't music companies love to know which songs each person 
just can't get enough of? It's "Trusted Computing" alright -- the 
studios and music companies can trust it; everyone else (including those 
who would use this hardware for e-voting systems) had better beware.


Fred McLain wrote:

Hash: SHA1

Isn't it true that all of the newer Macs have internal wireless  
networking, including the Mac Mini we're talking about?


On Aug 26, 2005, at 3:17 PM, Nathan L. Adams wrote:

Hash: SHA1

Alan Dechert wrote:

When you say, "used in school," that could turn out to be a reason to
consider the Mac.  They are widely used in schools.  There may be
business reasons for doing it that way in some circumstances.  I  
vote at
a school.  The same school has a computer room with a bunch of  
Macs. If,
say, a half dozen of those school computers were in secure  
enclosures, I
don't see any reason they couldn't simply be reconfigured for  Election
Day (disable harddrive and network, boot from CD/DVD).  If Apple  
and the
schools were on board with it, then it could be quite cheap -- no  more
than a couple hundred dollars per year.

Don't bet the OVC farm on reusing school equipment as voting  equipment.
Some folks will (rightly) argue that it may not be a good idea to
subject your voting equipment to clever, resourceful, immature school
aged hackers for the better part of the year.

But my main point was that x86 as a hardware platform is far more  
and generally understood than anything that Apple will offer us. I  also
want to deter anyone from believing that OS X is a) F/OSS b) a viable
platform for OVC software.


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Received on Wed Aug 31 23:17:33 2005

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