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1.9 Billion Digits: Brazil's Bid For Biometric Voting

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the countrymen-lend-me-your-fingers dept.

Government 140

MatthewVD writes "Brazil is on a massive fingerprinting spree, with the goal of collecting biometric information from each of its 190 million citizens and identifying all voters by their biological signatures by 2018. The country already has a fully electronic voting system and now officials are trying to end fraud, which was rampant after the military dictatorship ended. Dissenters complain that recounts could be impossible and this opens the door for new kinds of fraud. Imagine this happening in the U.S."

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FP (0, Troll)

bargainsale (1038112) | about 2 years ago | (#39530047)

Finger Print

Imagine?! (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 2 years ago | (#39530097)

Brother Jeb Bush, and friends ring a bell?

Re:Imagine?! (4, Insightful)

feedayeen (1322473) | more than 2 years ago | (#39530937)

Brother Jeb Bush, and friends ring a bell?

The debacle of the 2000 Florida election was because of paper ballots. If it was illegitimate (I am taking no position on this regard), then it proves that you don't need an electronic system to steal the election if there is systematic corruption already in place. Having an electronic election doesn't help or hurt election fraud in this case, however it does remove a few hundred (thousand?) people involved in counting/reading ballots, each of whom could be corrupt.

Re:Imagine?! (4, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 2 years ago | (#39531023)

Having an electronic election doesn't help or hurt election fraud in this case, however it does remove a few hundred (thousand?) people involved in counting/reading ballots, each of whom could be corrupt.

It removes many who individually could have only a marginal impact on the results while at the same time increasing the size of the "lottery" - such that it is now:

a) Possible for a single invidiual with the right access to corrupt the entire election
b) Do it with much less chance of getting caught because purging an electronic audit trail is a million times easier than covering up physical ballot stuffing at thousands of polling stations

Re:Imagine?! (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39531785)

What it does, whether actual fraud takes place or not, is to open the door to allegation of fraud that cannot be refuted.

I don't know about your country, in mine, every party that participated in the election has the right to call for a recount (at their expense) and send representatives to supervise that recount. Supervising such a recount is trivial. The skills needed by a superviser include being able to identify where a cross has been made on a slip of paper and being able to count paper slips. The average 6 year old should be able to do that with some certainty.

That's not the case with e-voting. It all starts with being unable to tell whether every vote was counted correctly in the first place. Was every vote placed where the voter made his "cross"? With pen-and-paper elections, you have a physical slip of paper that is tossed into the voting bin by the person who votes. The voter goes into the booth, he makes his cross, he comes back out and he dumps a piece of paper himself into the box, under the eyes of representatives of every participating party. The box has been throughly inspected by them all to make sure it's empty before it was sealed, again with them identifying the seal, and they again are there when that seal is broken and the counting starts. There is simply NO way you could possible remove or add any votes illegally.

Not so with electronic booths. Was the "box" empty? And even if, does the box only count every vote once? It's trivial to multiply datasets, how can I know for sure that the code doesn't do that? I can audit it? Let's assume I cannot, like more than 99% of the people out there. Why should I trust you, auditor? Maybe you're in with them and get a ton of money to shut up about their fraud? And how should I recount? I don't even know if the votes you present to me were real because there is no paper slip being tossed into the box, let alone by the voter himself. Did you make dead people vote? Or how do you explain the suspiciously high voter turnout this time?

The problem isn't fraud alone. It's that you cannot simply debunk allegations of fraud easily. Today, you cry foul? Here's the ballots, you can see where the cross was made, you can count, go ahead and check. Your party member has been there all the time and he saw that our box was legit. It's trivial to check either for any person without handicaps. I'd wager about 99% of the voters could easily recount today and be part of the process that ensures that no fraud can happen.

With electronic voting, more than 99% cannot.

And now convince those 99+% that you have been elected legally when the losing parties cry foul and you cannot prove them wrong without reasonable doubt.

Re:Imagine?! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39531883)

In Brazil, every single party or entity (like universities, etc) has access to the full source code for the elecion systems, terminals and servers. The code is digitally signed by all those parties and any of them can ask for an independent audit. Random voting machines with printers are also spread out the country. Is there a room for fraud? Of course, no system is 100% secure but so far, no fraud was detected. With so many eyes looking at the whole process, nowadays only conspiracy theorists think there's been any fraud.

Better but worse (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39532025)

So better than a completely unverifiable system, but worse that a paper ballot which is 100% verifiable.

"nowadays only conspiracy theorists think there's been any fraud."

No, why would you have less than 100% verifiable system? If you know paper printers are necessary, by putting them only on a FEW machines, you've simply signalled to the fraudsters which machines to leave with valid votes. The actual paper audit trail requires you take a verified paper trail of *everyone* then *after* pick the random selection to sample.

The reason for picking the random selection afterwards, is that nobody can know ahead of time which machines can be rigged and which not. But by having printers only on some, you've broken that condition and made it easy to fake.

Re:Imagine?! (1)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39532745)

Paper ballots can be "multiplied" too. They can also be "deleted", and ballot boxes can be stuffed. Paper is in no way a secure system. Being able to physically count it afterwards doesn't prevent fraud between voting day and recount day.

Re:Imagine?! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39532769)

Amazingly enough, the researchers in this field are not completely obtuse.
We're aware of this -- actually, it's one of the main foci of current research: how to achieve straightforward verifiability while maintaining a very high standard of privacy and easily detecting any serious cheating.
There are various proposals, e.g. pret a voter, helios, civitas, scantegrity, punchscan, eperio, ...
Do note that having said that, most researchers still don't think evoting is ready for governmental elections -- see the Dagstuhl accord [dagstuhlaccord.org] (and note that text was a compromise -- there were strong voices for more extreme standpoints on either side of the debate).

What is one of the main promises of evoting is the ability to replace the "chain of custody": was the ballot box empty? did anyone add additional ballots to the box? did someone change ballots? was each and every ballot counted? Counted correctly?
You're right, it's trivial to check this in a paper ballot system -- if you spent the whole day glued to the ballot box and never blink once. Otherwise, you're going to have to trust someone.
It would be nice if you don't have to do that, but could have the same guarantees anyway.

Electronic voting = fraud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39531933)

"Having an electronic election doesn't help or hurt election fraud in this case, however it does remove a few hundred (thousand?) people involved in counting/reading ballots, each of whom could be corrupt."

It's more efficient, now only ONE person needs to be corrupt to swing a ballot, not a few hundred thousand.

Is that better? Is it better if Jeb Bush can rig the election *without* paying Choicepoint to compile a bogus list of Democrats to remove from the election roll?

Re:Imagine?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39532151)

I'm in Florida. When that was going on I went to vote in the next election with the intention of creating as many "hanging Chads" on my ballot as possible just to be a jackass. It was not possible to create one no matter what I tried. I know someone else that got ahold of a stack of ballots and a machiene outside of the election cycle and was able to create them by sticking 10 or so ballots and punching them all at once.

Seeing as Gore had the majority of "hanging Chads", it looked to me that the only fake votes were for Gore and he still lost. They have since switched to paper fill-in the blank ballots so you can't reproduce the experiment with the same equipment anymore.

I know its popular to say Bush stole the election, but I just tried to find out for myself how common the "Chad" problem was. No one in the media had mentioned the truth about that aspect of those ballots.

Re:Imagine?! (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 2 years ago | (#39532875)

Seeing as Gore had the majority of "hanging Chads", it looked to me that the only fake votes were for Gore and he still lost. They have since switched to paper fill-in the blank ballots so you can't reproduce the experiment with the same equipment anymore.

this is really really interesting stuff. Please don't just post this anon. You sound like yet another republican failing to admit to having lost. If what you say is true, then you have enough interesting stuff to put up a pretty clear blog posting, or better to get published and that would have a real effect on the ability of the rest of us to trust the US as a democracy.

Re:Imagine?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39532807)

The debacle of the 2000 Florida election was because of paper ballots.

BZZZZ. Incorrect.

The debacle of the 2000 Florida election was because of voting machines.

Paper ballot, pencil, large boxes next to each candidate's name.

Basic democracy, you should try is sometime America.

Re:Imagine?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39530943)

It didn't, so I fscking googled it. Looks like it was a hot topic on democraticunderground.com last month. Which would explain why I didn't get the reference, because I don't visit the crank web sites of the far left or right. (Except for Slashdot, obviously.)

Re:Imagine?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39531843)

Bring it on. I'm confident there is a lot more lefty fraud going on, as with most things criminal.

Re:Imagine?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39532551)

Speaking of Bush, how many is a Brazillion casualties?

Sounds like (2)

Xandrax (2451618) | about 2 years ago | (#39530163)

Sounds like an excellent opportunity for the government to gather fingerprints of all its citizens "for their own good". After all, election fraud is bad...almost "It's for the children!" bad.

Of course, a smarter government would find a way to require DNA samples, rather than simple fingerprints, "to prevent election fraud".

TF2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39530203)

... should have a tinfoil hat.

Re:TF2 (1)

Xandrax (2451618) | about 2 years ago | (#39530273)

You're right. I'm sure that database of fingerprints is not going to immediately be made available to every law-enforcement and itelligence agency in Brazil.

I'd rather wear a tinfoil hat than a dunce cap.

Fingerprints at Disneyworld (1)

Bananatree3 (872975) | about 2 years ago | (#39530291)

If that's the case, I'm sure every park visitor at Disneyworld now has their fingerprints automatically added to an FBI database [boingboing.net]

Re:Fingerprints at Disneyworld (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 2 years ago | (#39532887)

If that's the case, I'm sure every park visitor at Disneyworld now has their fingerprints automatically added to an FBI database [boingboing.net]

They don't need to. Why should they. The FBI just accesses the database when they have a "reasonable suspicion" ("he looked ugly and had a kid with him"). Why go to the cost of keeping your own database when someone else could do that for you and won't have to go cleaning it up of innocent people.

Re:TF2 (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39530327)

In Brazil the fingerprint is already available to law enforcement. The Brazilian identity card already has it printed on the back
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazilian_identity_card

Re:TF2 (1)

Xandrax (2451618) | about 2 years ago | (#39530379)

I see. Everyone's fingerprint is already available due to the ID card. Yet the article indicates that Brazil is on a "massive fingerprinting spree".

Something doesn't add up.

Re:TF2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39530449)

Everyone that has document (99% of population) has it fingerprint avaliable to the law

Re:TF2 (1)

petman (619526) | more than 2 years ago | (#39530755)

According to the Wikipedia article, the ID card contains only the thumbprint. OTOH, the current biometric data collection exercise collects prints of all the fingers.

Re:TF2 (2)

fredprado (2569351) | more than 2 years ago | (#39530805)

The ID Card only contains the Thumbprint, but the card you fill to get the ID, which stays with the government, contains the fingerprint of all your fingers for both hands.

Re:TF2 (1)

lordbyron (38382) | more than 2 years ago | (#39532639)

Many countries have a printed fingerprint on the card but that is effectively useless. The systems need to have it stored in a non-compressed image so the system can match the minutia.

Re:Sounds like (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39530249)

Brazilian government already collects fingerprints from every single citizen. Only now they're making it digitally and use to validate voter's identity during election.

Re:Sounds like (1)

keeboo (724305) | more than 2 years ago | (#39531813)

That's correct, and it's the "digital" and "unified database" thingies that scare me to death.

So it seems bad? It's even worse within historic contextualization.

The brazilian government has a disturbing, and increasingly stronger, tradition of imposed culture homogenization and control centralization.
That, so I understand, has roots from an old fear of country desintegration. We have disgraceful examples from a not-so-distant past (1940s, 1950s) when european migrants (most living in the southern region) were forbidden (or strongly discouraged) to publish local newspapers in their language, to teach such languages in local schools and even (that happened to germans descendants) books, if not entire libraries, were destroyed since the material is not in the "correct" language. Brazil had a massive influx of immigrants in the late 1800 early 1900, and yet that fact is, at best, a side note on History classes children attend. It is as it never happened and people simply existed as an cohesive nation.

Nowadays we may go to places where most people are, let's say, of ukrainian origin, have such physical appearance, but do not know anything about their ancestral language nor from which region they came from. Their culture was intentionally destroyed and a "brazilian culture" (being to national culture what Esperanto is to a natural language) was pushed down their throats.

The public administration is extremely centralized, by design. The brazilian "federal system" is not that, except for the name. The states in Brazil have less autonomy than the provinces in Canada (even disregarding Quebec). The brazilian constitution itself has absolute clausulas petreas (entrenchment clauses) on that matter, including absolute indissolubility of the so-called federation.

The fact the brazilian capital was moved to a fabricated city [wikipedia.org] in the middle of nowhere, far from the dangers of popular revolt, says a lot.

Now we have IT developed to levels allowing storage and processing of every single citizen.
And not even that is news. Even IT specialists are not usually aware of the level of information concentration in Serpro [google.com] .
It's immensely ironic to find intelectualized brazilians bashing the horrendous privacy laws from foreign countries, while oblivious to what is solidly stablished under their own noses.

More recently, the brazilian government realized that, even with all the brainwashing efforts, the economic mid-class suffered a big hit in the 1980s and 1990s and started to get somewhat smarter and, the most worrying, insatisfied.
Meanwhile the upper class have money and never cared about such things. The government is usually friendly, otherwise there's always the option to leave the country.
The lower-class, often uneducated, people is busy trying to survive and know nothing about anything. No danger here either, and any possible enlightening is kept under control with substandard education.
Few years ago the federal government started a brilliant strategy of economic empowerment of its low-class citizens (education be damned, nobody wants the cattle starting to think) with actions which include a program that, in practice, give free money to people (Note: Brazil's economy management improved immensely the last years, but it also had a dumb luck. The last years there's an influx of money clogging the government pipes so, for a while at least, it is viable to do such things).
At the same time the, now inconvenient, mid-class is being crushed by taxes, while being accused of low-class parasitism by clever populist propaganda from the very government. The last years it has been talked about a "new mid-class" with indirect suggestions of damnation/extinction of the former one.

Going back to the topic:
Does it seem likely that this new fabricated, and semi-educated, mid-class will care about privacy issues and concentration of power?
Specially now when the economy is doing so well that huge LCD HD TVs ("HD" = "very good, or something.. need a beer") are selling more than toilet paper?
Of couse not.

In the end the brazilian government with do whatever they want. They can, and they're fully aware of this.
And nobody will care, because it always have been this way, it's always been taught this say, and it's absolutely normal to everyone.

So is the design of things.
Prepare all your fingers to be scanned, and pray that the government do not see purpose for anal probes.

Re:Sounds like (3, Insightful)

marcosdumay (620877) | about 2 years ago | (#39530285)

If the Brazilian Government was just a bit organized, it would already have the fingerprint of everybody. It already collects them, and several times. It is just one more collection.

By the way, I just don't get the antagony some people have about the government cadastrating people. No, it doen't lead to retriction of freedom, and is not necessary for that.

Re:Sounds like (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39530441)

Several times? What are they? Don't people refuse to give them, or or use fake fingerprint skins to defeat the system?

Brazil has always seemed to me like the next fascist superpower, going beyond China.

Re:Sounds like (4, Informative)

alexgieg (948359) | more than 2 years ago | (#39530809)

Several times? What are they?

When you make your National ID card you must give them (all ten fingers), as well as anytime you renew it, for any reason, be it because it was stolen, because you lost them, or because it's time to renew it, which is once every 10 years (although you usually only discover it's time to renew it when you try to open a bank account and someone tells you your ID is void). The same goes for your passport, which is valid for 5 years, although most people don't have one, so this one is optional.

Don't people refuse to give them, or or use fake fingerprint skins to defeat the system?

Nope. Brazil has no recent history of extensive persecution of minorities, so the huge majority of the population doesn't mind.

Brazil has always seemed to me like the next fascist superpower, going beyond China.

Ah, I don't think so. People here mostly don't care about anything political, at all. And the governing parties, all of them, are corrupt in a purely non-ideological way, interested solely in money above anything and everything else. This isn't the kind of scenario that leads to fascism. Besides, when we had a fascist party, way back, it was as odd in its "fascistness" as anything that happens around here. I remember reading once a text by its founder, I don't remember his name, criticizing then Nazi Germany and fascist Italy for persecuting Jews and foreigners. Go figure...

Re:Sounds like (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#39530999)

So they have the finger prints already. (Since they are going to all this trouble it would seem that the prior collections of prints are useless in this encoding process, and a real finger is needed.)

Presumably the new finger printing is simply encoded and placed on some form of voter id card, which you must present
when you want to vote. (Story and the summary are a little vague about this). Surely they are not doing real-time hits on some central database for these encoded prints, merely validating that the cards match the hand of the carrier. Lots of remote locations in Brazil, it seems unlikely they would have a real time link.

If it does work this way, (no central database check) this opens the door to card cloning, (counterfeiting). All you need is to transfer the encoded numbers to cards that are close enough, and visit several polling places under different names. Get there early, before the real person, who's id you cloned, and vote early and often.

I assure you Sir, I may not look like Dilma Rousseff, but this is her card and my finger prints match. Who are you to argue?

Re:Sounds like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39531253)

The Brazilian Minister of Technology just announced that the BRIC reunion spawned a 750$Million satellite deal with India to bring internet and 3G to the whole of Brazil. Plus, a range of other tech deals. Brazil's on-hold order (possibly) for 36 Rafales is now being discussed as being somehow merged with India's already decided one-hundred and score order for the same. Including the merging technology transfer items.

But, magical thinking does seem to go on a spree at these reunions. Then the harsh reality of a petty-minded outdated parochial feudalistic ultimately slaveholder landlord pseudo-aristocratic oligarchy mars the path to decency and progressive modern civilization for all.

Re:Sounds like (1)

lordbyron (38382) | more than 2 years ago | (#39532635)

They currently have limited ability to do a 1:N matching for the captured fingerprints. As well as they are not currently doing any deduplication. The national ID is rather ineffective. The services tied to it are only doing photo matching not biometric matching which means it is easy to fake the id.

Re:Sounds like (1)

fredprado (2569351) | more than 2 years ago | (#39530841)

You need to give them to get your ID Card, and Driver's License, for example. And although we are far from being a heaven of individual freedom, here in Brazil the corporations have way less legislation power than they have in US and we have a lot more freedom of expression than most developed countries. Our government is far from being facist or even communist, on the other hand our corruption levels are higher than average, though.

Re:Sounds like (2)

alexgieg (948359) | more than 2 years ago | (#39530677)

By the way, I just don't get the antagony some people have about the government cadastrating people. No, it doen't lead to retriction of freedom, and is not necessary for that.

This depends on culture. It doesn't really matter when there's no persecution of certain groups nor any prospect of there ever been one, but when something like this exists, or is a concrete possibility, it matters a lot. The typical example is Nazi Germany, whose persecution of Jews was perhaps hundreds of times more effective than it'd have been for the sole reason Germany had extensive, very precise information on who was a Jew and where, exactly, all of them lived.

Re:Sounds like (2)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 2 years ago | (#39530959)

The typical example is Nazi Germany, whose persecution of Jews was perhaps hundreds of times more effective than it'd have been for the sole reason Germany had extensive, very precise information on who was a Jew and where, exactly, all of them lived.

Closer to home, at least for most slashdotters, was the WWII interment of americans of japanese descent [scientificamerican.com] - where the US Census Bureau handed over their names and addresses to the US Secret Service who then rounded them up.

What's more, such misuse of census data is (and was even then) forbidden, except that congress passed the war-powers act removiing those protections. Which goes to show that it does not matter what someone promises to do (or not do) with your data, if they have it, sooner or later they are going find a way to use it in ways that are not in your best interest.

And in case anyone feels the need to trivialize the internment of these people as a temporary precaution - it was NOT temporary. While they were gone, many of them had their property (land and other assests) confiscated or otherwise stolen so that when they were finally released, many were impoverished. We didn't send them to the gas chambers, but we were only marginally less cruel than the people we were fighting.

Re:Sounds like (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 2 years ago | (#39532903)

We didn't send them to the gas chambers, but we were only marginally less cruel than the people we were fighting.

Generally your point is sound. There were also a number of interesting war crimes committed by Allied forces and so on. This statement is going massively too far. As a few random examples: The Germans under the Nazi regime actually took mathematicians (members of the educated classes) and grew lice on them for experiments before starving them to death. They deliberately had babies born in the concentration camp and then denied them access to any milk to test malnutrition and starvation. The treatment of the interned Japanese Americans was terribly unjust but it was nothing close to the acts of Nazi Germany and should not be compared in that way. It stands on it's own as a serious crime; don't undermine that.

Re:Sounds like (3, Insightful)

TrekkieGod (627867) | about 2 years ago | (#39530297)

Sounds like an excellent opportunity for the government to gather fingerprints of all its citizens "for their own good". After all, election fraud is bad...almost "It's for the children!" bad.

Of course, a smarter government would find a way to require DNA samples, rather than simple fingerprints, "to prevent election fraud".

It is an escalation, but Brazil already had fingerprints on all citizens. I remember my ID card, the one the article mentioned their replacing with the new biometric stuff, had my thumbprint. (Contents of the card [wikipedia.org] )

Now I'm older, and I grew up in the US and actually care about this kind of stuff as a result of the culture shift. That said, I can tell you that Brazilians tend to not give much thought to the government having that information. At least my mother and her family don't, and I'm under the impression they're representative of the general population in that regard.

Re:Sounds like (2)

lehphyro (1465921) | more than 2 years ago | (#39531031)

I can tell you that Brazilians tend to not give much thought to the government having that information.

The general public in the world doesn't give much thought to anyone having that information.

Re:Sounds like (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39531815)

For reference, see any social network site. If they'd want fingerprints, people would provide them freely. Twice as fast if they get promised some vanity item in their favorite browser game.

Re:Sounds like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39532425)

Fingerprints on this scale don't work without fully automatic forgery detection. DNA samples require once again fully automatic processing which could be painful.. Perhaps a random combination of fingerprints, various blood vessel patterns and the face, combined with automatic forgery detection systems and the DNA as a last resort? If in doubt, spill the blood as the saying almost goes.

GODDAMNIT (1)

Bananatree3 (872975) | about 2 years ago | (#39530169)

Even Diebold makes ATMs [diebold.com] . Our online banking systems are pretty damn secure. Not hacker proof of course, but pretty good.
So then why is it so damn hard to make a *secure*, paper-trail-producing and recountable voting system?
This is a fucking easy engineering problem, compared to the kinds of digital financial transaction systems we've already built. Why is it so hard to make a viable electronic voting system?

Re:GODDAMNIT (5, Informative)

marcosdumay (620877) | about 2 years ago | (#39530303)

It is because of that anonimity requirement.

Anonimity makes it impossible to make a secure (in the mathematical sense) election. The best we can do is to make the flaws hard to exploit, what is a completely diferent problem from securing an ATM.

Re:GODDAMNIT (1)

Bananatree3 (872975) | about 2 years ago | (#39530387)

thank you - I found it excruciatingly annoying that something as simple as counting a vote would be so tough to secure. However, anonymity does add a different layer of complexity.... to a point.

Wouldn't some kind of heavily-salted MD5 hash of a combo of private info (mother's maden name + a secret pin + social security number) be enough to keep things secret?

Re:GODDAMNIT (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#39530573)

Sure it will keep things secret.. but its not secure.

anonymity vs security (1)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 2 years ago | (#39530611)

My MD5 hash suggestion was only about anonymity...not secuity. Securing it seems would be done with standard-issue security techniques.

Re:GODDAMNIT (1)

muon-catalyzed (2483394) | more than 2 years ago | (#39530603)

> counting a vote would be so tough to secure

true, it is way easier to secure the recount manager's loyalty

Re:GODDAMNIT (1)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 2 years ago | (#39530609)

If there is any way to tie you to a vote, you lose anonymity. If you lose that, you can be threatened, cajoled or outright bought. If you have a nice hash, then all the bad guys need is someone with access to the register of hashes and they simply collect your receipt and compare it to the registered vote. In the US and Western Europe, that may not be all that easy, but it is still possible. In places with even more corruption, its downright easy. And you can easily have your bribe withheld until your vote has been verified through back door channels, or you can be beaten or killed after the election at any time.

Right now, you can be threatened and even bribed, but if your vote enters the ether, there's no way to prove you voted as desired. That's why the politicians instead either try to indirectly bribe with social programs or lower taxes, based on their party. And really, that's what that is. If the governments worked like they should, the tax rate would be sufficient to cover expenses and raised and lowered based on need, rather than for the creation of some new program, or the removal of taxes for the sake of indiscriminate tax cutting.

Re:GODDAMNIT (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39531847)

No, it would not be secret. All I need is to know the algorithm (which at the very least the company that made the machines knows, as well as every auditor), then simply type in your name, address and all the other tidbits the hash uses and then look for that hash to find out how you voted.

What COULD work (but I honestly didn't give that too much thought yet) was if you got some random number printed on a paper slip and with this number which is by NO means tied to you in any way and also must not be recorded to your name in any way, and with this number you could check how this number voted. Then there is a connection between you and that number that is known only to you (because only you actually have that number), and a connection between the vote cast and that number that can be made public because nobody but you knows which number belongs to whom.

That way you could actually "safely" check whether your vote was counted correctly. That does of course not protect against "ghost" votes, i.e. votes that have no voter attached and get slipped in somehow.

Re:GODDAMNIT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39532779)

What you describe reduces your anonymity very slightly. Systems that get very close to both anonymous and secure exist, in much the same way is the TSP isn't much of a problem in practice.

Re:GODDAMNIT (1)

ketonesam (812005) | more than 2 years ago | (#39531649)

The ThreeBallot voting system (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ThreeBallot), which is both anonymous and verifiable. The main problem seems to be that it is too complicated for the average voter.

Re:GODDAMNIT (3, Informative)

Leafheart (1120885) | more than 2 years ago | (#39532273)

We try to do what we can here to help with that. As the summary mentions, we had tons of problems during and after the military dictatorship in Brazil (payed by the US of course) in the 60s to 80s. On the early days of democracy, voting fraud was rampant, since it was the same basic politics of yore, now with a thin veil of democratic participation. Voting, before the fully e-vote system was rampant with fraud, and delays, Florida level of delays.

We tried our best to make the e-vote machines and the election system as secure and transparent as possible, among what was done we have.

  • Voting registration is mandatory when you turn eighteen. When you do you receive a card and is assigned a voting station which is close to your home (if you move you can change). This allows every party to know, much ahead of time, how many votes are expected at each pooling station. To avoid extra votes.
  • There is no touch screen to deal with it. The voting is done on a numeric keyboard. You know prior hand, during the campaign the number for each candidate. So no fiddling with positioning to mark it for the other candidate.
  • The source code is open any political party has access to it. They recently ran a public audit\hacking of the system to search for flaws. They found one, which is getting fixed for the next election. And the bug was regarding anonymity( it was possible to de-scramble the vote order so i you have the order people voted you could know who voted for who. But you would have to breach in two fronts).
  • Before the election in a public ceremony the code is uploaded, checksumed, and the machines locked. So we know which code is in there.

So yeah, not perfect, but it is so much better and safe than what we had on the paper ballot days, that noone wants to go back.

Re:GODDAMNIT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39530367)

It is not. As is not hard to vote directly for president instead of using delegates.

Re:GODDAMNIT (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 2 years ago | (#39530667)

was that a rhetorical question?
Easy electronic voting means no need for representatives holding power to make laws. Direct democracy becomes feasible.

Yes I already know the objections: people have no expertise on all the stuff they are going to decide upon. That's not a problem, a party can still exist as a way to orient people, who can vote only for what they care for.

The other objection is that the system would be schizophrenic. Well it is already. Only the decisions which are backed by powerful people are consistent. But they are usually not in the best interest of anybody else.

A variant is, people are too dumb to vote. That's is not a prerequisite for direct democracy, it's a consequence of indirect democracy, with power elites naturally occurring that realize that the dumber electors are, the better. Classic greece was not a paradise, I suggest it was more like mafia wars, but the citizen was pressured to be a responsible one. We are pressured to escape, to cut corners, from both the mainstream and the alternative culture. Guess why.

Re:GODDAMNIT (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#39530839)

The real issue is why take a cheap and nasty shortcut with the most fundamental issue of any democracy the election. Why go electronic with an issue that is meant to be of the people, by the people and for the people. The hardest system to cheap on any scale is a manual system, where representatives from all parties are at the election stations, where the votes are manually counted at the election stations, and then the results sent through by multiple routes to the vote tally centre (each representative can send the count from each election station to the party at the tally centre).

Voting was never meant to be electronic, it is manual event, a celebration of democracy and, part of the role of government is to get the public involved in the election process. Every time electronic voting comes up, it is becoming pretty obvious it is all about those that make the machines, the rich and greedy, electronically stealing elections.

Hold all elections on a Saturday or make it a public holiday to ensure plenty of volunteers from all political parties are available to monitor the election process. Allow charities to hold bake and hot dog etc. sales at election stations, getting more people involved. Video monitor all election stations, especially the point where people are checked off the election rolls (trying to stop all cheating is much easier when people who do it know they will get caught).

Re:GODDAMNIT (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#39530869)

Why is it so hard to make a viable electronic voting system? Trust, with an ATM you are implicitly trusting the bank to be honest. Electronic voting cannot be made trustworthy since someone has to maintain the machines, networks and counting software, the potential security holes in paper voting are well understood by all sides and trust is not a requirement when all sides get to watch the polling booths and count the ballots together in front of each other and independent observers. So, if your going to add a paper trail to an electronic vote to give you the essential ability to audit a count, then why do we need or even want a computer network?

Even if you could make a fair electronic voting system that did not require implicit trust, I don't think it's enough, a voting system must also be "seen to be fair". The judicial arm of government should be the umpire in any system, with the power to order recounts or a do-over, they should not have the power to decide the winner by devinig voter's intentions from mangled ballots.

Re:GODDAMNIT (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#39530877)

Cocked up the quote tags...

Why is it so hard to make a viable electronic voting system?

Re:GODDAMNIT (1)

lordbyron (38382) | more than 2 years ago | (#39532643)

We are starting to rollout ATMs that require fingerprint verification against your UID/Aadhaar number in India.

A semi-Marxist state with voter ID? (0)

gelfling (6534) | about 2 years ago | (#39530197)

I think I just heard Rachel Maddow's head explode.

Re:A semi-Marxist state with voter ID? (2)

Carlos Laviola (127699) | about 2 years ago | (#39530239)

This is about Brazil, not Cuba. There isn't an inch of Marxism in our government system.

Re:A semi-Marxist state with voter ID? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39530363)

This is about Brazil, not Cuba. There isn't an inch of Marxism in our government system.

Pay no attention to the OP. American politics are so off the rails that the conservative political positions of less than a generation ago are routinely labeled Marxist by those same conservatives. Which basically waters down the meaning of the term so much that all countries on Earth could be labeled Marxist states to some degree or another, because they all have governments.

Re:A semi-Marxist state with voter ID? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39531269)

I've always preferred the term "Karlist government", there's just something a little more...I dunno... brotherly, about it.

Re:A semi-Marxist state with voter ID? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#39531561)

Brazil is not communist. Thanks to the CIA they 'removed' all their communists.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Condor#Brazil [wikipedia.org]
A massive network of telex machines called CONDORTEL was used to trace and then "question" people of interest.
The questions where in real time over many days. Think of it as an early chatroom with realtime translation as information was extracted.
After information was extracted and referenced you joined ~ 60,000 in death.

Yeah, whatever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39530209)

Like recounts help anything at all.

Awesomeness (1)

whitedsepdivine (1491991) | about 2 years ago | (#39530227)

Awesome, no more half wits that fraud their way into office. Screw you Bush.

Re:Awesomeness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39531875)

Yeah because the guy that replaced that fuckwit is sooo smart, right? He's Bush plus the ability to have a Baptist preacher's inflection when he reads from a teleprompter, minus the ability to make every time we violate another country's sovereignty seem like we did it because otherwise Satan would win. The idiots who supported either choice need to be beaten with a cricket bat. Hard. They'd still deserve a beating if they'd chosen the main opponent in either race. In fact I wish all you idiots would just die from hamburger poisoning. I also wish there was such a thing as hamburger poisoning.

digits == fingers, not numerals (4, Informative)

ClickOnThis (137803) | about 2 years ago | (#39530263)

The article refers to digits as in those things at the ends of our hands, not numeric digits. So, the actual amount of data will be far bigger than 1.9 billion numeric digits. Nothing they can't handle, of course.

Re:digits == fingers, not numerals (1)

dmbasso (1052166) | more than 2 years ago | (#39530605)

I didn't read it referred to the amount of data anywhere... and you know the origin of 'digit' and why our natural base is decimal, right?

Re:digits == fingers, not numerals (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#39530709)

I dunno man, that seems pretty offensive to 9 fingered people... How about we come up with a more politically correct reason?

Re:digits == fingers, not numerals (1)

FairAndHateful (2522378) | more than 2 years ago | (#39531209)

9 fingers? That's crazy, who'd use a base-9 numerical system? Pffft!

On a related note, I did invent a non-decimal system for my personal use. I came up with the idea shortly after I killed a swordsmith. I believe his name was Montoya.

Re:digits == fingers, not numerals (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 2 years ago | (#39531335)

Yes - but this does raise the possibility, at some point in the future, of voting with your middle finger.

Dead people voting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39530313)

Well it would certainly end all the dead people from Chicago voting.

But then if you did have a dead person show up at the polls it would be the opening of the Zombie war.

Everyone fears technology. But when was the last time you left your smartphone home?

Exactly.

Re:Dead people voting? (3, Insightful)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 2 years ago | (#39530637)

Until they decompose, dead people still have finger prints. Don't worry about Chicago, they are probably well stocked with cryogenic freezing facilities for the storage of digits, as needed.

And of course, let's not forget that I think the Mythbusters proved it's pretty easy to fake out fingerprint scanners with some putty and a little bit of spit.

Re:Dead people voting? (1)

lordbyron (38382) | more than 2 years ago | (#39532657)

Actually most fingerprint scanners can detect heat and need fresh oil. While it is possible as proven in nigeria most high quality devices are able to detect non-living fingers.

As far as the myth busters episode fingerprint scanners and software are set at a range of false acceptance rates vs false rejection rates. The lower the false acceptance rate the more false rejects you have. The device they used had a very high false acceptance rate meaning it was easy to fool ... it also was a cheap capacity device not an optical such as the ones used in most government applications.

Well done. (1)

tool462 (677306) | about 2 years ago | (#39530319)

Imagine this happening in the U.S

Thanks for including that in there. Most of us were going to do that anyway, but now we won't have any of those "Hey Idiot, this is in Brazil, not America. The Constitution doesn't apply there" comments and the brain-dead road that goes down. Huzzah!

My scathing critique:
What about people without fingerprints?
Are burn victims disenfranchised?
Mobsters will just cut off people's fingers and use them to vote.
Mythbusters proved that fingerprints are easy to fake.

Bam.
Busted.

Re:Well done. (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#39530517)

What about people without fingerprints?

There are already procedures for dealing with them, as the fingerprints are already collected (just not by a machine).

Mobsters will just cut off people's fingers and use them to vote.

That is hylarious. Yes, people will just show up in a line, holding handless fingers, and nobody will notice. They'll put that extra finger in a machine, in front of six random people, and none of them will see anything.

Mythbusters proved that fingerprints are easy to fake.

Yeah, now we have something. It is indeed arguable if this will provide any extra security, and there wasn't any wide discussion about that. But the cost is no big deal - the Government will colect everybody's fingerprint, again - thus, I'd classify it as low risk.

"Imagine this happening in the US" (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 2 years ago | (#39530431)

Who are you, Roland Piquipaille? Trolling for page hits? Slashdot readers don't need to be shepherded to draw conclusions. This is not 5th grade. Christ, Editors.... EDIT !

adermatoglyphia (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | about 2 years ago | (#39530455)

as soon as gene therapy perfects the Immigration Delay Disease this is gonna be awesomesauce

fingers (0)

skeq (2607427) | about 2 years ago | (#39530477)

now the mafia will cut off fingers when they want to fraud...

the problem is not controlling is representativism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39530589)

The problem of today's representative democracy are the representants and the long cycles of civil citizenship actuation. If I should have the power to change that, I'd go for direct democracy with descentralized, geo-located, crowdsourced governing system. Something along the lines of a Dictatorship of technology with FLOSS and collaborative process of curation and bug reporting of coding and building pipelines. There I said.

When the people fear their government (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39530849)

A wise man once said: "When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."

Btw, I, as a brazilian, must say that the quote "Imagine this happening in the US" was VERY offensive to me.

Oh, and english is not my native language, but come on, the topic is just wrong: "1.9 billion digits" does not make sense.

Re:When the people fear their government (4, Interesting)

TrekkieGod (627867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39531255)

A wise man once said: "When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."

The point of that saying is that governments should be easily overthrown (which is actually the entire point of having elected officials. When they start pulling crap like asking citizens to be fingerprinted, you overthrow the government by electing a brand new one. The newly elected officials would then fear introducing similar legislation and then no longer being re-elected. In practice, the people are far too apathetic for the system to work that well, but as Churchill put it, "Democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.")

Btw, I, as a brazilian, must say that the quote "Imagine this happening in the US" was VERY offensive to me.

As a fellow Brazilian, I can tell you that Brazilians have an unfortunate tendency to be very easily offended for no reason at all. In fact, the fact that I pointed this out probably offended you.

I grew up here in the US, South Carolina to be exact, and all the statement is accurate. You're just missing some cultural background on the American thought process. People here are, in general, very anti-government. All that was meant is that If the federal government suggested fingerprinting everyone here, there would be a huge backlash. In fact, not too long ago there was a federal law passed (the REAL ID Act [wikipedia.org] that would require state identification cards and driver's licenses to pass certain requirements to function as a federal ID card (we don't have a carteira de identidade as in Brazil, there is no federal ID card). The backlash was such that 25 states have passed some type of legislation vowing to not participate in the program. And they don't even require fingerprints, just full name, signature, date of birth, gender, a unique identification number (which was the cause for most of the backlash), address, and a photograph.

There's a lot of things I don't agree with in American culture (like the general lack of interest and trust in science), but I do wish Brazilians would adopt some of the very, very healthy distrust of government.

Oh, and english is not my native language, but come on, the topic is just wrong: "1.9 billion digits" does not make sense.

It's digits as in "digitais". The population of Brazil is approximately190 million, assuming everyone has 10 fingers (or digits), you arrive at that number.

A voting machine is better than paper (3, Insightful)

davide marney (231845) | more than 2 years ago | (#39530903)

I am a poll worker, and my precinct uses electronic voting machines. The thing most people don't realize is that very, very few elections are close enough to trigger an automatic recount. In my state, the votes have to be within 1% of each other for a recount. Since the 1800s, for example, only 3 senatorial races in my state were close enough.

If you want to optimize the accuracy of an election, you need to focus on the vast majority of races that aren't recounts. To spend all your time and effort building the perfect system for recounting is, as they say, to make the perfect the enemy of the good. People on slashdot, especially, trumpet the advantages of a paper ballot, because it can be recounted.

Let me tell you the problems with paper. Paper is not a nice medium to use to count anything. It gets torn, smudged, creased, turned around upside down and backwards, lost, and sticks to other paper. Marking is difficult, even if done with a physical machine (hanging chads) or with a scanner (in the Illinois primary, the ballots wouldn't fit into the feeder unless they were trimmed 1/16th of an inch.) Don't even talk about markings done by hand.

If you want to count something accurately, you use a computer to do it with. No one expects that if you have a spreadsheet sum 3,000 integers 10,000 times in row that you will wind up with a different answer. Do that with paper and people, and you WILL have a different answer -- lots of them.

Computers are also easier to use than paper. They have an interactive interface. They can ask the voter to confirm their vote. They can change the size of the typeface on the fly.

So, if you want the most accurate vote with the best experience, you want a computer, every time. Now, on to the hard problem: how do you tell if the computer is cheating? Well, you don't need paper to tell if a computer is broken; you just need a reliable QA test. Black-box testing is the heart of modern software quality control. We don't insist that our accounting programs print us a receipt for everything. Why do we trust accounting software, but not voting software?

What's needed is to bring the same quality assurance controls to electronic voting machines that we do to accounting programs. Let people have their interactive GUIs, let the poor poll workers have a system that is proven to count accurately every time. This is what would optimize voting for the vast majority of races.

Re:A voting machine is better than paper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39531149)

"Why do we trust accounting software, but not voting software?"

Because accounting software that cheats cannot be used to "elect" a nut job in a position where he's able to vote laws that will affect your daily life, declare wars, or toss nuclear weapons.

Re:A voting machine is better than paper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39531351)

1. You can recount paper, if you want to.
2. You cannot verify computer voting, unless voting is NOT anonymous. If it is not anonymous, then you cannot say that no intimidation happened. And if you cannot assure no intimidation, then you cannot have free elections.

The major points of paper voting is,

1. difficult to sabotage - you have to compromise quite a number of polling stations, where undetectability grows with number of polling stations compromised, not so for computer voting.
2. anonymous
3. secure - you can prevent ballot stuffing without losing anonymity
4. you can see one vote being dropped into the box at a time, you can have independent monitors.

I know, paper is a bitch. You can have "random" errors about miscounting of individual stations, or hanging chads or whatever. But it is the best system that we have. The only way to secure computer voting is by losing anonymity and hence be subject to intimidation.

And before someone says intimidation is no longer a problem, I can give you examples of number of countries where it wasn't a problem in the past but today it certainly is a problem

PS. You trust accounting software and not voting software because accounting software works completely differently from voting software. You *RECONCILE* your account balances with statements you get from another source. That is not possible with voting.

Emissions leakage. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39531479)

If the emissions leak from the voting machine then anyone can see who you voted for and this could result in people changing their votes. You also have to consider that it might be possible to hack these machines and change votes as well.

Re:A voting machine is better than paper (3, Informative)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39531503)

Well, I've been involved in a recount and I have a lot of computer experience plus some experience in security and forensics and I say PAPER is the only way forward. Yes, hand counts are dull and take a lot of labor; it is a small price to pay (especially compared to those who die defending democracy.)

Your post is almost entirely distracting side issues without addressing the core problem.

As Stalin said, "It's not the people who vote that count, it's the people who count the votes." You think merely by having the people who count the votes 1 step removed from directly counting the votes makes things safer? WRONG.

It is not a machine counting the votes anymore than a gun kills a victim-- it is the person behind the machine that does it. Do not be so literal minded. The machine, like a firing squad, hides which person actually did it, they themselves may not even know.

You put that accounting computer out on the internet and tell everybody it can not make mistakes and publish the IP address. Lets see how well it works in the real world (not to mention how much better secured your PC likely is over most voting machines I've seen or read about.)

Re:A voting machine is better than paper (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 2 years ago | (#39532797)

I am a poll worker, and my precinct uses electronic voting machines. The thing most people don't realize is that very, very few elections are close enough to trigger an automatic recount. In my state, the votes have to be within 1% of each other for a recount. Since the 1800s, for example, only 3 senatorial races in my state were close enough.

For this reason, it is not necessary for an election to be 100% accurate! It should be accurate enough to distribute power according to the will of the people, but it is equally important that those people can and will trust the outcome. Paper ballots and counts done by hand are prone to error, but only in extremely rare cases are the errors large enough to swing the result. Moreover, errors are generally random rather than biased, and they can be spotted and understood. That last point is important. People in well-functioning democracies trust paper ballots because everyone with half a brain can understand the process and even participate in it if called upon, and see with their own eyes that the tally of votes is more or less accurate. And if they can, "more or less" is good enough. Also note that in democracies that do not function very well, fraud with paper ballots is widespread, but this is known to everyone involved.. The fraudster does not stay in power because of vote rigging, but because they are in a position to simply ignore the accusations of fraud.

Interestingly, people also have a rather large faith in machine voting. People trust machines; they are convenient, and we already let them handle other stuff like our food and our money, so why not trust them with our votes? Sure... I think it will only take one electronic election being tampered with for the people to call for paper ballots again.

Re:A voting machine is better than paper (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 2 years ago | (#39532951)

how do you tell if the computer is cheating? Well, you don't need paper to tell if a computer is broken; you just need a reliable QA test. Black-box testing is the heart of modern software quality control. We don't insist that our accounting programs print us a receipt for everything. Why do we trust accounting software, but not voting software?

Black box testing assumes that the software is written by friendly people who make mistakes. It is not able to pick up attacks by hostile programmers. There are real world examples [kerneltrap.org] where attempts to put in this kind of back door, have been made and some have been remarkably successful [kerneltrap.org] . If you look at the Linux kernel example it was sufficiently well hidden that if they hadn't been spotted by other means they would at most have thought that it was an accidental bug.

These backdoors tend to be triggered by a software state which is extremely unlikely to be reached in black box testing. If you have to go through, for example 10 steps of choosing locations on a touch screen (probably from an effective choice of about 20 locations) you end up having to do 10^20 tests just on the touch screen alone in order to detect a problem (and remember you have to test everything in the same way). This would end up taking longer than the heat death of the universe. Obviously nobody does that.

Security testing is not the same as normal black box testing and even security testing does not pick up this kind of trick; having a full and detailed code audit is a beginning, adding on full source change control is crucial; in the end you must have fully trust worty programmers and engineers for every component of your system, down to and including the ICs that go to make it and still you have to have HR processes monitor them to check that none have been turned.

Re:A voting machine is better than paper (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 2 years ago | (#39532957)

The link for "remarkably successful" should have been to Symantek's W32/Induc-A page [symantec.com] which describes a virus which attack delphi programmers.

Simpler solution: Bring back the Junta (1, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39531237)

I mean, like, the answer is right there in the summary:

now officials are trying to end fraud, which was rampant after the military dictatorship ended.

So, ironically, it seems that Brazil had a better democracy under a dictatorship.

Plus, any real South American country should have a military dictatorship anyway. There's just something missing without one.

Re:Simpler solution: Bring back the Junta (1)

Wooky_linuxer (685371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39531327)

I think it's a joke, but anyway... there were no direct elections under the dictatorship, hence no democracy.

"Imagine this happening in the U.S." (1)

tofleplof (2214032) | more than 2 years ago | (#39531495)

Or anywhere else, for instance.

My Fingerprint, Eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39531719)

Sure, the U.S. can take my fingerprint.

From my middle digit.

(The captcha for this comment was "repent." Amusing.)

As a Brazilian, I'll give you the context (4, Interesting)

acid06 (917409) | more than 2 years ago | (#39531895)

1) Here in Brazil, mostly everyone trusts the e-voting systems.

It's much much better than the paper ballots which used to end up in rampant fraud in smaller cities, since corruption is widespread. With the e-voting system, the only possible fraud is if the federal government wants to rig the elections (and does a *very* good job at it) neither the government or the opposing parties consider this an issue so, unless they're all colluding with each other (which would make the elections pointless anyway), I think it's reasonably safe. I actually worked for a year and a half in the IT dept. of the Elections Branch in my state and, with that knowledge, I trust the e-voting system.

2) No one here really cares about providing personal data to third-parties. It's common to have to provide your RG (ID card number) and CPF number (something similar to SSN) at a store, when you're making a regular purchase such as shoes or a t-shirt. When designing any sort of IT system to store clients, etc, the CPF number is usually the natural primary key.

Most people here think it's reasonable to collect fingerprints and no one cares when, for instance, the US consulate collects our fingerprints when we're getting our US Visa. Almost all our government documents (we have several: ID Card, CPF, "Voter's Card", Driver's License, Passport) have tons of personal data and fingerprints. This is a non-issue here.

3) People here care about privacy only inside their homes. For instance, everyone (including me) thinks it's a good idea to install more CCTV cameras in some areas to stop crime. In some places, crime is a much more pressing issue than expectation of privacy in a public place. "Big Brother" reality shows are the top 1 programs on public TV, so I would say the next generation might even not care about privacy in their own homes.

The rest of the world is very different from the US - just keep this in mind.

SO YOU THINK ITS RIGGED (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39532447)

Well for me its Jack Johnson or John Jackson, there is no chance to get an honest guy in the congress.

Massive... this is nothing (2)

lordbyron (38382) | more than 2 years ago | (#39532623)

We enrolled almost 150M in a 18 months in UID/Aadhaar. 180M is just the testing phase for a MASSIVE program. By 2018 UID will have covered almost all of the 1.2 Billion Indians and we are capturing all 10 fingers, both irises and a high resolution photo of every India deduplicated and verified. Now that is Massive.

The Robinson Method of Voting solves all of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39532981)

http://www.paul-robinson.us/index.php/2008/10/25/the_robinson_method_a_really_simple_way_?blog=5

Still, that would be too easy.

(Cue idiots on Slashdot who can't even grasp such a simple concept as this, poo pooing it...)

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