Re: question about hand-held statistical devices in the field

From: Rick Carback <carback1_at_umbc_dot_edu>
Date: Thu Dec 20 2007 - 23:27:31 CST

It depends on the capabilities of the system, but I imagine you could direct
your suppression/denial of service attacks more effectively if you wanted to
use it maliciously. On the flip side, you could direct your "get people to
vote" efforts, too.

If you spoiled the data stream, you could claim fraud afterwards (as the
totals wouldn't match the official totals) -- you might not win a legal
battle to prove fraud but a lot of people would believe you. I would be
curious to play with these devices, particularly looking at how they secure
the communications.

-R

On Dec 20, 2007 11:32 PM, Bev Harris <bev@blackboxvoting.org> wrote:

> What we know:
> - Iowa caucuses will use a form of cell-phone central tabulation. The
> voting and
> counting at the precinct are transparent procedures. When a result is
> reached
> (both for Dem and Repub) the precinct captain then picks up a cell phone
> or
> cell phone-like device and keys in the data.
>
> - This data is automatically transferred, at least in the case of the
> Dems, to a
> web-based reporting device.
>
> When you think about it, this is actually just one big computerized
> uncertified
> central tabulator using Blackberry-like devices that either run on or
> interface
> with a special program.
>
> I add "statistical capability" into the mix for the following reason:
>
> I was researching whether the data might be going to NEP, the replacement
> entity
> for VNS. I found a news item from 2004 saying the AP (which was working
> with
> Edison Mitofsky on projecting results) was using "Votestream" or calling
> the
> project "Votestream."
>
> Now the question arises, were they using the PRODUCT called Votestream or
> were
> they just coincidentally naming a project with the same name as a product?
>
> You will find a product called Votestream at http://www.resolver.ca
> Also at this site is a product called Resolver Ballot.
>
> There are hand held devices deployed in the field into which the users key
> vote
> or other survey information, which then interface with a PC to produce
> sophisticated statistical data and results reporting.
>
> Along these lines, I received a citizen report tonight from an election in
> Tunica County, Mississippi. The Diebold tech was in attendance, and went
> behind
> a podium, where they were interacting throughout the election with a
> Blackberry-like hand held device, but apparently it did not seem to be
> exactly
> a Blackberry, and they seemed to be entering numbers rather than typing
> text
> messages.
>
> My curiosity is up.
>
> I then found another item, probably a red herring, a web site called
> votestream.com. The IP for this Web site has been bouncing from place to
> place
> every few months, routes through a dedicated server, with the most recent
> location: Fairfield, Iowa. The site doesn't seem to have anything to do
> with
> the product at Resolver.ca
>
> This whole thing got me thinking, though. What might one be able to do if
> you
> run a cell-phone-based central tabulator with statistical capabilities?
>
>
> Bev Harris
> Founder - Black Box Voting
> http://www.blackboxvoting.org
>
> * * * * *
>
> Government is the servant of the people, and not the master of them. The
> people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the
> right
> to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for
> them to
> know. We insist on remaining informed so that we may retain control over
> the
> instruments of government we have created.
>
>
>
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Received on Mon Dec 31 23:17:08 2007

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