Voting Rights Forum Participant
Post Number: 1
Best of Black Box? N/A
|Posted on Wednesday, June 29, 2005 - 11:19 am: |
I have been following electronic voting issues for quite some time, even before the recent 'election' fracas and the existence of the BlackBoxVoting organization. I have never been trusting of technology. From too much experience, technology bites, and can too easily turn on you.
Another thing, you can call me a conspiracy freak or whatever, but I just don't trust anyone who -wants- the job of lording it over on me. (I think the desire for that sort of power disqualifies anyone from being capable of wielding it properly and for anyone's good but their own.) I cannot trust that the people in power will not try to manipulate the system to stay there, whatever political label they assign to themselves.
In any case, I do have a few years and a couple of degrees in the computer business. I need to make certain that you all understand one thing about your quest for the actual memory cards that were used in elections, which you see as "the next step."
You are correct, that is the next logical step, but please don't kid yourself that you will find anything on those cards, openly and patiently awaiting your examination. You have stated that you consider the programmers to be competent. To allow the fraudulent programming to remain on the data cards and to be found later would be a sign of a slip-shod and incompetent programmer.
DO however have them forensically analyzed for deleted files. The LAST instruction that will be in the deleted file that you will likely find, will certainly find if your suspicions are correct, will be to restore the original, valid, pure, and clean-as-the-driven-snow program that should have been there and delete or overwrite the malicious one.
Also, you need to be certain to use fairly subtle analysis techniques. Again, if I was writing the thing I would use some anti-forensic techniques to overwrite the data area in question several times in sequence, to frustrate the recovery of the overwritten data.
That's how I would have written such a thing, and I do not even consider myself a programmer. (I'm a hardware and information security specialist.)
You are encroaching on the thrones of the mighty, and they don't like folks shining lights onto the cockroaches under those thrones.
Good luck, and watch out for thugs in dark alleys.
Thanks very much for your comments, wwwill. In fact, there are some subtleties already appearing during further analysis of their central tabulator software. It, too, appears poorly written (MS Access without passwords, etc) but beneath that layer, it appears to have something VERY sophisticated. The clumsiness on one hand does not match the sophistication on the other hand. Reminds me of one of the telltale signs of an embezzling accounting: neat the tidy handwriting, precise little habits, combined with sudden messiness in filing key records.
Your input is enthusiastically recieved, and welcome to Black Box Voting. -- Bev