Re: Avante Releases White Papers on AVVPAT...

From: Joseph Lorenzo Hall <joehall_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Sun Jun 13 2004 - 13:02:06 CDT

I'll have to slightly disaggree with you there David... I think the
NGSCB people have adequately demonstrated that you can run unattested
software (i.e., compiled free/open software) on their infrastructure
at will.

While I think it (NGSCB) is frankly a load of shit in the sense that
it's an obvious nod to the "content industry", I was merely asking if
NGSCB could be used in elections to make sure that *the one and only
the one* version of software certified to be running on *this* machine
for *this* election. Put another way, could the attestation
functionality of NGSCB be used by evm software to "attest" to the
veracity of the software running on the machine.

I don't see why not... I understand that supporting it here might not
be wise in the broader public policy surrounding NGSCB, but I ask a
simple question:

Could it be used to do this? (functionally and would the proper
interfacing software exist in a licensing regime that OVC/UCVS can
deal with)

Should it be used to do this?

Is checksumming object code *that* simple?


On Sun, 13 Jun 2004 12:52:32 -0400, David Mertz
<> wrote:
> On Jun 13, 2004, at 12:37 PM, Joseph Lorenzo Hall wrote:
> > So, to play the devli's advocate: In the recent Miami-Dade County
> > report that Doug Jones authored, he said, "There are unsolved
> > technical problems involved in actually determining, to any degree of
> > certainty, what software is actually running on an arbitrary
> > computer." (page 8).
> I think he shouldn't have put it quite this way.
> The difficulties in determining running software are not TECHNICAL, but
> PROCEDURAL. Miami-Dade did not follow best practices in terms of
> chain-of-custody, running checksums, verifying signatures, and so on.
> Object code can easily have 'md5sum' run against it, as can source
> code.
> > Is this a place that Trusted Computing (a/k/a NGSCB, a/k/a Palladium)
> > could help specifically in the context of elections systems?
> No, no, no, no, NO!!
> The ENTIRE purpose of Palladium is to prevent Free Software from
> running on machines--or at the least introduce new layers of
> incompatibility between Microsoft's monopoly OS and third party (Free
> or proprietary) software. Even in jest, or as devil's advocate, we
> should not suggest Palladium would solve any security or anonymity
> issues.
> I read such an idea about like I'd read the suggestion of putting armed
> "vote marshals" (employed by the HSA) at polling places, to hold guns
> to poll workers heads to assure compliance with procedures. Palladium
> is a police-state suggestion about "security."

Joseph Lorenzo Hall
UC Berkeley, SIMS PhD Student
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Received on Wed Jun 30 23:17:14 2004

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