Crypto #2

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Thu May 19 2005 - 13:00:49 CDT

> From: David Mertz <>
> Date: May 15, 2005 4:32:33 AM EDT
> To: "David Webber \(XML\)" <>
> On May 14, 2005, at 9:23 PM, David Webber ((XML)) wrote:
>> I see where this goes. I can accept this if it is a static string -
>> But if its something like :
>> EGEefgsfgd-2454,sdaffasf-23kl;jl;dsjfasdafsd2342jkl;j
>> or worse - some bar code |||-{{||={{|{||{|||#
> A static string doesn't have any crypto value. So it's definitely
> more like your examples. Well maybe a bit more easily readable, e.g.:
> id: 1234; votes: 2,54,29,19,1; hash: a34cf23d; crypt: f395ad20
> Where presumably those vote numbers correspond in some documented way
> with candidates, ranks, etc. Incidentally, the example is probably
> not inaccurate in size: the first bytes of the hash are adequate for
> this purpose, it need not not be an entire 160-bits.
> sha(id+votes)[:len] works fine for a hash() function (but with
> correspondingly less resistance to forgery).
>> For example - it could contain information revealing who they are -
>> or a time/date stamp that would reveal their vote by proximity.
> It could. But not in any way that is not fairly easily detectable by
> security analysts. You're right that average voters don't understand
> SHA, of course. But there's really absolutely NOTHING on the ballot
> that cannot be mathematically shown not to leak information.
> A voter who doesn't understand the math can ask the League of Women
> Voters, ACLU, Liberty Alliance, NRA, or whomever they themselves
> trust, to verify the security and non-leakage for them. It's not a
> matter of trusting *us* (whether "us" is OVC, OASIS, IEEE, or
> whatever); but of trusting any mathematician.
>> As I said the use of the term "crypto" troubles me - that implies
>> something that a human cannot unravel unaided.
> Well, given enough time I can compute SHA with a pencil. But you're
> right that I'd rather do it with my favorite Free Software
> implementation.
>> Actually - this may seem a little radical - but my whole conjecture
>> is that if you have a trusted process with proper separations and
>> gate keepers - crypto - which is the "foundation" of DRE
> Crypto is the foundation of a lot of good things too, not only of
> DREs. Actually, AFAIK, Diebold and gang never used crypto. Only
> Shamos claims they "might do so" in the future. But even if Diebold
> did use some in-house crypto, the problem isn't the crypto but the
> secrecy about it.
>> - actually becomes unnecessary
> Nah... I think you've missing a class of threats. Two trails (paper
> and electrons) is good. But if the EBI can be invalidated and the
> paper forged, we have a problem. Making the paper harder to forge
> seems worthwhile to me. Yeah, physical paper types can make forgery
> harder too... but not nearly as much harder as the crypto codes can
> achieve.
> Physical security of paper ballots is definitely a good thing. I like
> padlocks on ballot boxes just fine. But having multiple redundant
> checks moves us even closer to accuracy. Wooden boxes with locks are
> not the best of all possible security measures. Especially once you
> think about who inevitably has the key, or is capable of having the
> key (no, it's not unlimited access, but the 70 yo poll workers who
> conduct the vote at the nearby senior center aren't really enforcing
> the physical security standards of Swiss banks).
> Yours, David...

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Received on Tue May 31 23:17:42 2005

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