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CIA Expert Decries E-Voting Security

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the only-vote-that-matters-is-the-cia-assassin's dept.

Government 178

ISoldat53 sends this quote from McClatchy DC: "The CIA, which has been monitoring foreign countries' use of electronic voting systems, has reported apparent vote-rigging schemes in Venezuela, Macedonia and Ukraine and a raft of concerns about the machines' vulnerability to tampering. Appearing last month before a US Election Assistance Commission field hearing in Orlando, Fla., a CIA cybersecurity expert suggested that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and his allies fixed a 2004 election recount, an assertion that could further roil US relations with the Latin leader. ... Stigall said that most Web-based ballot systems had proved to be insecure. The commission has been criticized for giving states more than $1 billion to buy electronic equipment without first setting performance standards. Numerous computer-security experts have concluded that US systems can be hacked, and allegations of tampering in Ohio, Florida and other swing states have triggered a campaign to require all voting machines to produce paper audit trails."

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Don't click on the link! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27331903)

Because then they have to kill you.

And Democrats Rejoice (5, Funny)

Clipless (1432977) | more than 5 years ago | (#27331919)

Looks like the old phrase "Vote Early, Vote Often" is going to become an automated process.
That should save a lot of people some serious time and money

Re:And Democrats Rejoice (1)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332621)

If it wasn't for graft we'd have a lower class of people in politics. ~The Great McGinty

Wow....just wow... (5, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27331939)

Stigall said that most Web-based ballot systems had proved to be insecure.

Really? No kidding? You don't say?

These people should read Slashdot. Seriously. We've all been saying this since 1997 or 1998 when the first stories about "Internet voting" began to appear. Nothing has improved from a security standpoint since then and we all keep saying electronic voting of any kind is too easy to tamper with unless there is a verified paper record trail.

And since most of us agree on this when most of us can't even agree on which operating system is the best for general use, which programming language is best for rapid application development, or which text editor is the best, well, that kind of says something now doesn't it?

A secret ballot cannot be done from your PC (1)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332357)

Any form of online voting is insecure because it's not a secret ballot. You can prove to someone else how you voted (by letting them look over your shoulder) and that means it is possible to bribe or threaten voters. A secret ballot means that you cannot show your vote to anyone, even if you wanted to. It's surprising that governments are so quick to give up this basic guarantee of a fair election.

Re:A secret ballot cannot be done from your PC (1, Troll)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332749)

A secret ballot means that you cannot show your vote to anyone, even if you wanted to. It's surprising that governments are so quick to give up this basic guarantee of a fair election.

Well, yes, it's still possible to do electronic voting with a paper trail that keeps your ballot secret. You get in the booth, you press the touch screen, you get a reciept that says who you voted for along with an algorithmically-created 'key' code that proves that the paper is real (but cannot be reversed easily enough to determine who you were), and then the paper goes into a locked ballot box.

Verify: count the paper votes at the end. If you paper count differs significantly from your electronic vote count, you had tampering.

Re:A secret ballot cannot be done from your PC (1)

Ian Alexander (997430) | more than 5 years ago | (#27334005)

The parent was talking about online voting, a specific kind of electronic voting done over the Internet, ie, remotely, ie, you can't control who sees the ballot before it's cast. I don't think they were talking about electronic votes in general.

Re:A secret ballot cannot be done from your PC (2, Interesting)

Chrutil (732561) | more than 5 years ago | (#27333055)

Any form of online voting is insecure because it's not a secret ballot. You can prove to someone else how you voted (by letting them look over your shoulder) and that means it is possible to bribe or threaten voters. A secret ballot means that you cannot show your vote to anyone, even if you wanted to. It's surprising that governments are so quick to give up this basic guarantee of a fair election

By your standard voting by mail should be ruled out as well then, right?

Re:A secret ballot cannot be done from your PC (1)

GigG (887839) | more than 5 years ago | (#27333753)

Probably, yes.

Re:A secret ballot cannot be done from your PC (1)

dzelenka (630044) | more than 5 years ago | (#27333905)

By your standard voting by mail should be ruled out as well then, right?

Absolutely!

Imagine how vote-by-mail would work in a society where the majority of men did not believe that women should vote. Would you trust that the votes cast by their wives were accurate? Do you not believe that lots of mail in ballots are already forged?

We've sacrificed the security of voting for the cost savings in running elections.

Re:A secret ballot cannot be done from your PC (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 5 years ago | (#27334105)

The only reason why voting by mail is accepted is because it is not the main type of voting. As soon as a considerable large part of the electorate wants to vote per mail, it is no longer viable.

Open source _instead_ of voting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27332397)

To take it further, the nerdiest (and undeniably best) solution is open source governance. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Wow....just wow... (2, Funny)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332711)

I disagree ... ;-)

Re:Wow....just wow... (1, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332863)

Mod parent "-1: Does not conform to Slashdot groupthink"! ;)

Re:Wow....just wow... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27332877)

And since most of us agree on this when most of us can't even agree on which operating system is the best for general use, which programming language is best for rapid application development, or which text editor is the best, well, that kind of says something now doesn't it?

emacs, emacs, and emacs. Next series of questions?

Re:Wow....just wow... (0, Redundant)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27334063)

RMS? Is that you?

Re:Wow....just wow... (4, Funny)

kungfugleek (1314949) | more than 5 years ago | (#27333635)

If you want to draw some *real* attention to the issue, get some super-hackers to rig a major election (doesn't have to be prez, guv or senator would be big enough) so that some crazy-wing write-in wins it. The powers-that-be would know something was up (especially if they were trying to rig it themselves), would probably nullify the election, and probably halt the use of the machines while an investigation ensued. The winner you pick would have to be a crazy fringe candidate, though. The crazier the better. So that *no one* would think for a second that the election was valid.

Re:Wow....just wow... (1)

genner (694963) | more than 5 years ago | (#27333817)

Stigall said that most Web-based ballot systems had proved to be insecure.

Really? No kidding? You don't say?

These people should read Slashdot. Seriously. We've all been saying this since 1997 or 1998 when the first stories about "Internet voting" began to appear. Nothing has improved from a security standpoint since then and we all keep saying electronic voting of any kind is too easy to tamper with unless there is a verified paper record trail.

And since most of us agree on this when most of us can't even agree on which operating system is the best for general use, which programming language is best for rapid application development, or which text editor is the best, well, that kind of says something now doesn't it?

We all know it's emacs.
/ducks

Re:Wow....just wow... (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#27334289)

Or maybe it is the people on slashdot who should get the word out. You know, actually making a fuss about the issue, talking to (gasp) political organizations, complain to your local representatives...

who knows (4, Insightful)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 5 years ago | (#27331951)

Maybe there was tampering, maybe there wasn't. The CIA isn't exactly a source I would trust not to put out false information to further their own agenda.

Re:who knows (4, Funny)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 5 years ago | (#27331983)

But they told us that they closed their misinformation department!

Re:who knows (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332097)

Were you told that by the Department of Misinformation (opened around the time the Misinformation Department closed?) or the Department of Little White Lies?

Re:who knows (2, Funny)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332349)

The information came directly from the Ministry of Truth. You trust the Ministry of Truth right? Everyone else does.

Re:who knows (2, Insightful)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332763)

If he is so skeptical that The Ministry of Truth isn't good enough for him, he can always try down the hall at The Ministry of Think of the Children. If he argues with that, we should insist he put his name in some kind of national databse or something.

Re:who knows (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332865)

And we should trust the ministry, because it got its information from waterboarding and extraordinary rendition [wikipedia.org] . I'm just wondering why the ministry isn't scrutinizing the American voting system.

As it is, some terrorist could game the system and end up having Americans and others killed! Oh, wait.

Re:who knows (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 5 years ago | (#27333931)

You know, everyone is so worried about the Ministry of Truth while the Ministry of Funny Walks goes on unchecked!

That was I was thinking. (4, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332317)

The CIA has murdered and tortured men women and childeren (and sponsored these activities) to rig elections and make sure the party they wanted obtained power. So we are now supposed to believe them that elections could be rigged but they didn't take part in rigging them?

Perhaps they are just upset that Chavez rigged the elections better then they did?

While I have little faith in electronic voting if the CIA told me the sky was blue, I would check and then have my eyes examined for tampering just to be sure.

Re:That was I was thinking. (4, Interesting)

notque (636838) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332401)

The critical part is the US Government committed a coup to Hugo Chavez in Venezuela in April 2002, installing a dictator.

You cannot trust the information of the organization who tried removing the Democratically elected leader of a country outright.

Re:That was I was thinking. (4, Insightful)

Clandestine_Blaze (1019274) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332695)

Not as bad as Operation Ajax [wikipedia.org] . (Joint British - American operation.) Just reading about it [mohammadmossadegh.com] makes me nauseous.

Re:That was I was thinking. (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332983)

We have a closer precedent, actually: Project FUBELT [wikipedia.org] .

Re:That was I was thinking. (1)

gilbert644 (1515625) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332859)

That is simply not true, or at least it hasn't been proven. And it wouldn't be the first time Hugo Chavez has lied about the US trying to win popularity by blaming them for everything/anything. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2002_Venezuelan_coup_d'%C3%A9tat_attempt [wikipedia.org] Accepting unproven accusation is stupid, accepting unproven accusations only when they fit your world view is just retarded.

You've missed the point (5, Informative)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332889)

The point is... how would you know?

Take a look at Black Box Voting [blackboxvoting.org] and check it out. A while back, they had a YT video where a hacker was (easily!) able to preload a flash disk with values to rig the vote without there ever being any sign of a problem by the voting machines.

Yes, this is / was Diebold, but unless we use some nice sequential hash algorithms and/or cryptography, along with a verified "clean" starting point, it's not possible to trust electronic voting machines.

Further, the problem is that verifying e-votes and e-voting machines has to be done by a professional programmer and security expert. By definition, this makes verification (and trust) basically impossible for the average person. This means that by operating from authority, programmers and security "experts" could (and have!) certify voting machines and equipment and the general population would have no easy, trustable method to know if they're being hoodwinked.

Sorry, voting machines are a bad, bad, bad idea. As somebody who programs/maintains large databases of sensitive data, I can't say with confidence that I'd even be able to trust an open or OSS solution because of the difficulty in ensuring that the software that's been reviewed is the same as the software that's actually running.

For example, what if your compiler was compromised with a virus, so that the compiler itself produced software that was virus laden?

Sorry, e-voting is too complex. The people responsible for their security are parties of interest, and so by definition can never be trusted. E-voting is a bad, bad, bad idea.

Beverly Harris (at Black Box Voting) is a quintessential example of a modern American Hero. History should remember her with the warmth and love given to Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Paine! I can't say enough how much I respect this average US mom who simply demanded that votes be counted accurately. In so doing, she's changed the world for the better. She's received several hundred dollars from me, and I donate more every year. You would do well to throw $5 her way, and maybe download and use her press pack... it's YOUR freedom at stake!

Re:who knows (1)

ElmoGonzo (627753) | more than 5 years ago | (#27333153)

If this is misinformation, we need more of it. The only way to have a verifiable election is by having a physical artifact upon which the voter records the vote. That way you can pick it up, count it, recount it, get other people to count it, etc. No direct recording device can do that. Sometimes the Luddites are right.

Democracy (4, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#27331995)

Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick one when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.

Feel free to suggest laws if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past laws first.

This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, lobbyists, corruption. If you're using these votes to do anything important, you're insane.

Re:Democracy (1)

edsousa (1201831) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332137)

I think they should start using /. polls to do the elections. They're more accurate, it seems :P

Re:Democracy (1)

superbus1929 (1069292) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332559)

Only if that finally gives us my dream scenario of President CowboyNeal.

Re:Democracy (2, Interesting)

m.ducharme (1082683) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332739)

On a somewhat related point, has anyone else noticed that the CowboyNeal option has disappeared from the recent Polls?

Why? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27332079)

[...]a CIA cybersecurity expert suggested that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and his allies fixed a 2004 election recount, an assertion that could further roil US relations with the Latin leader

Why? Wouldn't it bring them closer? After all, they've got something in common now! =)

Maybe next... (5, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332119)

...they should look at the electronic vote-rigging in the USA? We know the machines have misreported votes. The president/CEO of Diebold promised to literally do everything in his power to "deliver" Ohio's electoral votes to GWB. A legal recount of the paper ballots was terminated, not in the interest of the American people. Instead of spying on the electoral processes of others, perhaps we could put the effort into running our elections scrupulously.

Re:Maybe next... (2, Informative)

m.ducharme (1082683) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332761)

Well, strictly speaking, no the CIA should not be investigating the electronic vote-rigging in the USA. The FBI would be a more appropriate agency for that, I suspect.

Re:Maybe next... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27332975)

I am sure they did investigate it...Probably before it happened so they'd know how to do it.

Obsession (2, Insightful)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 5 years ago | (#27333559)

"The president/CEO of Diebold promised to literally do everything in his power to "deliver" Ohio's electoral votes to GWB."

Wow, you just can't let go, can you? Bush is out of office and you're still obsessing over him.

The Diebold guy promising to "deliver" Ohio for Bush was speaking at a party event, in the capacity as a party fundraiser and organizer, not as part of your fevered fantasies of a "right-wing coup". Despite your paranoia, the same voting systems were used to swept Democrats into power in 2006 and 2008.

Re:Obsession (3, Insightful)

Leafheart (1120885) | more than 5 years ago | (#27334073)

Wow, you just can't let go, can you? Bush is out of office and you're still obsessing over him.

Wait, you are saying that just because the game is no longer on the office we should forget and let it go????? I mean, if I could apply that logic to other parts of life it would mean, for example, that I should go prosecuting a copy and unlawfully killed someone because s\he left the corporation. It is stupid and dangerous.

Re:Obsession (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 5 years ago | (#27334359)

No, what he is saying is that you are selectively whining. See, you say Bush stole the election, yet Obama didnt? Why not? How did Obama and the democracy win in 2006 and 2008 under a rigged system?

If the system is rigged by the GOP then we should have a McCain presidency. In other words youre just another nutter spreading conspiracy theories on the web. Your only proof a comment from a party fundraiser.

It really makes (-1, Troll)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#27334341)

me never want to take types like the OP seriously. Any tinfoil hat moment becomes fact to them because they repeat it enough to where they believe it.

The simple fact is, all the cries went suddenly away when the other guy won. All the cries for limiting money in campaigns wen the way of the dodo when it was realized both sides could just rake it in.

The real problem is that politics in America is controlled by two corrupt parties who do not care what the public truly thinks except for when it moves poll numbers leading to the election. They then modify their message without actually modifying their policies.

I find it funny that the majority of vote fraud that occurs in my state is from paper - as in absentee ballots. Tracking down people voting live and via absentee is a big job. Worse are the groups that cart people around to vote provided they vote "correctly".

If I want real fraud I can hit up any big city and see it. Certain areas of the North and Midwest are as famous for it as they are for local foods. The difference is that electronic voting suddenly turned it all on ear because they could not operate as they normally did. We really do need some way of seeing that one person gets one vote. The problem is tracing that vote back to the person without revealing who they voted for because if you could then you have intimidation.

This is why I am watching the "Card Check" issue so closely. We are getting close to codifying intimidation. I know how these people operate through friends and family who either are members or are not. It truly boggles the mind what some people will do. It almost is childish how some act and then justify it.

Yet where is the screaming over the obvious fraud that went down in Minnesota where there is statistically impossible changes in the out come. How many times do we get to count till we get it right. We already saw that effect in Washington (state) and nearly saw it in Florida in 2000; we all know they would have kept counting till they got the number they wanted.

Re:Maybe next... (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 5 years ago | (#27334313)

>president/CEO of Diebold promised to literally do everything in his power to "deliver" Ohio's electoral votes to GWB.

In America, even if you run a voting company, you still have the right to free speech and the right to say who you support politically. Dont like it? Too bad.

Im not one to defend conservatives or CEOs, but the far-left needs to let this go. This guy spoke at a party event. He has the right to hold political views and support politicians.

Also, as much as Im skeptical of electronic voting, it needs to be compared to paper voting on a fair basis. Whats the spoilage rate for paper? 1 or 2%? Maybe more? Are the electronic machines doing worse than this? I think a lot of people get into this "debate" assuming paper voting is perfect and machine voting must also be perfect. These are faulty assumptions.

Personally, I think the code for all this should be open sourced, but in the meantime spreading conspiracy theories and ignoring paper spoilage is hurting the cause, not helping it.

We've missed the obvious angle (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332121)

You know, I think we've all missed the obvious angle that could have taken out e-voting much, much sooner. You see, Diebold's machines are so insecure that they can be used to rig elections. Anyone could do it, even... terrorists! That's right. Al-Qaeda themselves might just be planning to get a few operatives set up to hack voting machines so that Osama Bin Laden can be elected our next president. We need to protect ourselves in the fight against terrorism so e-voting (especially using Diebold's voting machines) must be banned!!! (Now, if only I could toss in child pornographers in some way, we'd be assured that e-voting would never see the light of day ever again.) At the very least, we'd see Diebold's lobbying muscle pitted against the Terrorists! crowd's fear response. It would be an interesting show. I'll bring the popcorn.

Re:We've missed the obvious angle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27332335)

Now, if only I could toss in child pornographers in some way...

How about we tell people that once Osama Bin Laden gets elected he will allow child porn to flow freely across the intertubes?

Re:We've missed the obvious angle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27334097)

Doesn't it already?

Re:We've missed the obvious angle (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332713)

Al-Qaeda themselves might just be planning to get a few operatives set up to hack voting machines so that Osama Bin Laden can be elected our next president.

OK, I know you're joking and I know I'm being a pedant, but the US Constitution says you have to be a natural born citizen of the US to be President. This precludes California Governor Arnold, to the dismay of many. It also precludes Al Quaida President Bin Laden, to the dismay of none.

Re:We've missed the obvious angle (1)

Magada (741361) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332891)

A bunch of senators who are in Osama's back pocket might get into office (in another Diebold-enabled rigged election).

Afterwards, the campaign to allow the foreign-born to become President could be run on Ahrnold's behalf, so as to avoid scaring the horses.

Re:We've missed the obvious angle (0, Troll)

Kagura (843695) | more than 5 years ago | (#27333737)

OK, I know you're joking and I know I'm being a pedant, but the US Constitution says you have to be a natural born citizen of the US to be President.

Didn't the Supreme Court make a statement stating simply that Barack Obama's place of birth didn't matter--that he was chosen by the American people, regardless?

Re:We've missed the obvious angle (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#27334163)

OBLG: Demolition Man Quote (1)

powerlord (28156) | more than 5 years ago | (#27334171)

Demolition Man (1993)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106697/quotes [imdb.com]

Lenina Huxley: I have, in fact, perused some newsreels in the Schwarzenegger Library, and the time that you took that car...
JohnSpartan: Hold it. The Schwarzenegger Library?
Lenina Huxley: Yes. The Schwarzenegger Presidential Library. Wasn't he an actor when you...?
JohnSpartan: Stop! He was President?
Lenina Huxley: Yes! Even though he was not born in this country, his popularity at the time caused the 61st Amendment which states...
JohnSpartan: I don't wanna know. President...

Just goes to show that Science Fiction can in fact predict the future ... even when its trying to be humorous and not cautionary. :D

Do as I say not as I do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27332129)

Pot meet Kettle

Remember kids, its only fair if they agree with us (5, Insightful)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332141)

I like how the CIA (who haven't got a great record for promoting democracy in Venezeula, seeing as they have already mounted at least one coup attempt on Chavez) are wailing about vote rigging.

They didn't seem to care this much about democratic elections when they were backing Pinochet, or the Contras, or any of the other dictators they've pushed on any Latin American country that didn't toe the line.

I used to like democracy. I always thought it was a good idea. But having seen how its most vocal proponent actually treats elections in practice, I am cynical to the point of thinking anybody who talks about democracy is only talking about their guy winning at any cost.

Re:Remember kids, its only fair if they agree with (2, Insightful)

tsalmark (1265778) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332237)

I can think of a number of political systems that should be better in theory, but it seems democracy may be the best in practice, or more correctly, least bad.

Re:Remember kids, its only fair if they agree with (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27332377)

We actually are supposed to be a constitutional republic, not a democracy.

I think the founders understood the people enough not to allow for democracy.

They understood and specifically designed it to prevent government for making certain laws because they knew enough people were willing to give up all their rights if we let them.

Re:Remember kids, its only fair if they agree with (2, Interesting)

notque (636838) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332427)

Real Democracy would be a good idea. We have a representative government to keep the will of the people in line. It was intentional, and successful.

As for political systems, the one that seemed to work the best was Anarchism in Spain.

Re:Remember kids, its only fair if they agree with (1)

tsalmark (1265778) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332525)

That was definitely forefront in my mind.

Re:Remember kids, its only fair if they agree with (2, Interesting)

kusanagi374 (776658) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332447)

I really like what Churchill said about all this:

"It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried."

Re:Remember kids, its only fair if they agree with (2, Funny)

One Brave Prune (1470115) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332261)

Which brings us at last to the moment of truth, wherein the fundamental flaw is ultimately expressed, and the Anomaly revealed as both beginning... and end.

Re:Remember kids, its only fair if they agree with (1)

m.ducharme (1082683) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332797)

I still think Democracy is a great idea, and maybe the US will be a democracy (or at least a Republic) someday~

Hugo Chavez again? (5, Funny)

One Brave Prune (1470115) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332157)

Are we out of Iraqi oil already?

Re:Hugo Chavez again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27332355)

Exactly what is the point you're trying to make? The US is Hugo Chavez's biggest customer. He only waves his d*ck around because he thinks he has some leverage over us. If liberals would stop obstructing sane energy choices like some new nuclear power plants, that banana republic dictator's significance would dwindle.

Re:Hugo Chavez again? (1)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332743)

It makes even less sense because America is the only country with refineries that can process the particular grade of crude Venezuela produces.

Re:Hugo Chavez again? (1)

One Brave Prune (1470115) | more than 5 years ago | (#27333349)

Very interesting, but I would like to see it cited.

Re:Hugo Chavez again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27333201)

WHAT DID YOU SAY LIBERALS

CIA complains about vote-rigging? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27332189)

That is like saying like Madoff is complaining about AIG...the CIA has rigged so many elections, coups, in favor of right wing dictators that this article's title is close to being surreal.

US committed a coup against Hugo Chavez in 2002 (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27332199)

In April 2002 the US committed a coup against Hugo Chavez and installed a dictator that immediately disbanded the constitution and the supreme court.

2 days later the population overwhelmingly protested, and reinstalled Chavez into power.

His approval ratings via neutral Latin American sources like Data Analysis show that the votes have been quite in line with what you would expect.

The Exit poll numbers are also much closer in line in Venezuela than even the United States (the traditional measure of decent voting)

I don't know if it's true or not, but it doesn't carry a lot of weight when the country that tried to commit a coup against a leader says that the voting was rigged.

Re:US committed a coup against Hugo Chavez in 2002 (1)

geobeck (924637) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332783)

In April 2002 the US committed a coup against Hugo Chavez and installed a dictator that immediately disbanded the constitution and the supreme court. 2 days later the population overwhelmingly protested, and reinstalled Chavez into power.

I see two possible conclusions:

  1. The CIA (or whoever) officials who masterminded the coup were extraordinarily stupid.
  2. The CIA intentionally strengthened Chavez's political position.

I think it's a toss-up, really.

Re:US committed a coup against Hugo Chavez in 2002 (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 5 years ago | (#27333191)

I'd go with option 1. I highly doubt the Bush administration would intentionally strengthen the position of a left-wing government that had recently nationalized the oil industry.

do they seriously expect us to believe this (3, Insightful)

rs232 (849320) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332213)

'The mathematicians found "a very subtle algorithm" that appeared to adjust the vote in Chavez's favor, Stigall said'

Shoulda got Diebold to do .. :)

'[Diebold] is "committed to helping Ohio to deliver [commondreams.org] its electoral votes to the president next year"'

Deflect attention from the beam in your own eye and trash the democratically elected leader of Venezuela cause he won't give the OIL to the US and let it sell it back to them, like the US did in Iraq.

'Election-Fraud [tomflocco.com] Website Removed Before Tuesday Recall Vote'

http://yro.slashdot.org/yro/04/10/01/1225227.shtml?tid=123&tid=103&tid=1 [slashdot.org]

Let me get this straight ... (4, Insightful)

krou (1027572) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332239)

The CIA, which has in the past actively worked to overthrow (and has succeeded [uchicago.edu] in overthrowing) South American regimes [wikipedia.org] the United States doesn't like, now claims that Venezuela used vote rigging to win a 2004 election recount just two years after a failed coup took place against Chavez that the United State sanctioned [guardian.co.uk] .

Forgive me if I don't take this seriously.

Re:Let me get this straight ... (3, Informative)

notque (636838) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332323)

It certainly isn't credible for the group that funded a coup to then say that elections were unjust when international observers, and polling firms in the region say it was just.

Even the opposition in Venezuela considers the elections just.

Re:Let me get this straight ... (1)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332875)

Wouldn't shock me, but do you have a citation for that?

Re:Let me get this straight ... (2, Insightful)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 5 years ago | (#27333577)

Had you RTFA, you would know that the CIA is apparently claiming that the recount was rigged, and that the e-voting systems were so flawed as to make it both possible to do and impossible to determine the true votes.

Which of the other agencies at the time had the ability or inclination to examine the e-voting systems?

Are you assuming the the e-voting systems in use then were accurate and secure? If not, you just agreed with the CIA. If so, you are probably so wrong that you might as well stop now. There is little evidence to support trusting those systems, much less now than at the time of the election.

I have no reason to trust e-voting systems of any kind. Brazil's system seems to be the best of the lot.

But I didn't need the CIA's study to come to that conclusion.

defacing your ballot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27332287)

people complain that you can no longer deface your ballot using voting machines. I disagree, I find a thick sharpy pen does wonders on LCD, CRT and touch displays. it't your right to spoil your voting medium if you choose to do so.

Seriously though the only reason anyone would want to use machines for voting over paper is to fiddle the vote. we the people havn't the balls to stand up and smash these things to peices. we don't deserve even the delusion of freedom.

Bigger problems than just rigging ... (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332289)

In the US, far more than other countries, there are much bigger problems than simple election fraud. There is a chance that fraud can push the majority of votes to a different candidate. That isn't good.

However, I would contend that it can get much, much worse. Right now people have little faith in any elected official to begin with. One thing that didn't help was the assertion by CBS (and others) in 2000 that Gore won the election before all the votes had been counted. Why would they do such a thing? Because people expect results by midnight Eastern time. They won't watch the televised election results unless a winner is announced, and that would cost the TV news folks millions of dollars.

So a winner was announced. Then, two hours later - after many people went to bed - a different winner was announced. Should this happen again you can expect people to claim that all voting is phony and meaningless. You might see a lot of people in violent protests. I'd say the election turnout would end up the next time at maybe 10%.

So we need fast, fast, fast results. Failure to produce them will cause the TV news programs to simply announce a winner based on trends and exit polls. Do you believe that in the US a law could be passed saying that any announcement before official results was illegal? No, I didn't think you would think that. So we are going to have results by midnight, right or wrong, official or unofficial.

And if ths announcement is wrong that is pretty much the end of voting in the US, paper, plastic or e-voting. It really doesn't matter if nobody votes at all. Actually it is probably worse if 10% of the people vote and get to decide for the rest of the country.

Re:Bigger problems than just rigging ... (3, Insightful)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332371)

One thing that didn't help was the assertion by CBS (and others) in 2000 that Gore won the election before all the votes had been counted.

Another thing that didn't help was the assertion by Fox (and others) in 2000 that Bush won the election before all the votes had been counted.

Venezuela (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27332309)

According to international observers such as the Carter Center there were no vote-rigging schemes in Venezuela.
Venezuela's e-voting machines have a paper trail -and- they do a partial hand count for verification.

On the other hand, e-voting in the US has none of that (including international observers).

Fact is though that "Hugo Chavez does not have US interests at heart" (- US State Dept).

Re:Venezuela (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27333027)

im from venezuela,

  as you said, the e-voting machines here leave a paper trail, and observers and citizens from every side (left, right, center, up, down, and Hungarians) can ( and do) audit the votes once the voting table are closed.

and, in 2004 only a bunch of voting centers have e-voting machines, that number has been increased in time, the last two elections have 100% voting centers with e-voting machines.

i personally know the group of people that made the audit system for the smarmatic e-voting machines, it is made in linux, live-usb distro (debian based) and experts from several universities (some of them are against the actual government) and all of them, accept and approve the questioned machines, i still remember that in that year, they have problem with the printer driver, this drivers was only made for windows, and the maker never publish the printer specs, so they ask gently to the maker, or return every printer in every machine, after that, they made the driver and everything work perfect (the audit system).

                 

Re:Venezuela (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27333369)

LEAVE CHAVEZ ALONE !! He's taken the poor up to middle class in less than a few generations ! The US can Bite his ass !! But they can't kill it ~! He's the New Castro for the New Millenium....A man of the People.

Re:Venezuela (1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 5 years ago | (#27333815)

Chavez has been in power for "less than a few generations"? I guess that's true, but a little misleading.

Irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27332325)

Since when does the CIA object to non-democratically elected governments in South America?

"Swing state" (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27332439)

"Swing states" are a media fabrication to enforce the belief in the two-party system.

Ukraine and vote rigging (2, Interesting)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332697)

I looked at the article (imagine that) and it says that what happened in Ukraine was that in the 2004 presidential elections, an authorized computer was secretly placed at vote headquarters and it gave out bogus returns. I'm not surprised, but I hadn't heard that before.

I was in Ukraine during the Orange Revolution. I had not planned on being there during this, it just sort of happened while I was already there. I remember seeing voting returns on TV and everybody knew that the announced results were fraudulent. One of the most populous oblasts (this is basically the Ukrainian version of an American state) said that 99% of the voters voted for Yanukovich, the guy who ended up losing the eventual re-vote. Imagine if you will that in the 2008 elections if California said that 99% of voters voted for Obama or if Texas had reported that 99% of its voters voted for McCain and you have an idea of crazy the fraud was. It wasn't even believable. Basically whoever tried to cheat knew that Yanukovich could not win a fair election, so they turned in impossible vote totals for him in the oblasts where he was expected to win and so that when all the votes were counted, he would have the most votes. It's generally considered that Ukraine now has honest elections as a result of the 2004 election fraud.

Diebold, Tigers and Bears Oh My (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27332907)

Who needs rigged voting machines in the US when you have ACORN

Who is this CIA "expert"? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27332949)

I am from Macedonia, and there is no electronic voting system implemented here, and thanks god for that. We had elections, presidential and municipal, 4 days ago so I should know best :). But it seams that Macedonians are experts in tuning the results by means of threats and pressures, mostly by forcing you to vote for the ruling party, by telling you that if you don't do that, you will loose your job. And how do they get prove that you did what you were told? Simple! On the last elections:
1. You take a picture of the voting paper with your mobile phone
2. Instead of circling the "right" candidate you are "given" special mark that you must use, heart, square, diamond etc.

The second problem our system apparently has is that here in Macedonia there are ~2 million registered citizens, and 1.8 million of registered voters, something that is most obvious not realistic number of voters.

The only electronic voting system we have here, is in the parliament, and it is often misused when the ruling parties lack a quorum for their sessions. So you often have Members of the parliament absent from the sessions, but their electronic ID cards registered in the system as if there is a quorum for voting.

No paper audit trails? (1)

raind (174356) | more than 5 years ago | (#27332959)

Numerous computer-security experts have concluded that US systems can be hacked, and allegations of tampering in Ohio, Florida and other swing states have triggered a campaign to require all voting machines to produce paper audit trails."

Why is this, are they so blind not to have auditing - paper or otherwise. Of course if the data is flawed what is the value of a paper audit?

Re:No paper audit trails? (1)

freedomseven (967354) | more than 5 years ago | (#27333935)

It depends on how the paper trail is generated. If the paper trail is on a continuous roll and generated like a receipt and verified by each voter, then it would be pretty much impossible to alter. But I agree that the average Circle K seems to have more security for their register receipts than some Supervisors of Elections.

"allegations" ??? (2, Insightful)

jc42 (318812) | more than 5 years ago | (#27333003)

I liked the reference to "allegations of tampering" in some US elections. I mean, we're talking about elections in which people demoed their ability to train a chimp to alter the results of a voting machine and delete the log files that contained the evidence.

The use of the term "allegations" here could be viewed by the cynical as not quite what you'd call "fair and balanced" reporting. A better phrasing might probably be something like "brazen and shameless tampering". If you read the literature on the topic, you get a real feeling that the companies involved are all but thumbing their noses at the voting public.

The "hacked" machines weren't compromised due to obscure bugs that the companies quickly fixed. It's more like the hackability was based on a set of carefully designed-in features which the companies are probably bragging about during their sales pitches in the proverbial political back rooms. (Are they still smoke-filled?)

US Systems also hacked (5, Interesting)

Innovative1 (1396647) | more than 5 years ago | (#27333017)

During the last election there were numerous researchers who showed 280 different ways that the current machines can be hacked within about 6 minutes. The paper trail does nothing as it can also be fooled into passing the tests and still rigging the election. There are no sanity checks or anything in the FlashROM bootloader and anyone can hack it with a JTAG that can be built for about three bucks at RatShack. The Diebold DRE firmware was even online during the election so one could disassemble it and write all the code at home without even gaining access before the hack. I even found detailed high-res pictures of the JTAG port, motherboard, screw locations, and EVERYTHING online. I also know that in my town the machines are loaded into U-Hauls each night and then moved to an insecure warehouse near where I work. This is incomprehensible.

In Utah, Emery County clerk Bruce Funk had independent tests done which found multiple ways in which these machines could be exploited and Diebold fought to silence him and attempted to charge the state $40,000 to 're-certify' them. Then he was forced to resign for having them tested. It is obvious that Diebold knows about the issues and is acting to suppress the information. Now reports are coming in that choosing 'straight party' for Democrat sometimes gives votes to Republicans or does not count them at all straight from the Diebold factory. I voted straight party during the last election. Do you know how that makes me feel? It seems like some of them may be rigged right from the factory and there are no checks and balances in place to ensure that they aren't.

The argument that a 'hacker' could not have time during voting to modify these is just common sense and just does not stand up. It is not a 'hacker' during voting time that I am worried about. Anyone with ulterior motives and access to these machines for even five minutes can sway the election. This is such a simple process that it sickens me.

It doesn't even need to actually happen, the idea that it IS POSSIBLE is enough to disenfranchise voters. I feel helpless to stop it. It is bad enough that here in Utah my democratic vote is almost good for nothing, and then I have to fight the uphill battle on a easily hackable machine. I have worked with electronics my whole life and these machines are less secure than my Xbox360 and iPhone.

Will you please help fight to ban electronic voting? Write your senators, congressmen, and president. Please, someone has to stand up for the rights of the voters. We cannot depend on companies like Diebold and others to elect our officials. This is not paranoia, we can not trust these machines. Once it becomes possible to 'buy' an election we will never get this country back from those who stole it. I fear it may already be too late.

Nothing new here (2, Interesting)

Var1abl3 (1021413) | more than 5 years ago | (#27333101)

http://www.bradblog.com/?p=7001 [bradblog.com]
There is a good writeup on 8 people arrested here in the US for tampering with electronic votes.
"KY Election Officials Arrested, Charged With 'Changing Votes at E-Voting Machines'"
Give me a paper ballot and keep a paper trail.

"choosing 'straight party' for Democrat... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27333861)

sometimes gives votes to Republicans or does not count them at all straight from the Diebold factory"

      Yes, genius and look how well thats worked. With Blacks pulling the straight dem ticket to the tune of 98% we should be talking about President McCain.

But no, its all a /tard fantasy and the real corruption is leftist subversion of the the vote with Acorn, the DNC and other "interests" both domestic and foreign working to steal americas vote to the tune of what, 600 million dollars plus?

I mean they had to count the "Indonesian vote" via electronic machine correct, so what the Fuck are you all talking about you fucking dopes.

Get a fucking clue and look at the world around you, its the same old same old and if you believe Chavez was legitimately voted in, you deserve whats coming.

Thats how Obama won you idiots, you got it backwards but alas, soon you'll be coding open sores apps literally for peanuts.

Oh but wait, Its Bushs Fault!

No e-voting in Macedonia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27333919)

I'm from Macedonia and I'm damn sure that there has never been e-voting in Macedonia.

Voting machines and audit trails (2, Informative)

nsayer (86181) | more than 5 years ago | (#27334043)

The paper ballot has never been the problem. Whether you mark the ballot with ink or holes doesn't really change anything. They're easy to count and handle in massive quantities, and we have a long experience dealing with them.

The problem is and has always been how to, with complete unambiguity, record the voter's intent on that paper. And here is where electronic voting machines can be of some assistance. Touch screens are a great interface for voting. It's simple for the user, can be easily localized for any potential language a voter might want to use, and it is trivial to eliminate potential overvotes and warn about undervotes.

Diebold can still get a big contract to make expensive touchscreen voting machines, so far as I care. All they have to do is sell a printer with each machine that simply prints out onto an official ballot form the voter's intent, in human readable form.

If a recount is required, OCRing (remember, we're not talking about OCRing free-form text. The OCR here will simply need to pick between a fixed set of choices) those ballots will be trivial and unambiguous. The voter himself can look at the printed ballot and verify that its contents are exactly what he wanted before turning it in.

This is news? (1)

divisionbyzero (300681) | more than 5 years ago | (#27334223)

All of us already knew electronic voting is easily hacked. The CIA probably knows this firsthand because they have done it.

Hrm, maybe Obama getting elected was payback for the neo-cons throwing the CIA under the bus for Iraq. I am kidding. Maybe.

Other Countries? (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#27334253)

Why don't they investigate the fraud that goes on in this country?

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