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166 comments

I'd just like to say... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40077501)

Just because I buy Kaspersky's anti-virus doesn't mean I support what that man stands for.

MOD PARENT UP!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40077551)

Exactly. The guy's just slashvertising himself so that he can boost his product and vice versa. NOTHING has changed in security. It's all a bunch of scare-mongering by tacking cyber- to everything. Cyber weapons? Like a Win Nuke? Uhhhhhhhhhhh.
 
Pick your security paradigms and stick with them. Learn security. Love security. We do NOT need Internet Police. END OF STORY.

Re:I'd just like to say... (1)

Necroman (61604) | about 2 years ago | (#40077569)

I'd recommend looking around to see what other anti-virus products there are. There are a few good review sites out there for antivirus:

http://www.av-test.org/en/tests/test-reports/ [av-test.org]
http://www.av-comparatives.org/en/comparativesreviews/summary-reports [av-comparatives.org]

BitDefender, Kasperskey, Norton, and F-Secure all seem to be putting out good products.

Re:I'd just like to say... (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | about 2 years ago | (#40079019)

Microsoft Security Essentials made them obsolete years ago. Don't bother with the crippling alternatives.

Re:I'd just like to say... (4, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | about 2 years ago | (#40077925)

If you give people financial support it doesn't make a fuck what you think you do or do not support.

Your ACTION is support.

Online voting (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40077543)

Online voting is a single biggest threat to democracy. If 20 years from now "manual" voting will become obsolete, and only online voting remains, no one will be able to tell, whether the results are authentic or not. The one who pays most to the guys administering the DB server is going to be the winner. And everything will look legit, without any proof and without anything that inspectors could do about it.

Re:Online voting (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#40077577)

And Kaspersky stands to earn a lot from security theatre should electronic voting be widely adopted.

Re:Online voting (3, Interesting)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#40077735)

Exactly! Every manufacturer assures their customers that their protection software is 100% perfect and bulletproof in every way when in fact, it would probably heuristically detect my write in candidate as a virus and delete my social security number from the entire government.
What exactly happened to literal electronic voting? You don't need a processor, memory, storage, an OS, code, and all that other crap to count freaking numbers. You ever try to hack into and change the results of a free calculator you got at the bank for opening a checking account? Spoiler, it's a machine that doesn't have the capability to allow that. How about they develop an electronic machine instead of a computer for voting? Number +1 is not that hard to do without an operating system.

Re:Online voting (3, Insightful)

markkezner (1209776) | about 2 years ago | (#40078359)

If you magically make the voting machines 100% secure, attackers will target the infrastructure that transmits, stores, and counts the votes.

Re:Online voting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40078761)

Any voting system that is not completely transparent will not be controlled by the people and therefore not democratic. A chain is never stronger than the weakest link.

Re:Online voting (1)

Nadaka (224565) | about 2 years ago | (#40079029)

And this is why electronic voting should ALWAYS print a human and machine readable ballot. The electronically reported ballot numbers are quickly verified when those physical ballots are counted by a separate optical reader. Those ballots are then thoroughly verified by human counting. It is ok if we don't know who wins an election the second the polls are closed. There is nothing more important than verifiability and accountability in democracy.

Re:Online voting (1)

amorsen (7485) | about 2 years ago | (#40079871)

How do you know the votes are not being reported to the secret police?

Voting machines which do not provide a paper trail are of course completely insane, just like no one who likes democracy would install any kind of networking, especially not wireless in a voting machine. However, even somewhat-sane voting machine proposals fail at transparency; the average Slashdot reader is unable to verify that they do exactly what they are supposed to and nothing else, and the general public is even worse off.

The only voting machines you can trust are purely mechanical devices which e.g. punch a hole in a card. And we've already seen where that leads...

Re:Online voting (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 years ago | (#40077647)

I usually hold Eugene in some high esteem, but this time he is dangerously wrong. Considering just how insecure the average user is and how likely it is that his machine is infected, online voting is one of the biggest threats to real democracy that we face today, right after voting machines.

So far, infecting machines has only been a threat due to criminals wanting to infect those machines. Now, this by itself, is already dangerous. But it's minimal considering the possibilities for crooked regimes that like to put a democracy show on.

Governments are already creating "government trojans". For reference, search for the infamous "Bundestrojaner" the Germans tried to put into place. So far, AV makers "may" at least find criminal trojans, but can we assume they still may if the trojans are made by the government? Can we see a crooked government create a trojan and infect the machines of their subjects with the express intention to manipulate the way they vote? Can we even see them making those trojans mandatory in the name of "security" (of course, without the stated intention of manipulating votes, but just to have a government backdoor "for security reasons")?

And even if all of that is nothing but a crazy conspiracy theory, how likely would it be that some populist oppositions try to spin it and destabilize governments based on this "theory" and create doubt in the legitimacy of governments?

Please, Eugene, reconsider.

Re:Online voting (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40077929)

"real democracy"

What the hell is that?

Democracy is three serial rapists and a young cheerleader deciding what to do for the evening.

Re:Online voting (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about 2 years ago | (#40078603)

Or, more accurately, it is about 9999 average people and one serial rapists deciding what to do for the evening. If you assume that bad elements outnumber good elements 3:1, democracy - and yes, your precious republic as well - is guaranteed to fail as hard as any other government. But since that isn't true, we found that democracy works on average a lot better than the feudal regimes of the past.

Re:Online voting (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40079707)

Bad elements do outnumber good elements 3:1.

No, not "serial rapist" bad -- but "bigger tax refund for me, no matter what might or might not be fair" bad, and "we send so much tax money to washington, it's only fair we get 'our share' of earmarked projects in state" bad, and "I'm gonna live life like however I want to, but somebody else better take care of the consequences" bad, and "I pay my own damn way, hell if I'm gonna help with some out-of-work no-good-bum's doctor bill" bad.

Humanity as a whole is not predominantly evil, but we are a bunch of moderately selfish assholes. Which is what makes democracies rot so well from the inside -- they just don't scale past perhaps a few hundred people, where the "obvious" connection between the welfare of the group and the welfare of the individual loses its obviousness, and the moderate selfishness becomes destructive rather than constructive. Throw in a multilayer structure and some indirection, and you can prop up stability for an arbitrary size -- for a while. Then it falls apart, like has been happening in the US for most of the last century.

Re:Online voting (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#40077939)

Online voting could be made secure, assuming that political will actually wants a secure system.

Re:Online voting (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40078327)

it can never ever be made as relatively secure as paper voting is. To change a million votes on paper you need to get rid a million ballots and make a million new ones
with the "right" vote on, to change an online vote you basically need to change two numbers.

Re:Online voting (1)

elgeeko.com (2472782) | about 2 years ago | (#40078615)

Security isn't the issue. The problem is that electronic records are easy to manipulate. Electronic voting has a wide potential for abuse. I believe laws should be passed to ban electronic voting and the electronic tallying of paper ballots. I realize this isn't convenient, but paper does make it much easier to prove election fraud and gives a better account of what really happened in an election. There are plenty of people who believe that the 2008 elections and the current 2012 Republican primaries show evidence of vote flipping. I believe this is possible, but I'm not convinced this has actually occurred. My concern isn't that this has happened, but that it potentially could.

I've seen a couple documents recently that make a compelling argument both for and against it having taken place in the Primaries. As I stated, I'm not convinced this has happened, but the plausibility of it is enough that I don't feel comfortable with an electronic voting system.

Short Version
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0ByJAC-sfXwumZzI2bVlON2VTMnFyYVZZSnpDYnNyQQ/edit?pli=1 [google.com]

Long Version
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0ByJAC-sfXwumdkE4d0Y2eWtURTZ2eDM5RmlLc3ZhQQ/edit?pli=1 [google.com]

Re:Online voting (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#40079291)

But if you don't trust the humans operating the machines then why do you trust the humans counting the votes in a paper-based election? The human factor in online voting would be smaller. Also, in electronic voting there are methods to bring verifiability [wikipedia.org] to the vote. I didn't say that current voting systems are secure, in fact they have been proven otherwise a number of times. I just didn't rule out the possibility of developing a secure one.

Re:Online voting (1)

elgeeko.com (2472782) | about 2 years ago | (#40079633)

Sure, they can be made "secure", I didn't mean to imply they couldn't be, I was just pointing out that security isn't the problem. I appreciate the link to the Three Ballot systems entry, but even that article mentions the usability problems and doesn't address how it would be used electronically. It's a great concept, but impractical given the fact that in 2004 we had a wide spread problem with people getting just one ballot right. I would also like to point out that I don't have any problem with the people operating the machines, I have a problem with the companies that own and maintain those machines. It would be a fairly trivial process for them to commit election fraud without the operators knowing anything about it. The people I trust, but the machines I don't. Why? Because I know how easy it would be to manipulate the electronic results, especially on a large scale. Again, I want to point out that I'm not convinced this has happened, my tin foil hat is still in the closet, but I believe it is plausible enough that I don't currently feel comfortable with it.

Re:Online voting (2)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about 2 years ago | (#40078571)

The online voting part is especially troubling. With paper votes, anybody can see a paper ballot, understand who the vote was for, and tally up the votes. They can even be clever and just weight the ballots, if they can't count very high.

But with online voting? Whoever controls the servers, controls the voting. And there is absolutely NOTHING that can be done to fix that issue. Not only will electoral fraud be trivial, it will be impossible to prove that no electoral fraud took place. Secure the servers? The communication trail gets intercepted at the ISP level. SSH tunnel, SSL connection? MITM attack. Secure the ISPs? Poison the DNS to have the request be routed to a server you control. DNS servers are secure? Malware on the machine that shows you one page, but actually sends out an entirely different post message.

It is absolutely ridiculous to think that online voting in its current state is feasible. And even if we assume fully secured voting terminals, with independent hardlines and fully audited voting servers, you can't show anyone what the paper trail looks like. For most of the population, voting will be indistinguishable from any religious ritual: you see the motions, but you have no idea if anything is actually going on.

Re:Online voting (1)

llManDrakell (897726) | about 2 years ago | (#40078903)

Considering just how insecure the average user is and how likely it is that his machine is infected, online voting is one of the biggest threats to real democracy that we face today

Of all the reasons not to use online voting, this one has to be the most confusing to me. Any kind of infection on the voters machine would only be used to steal information after you've already submitted your vote. Why would it be dangerous for an infection to possibly find out you voted for Candidate X? Someone probably already knows you are voting for Candidate X based on your "Candidate X 2012" bumper sticker, those nasty things you say about Candidate Y on Facebook, or perhaps even your browsing history. If an infection managed to steal your voter login/password, what use would it be after you've already submitted your one and only vote?

Re:Online voting (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40078255)

This is not strictly true. We have strong cryptography, and, if we're willing to give up forcible secrecy of ballots, we can use it to make online voting verifiable. (Ballots can still be known only to the voter, or to those they choose to disclose the vote to -- meaning they can choose secrecy, but can also choose to reveal their vote for a bribe payoff.)

Personally, I think that's a choice we should make -- better to enable individuals to sell their vote than to enable election officials to sell the entire thing. (Like is happening now [google.com], and also in 2008.) We had non-secret ballots before, and democracy more-or-less struggled through, and I think at this point, ballot secrecy is sufficiently culturally ingrained that few voters will reveal it, so the worst situations (e.g. bosses or union leaders demanding proof that they voted republican or democrat) are unlikely to take hold -- you need a critical mass of compliance to be able to act against refusers. Of course, both parties will happily hand out $20 if you prove you voted for them, cutting into their massive advertising budget -- wait, that sounds like a good thing! (Realistically, nobody pays voters in solid red or blue states; Republicans will pay big bucks in cities in swing states, Democrats will pay big bucks in rural areas in the same states, and they may or may not both waste money trying to buy their own demographics back -- overall, it's unlikely that it'll alter the outcome much, but it could tip a close race either way. Ugly, but livable, IMO.)

(Paper ballots are good, too, don't get me wrong! Call me cynical, but I don't see us as a nation actually mustering the willpower to resist the convenience of electronic voting machines and better yet, internet voting, so I think we should settle for ensuring electronic voting of a form with the least chance of election-thievery.)

Re:Online voting (1)

lightknight (213164) | about 2 years ago | (#40079493)

Hmm. How about encrypted ballots? You get an encrypted value (upong voting) which, if you and your friends are bothered that there has been some voting irregularities, can be used to decrypt the actual vote. And each one is unique.

Kaspersky will say what helps his business (2, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#40077547)

FUD was always good for the AV market.

When any USB stick is a weapons lab. (1)

khasim (1285) | about 2 years ago | (#40077661)

How, exactly, does he plan on verifying compliance when any USB stick can hold, LITERALLY, an infinite number of "weapons".

And gigabytes worth of different "weapons".

And still be smaller than a thumbnail.

Re:When any USB stick is a weapons lab. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40077705)

... FIGURATIVELY ...

Duh (2)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about 2 years ago | (#40077561)

Treaties always work. Never has a country ignored a treaty to accomplish some sort of nefarious goal. You'd think the Russians would have learned their lesson in 1942.

Kaspersky on online voting (1)

xavdeman (946931) | about 2 years ago | (#40077575)

From the article: He warned Cebit delegates that unless young citizens were provided with safe and reliable ways to vote online, democracy as we know it could be dead within 20 years. People would expect biometric, cryptographic online identification verification that was 100 per cent secure in order to vote online.
Without that he said that without that conventional modes of democracy could be extinct within two decades as the younger generation would not vote in a conventional physical polling booth, which could lead to “very serious conflict between the generations.”


And I bet the servers will have to be secured by Karpersky Antivirus, right? He is basically creating his own future market. Smart guy.
But seriously, democracy doesn't need and has never needed people who are too lazy to vote influencing the outcomes of elections for its perceived legitimacy
As for the "very serious conflict between the generations", the younger generation would only have themselves to blame, and most likely if they are too lazy to vote they will be too lazy to riot. Or, to reverse it a bit: if they have enough free time to set up riots and generation conflicts, they might as well vote.

Re:Kaspersky on online voting (1)

andymadigan (792996) | about 2 years ago | (#40077639)

He also discounts postal voting. Dropping a ballot in a mailbox isn't that inconvenient.

Re:Kaspersky on online voting (1)

berashith (222128) | about 2 years ago | (#40077691)

That next generation will be too damned lazy to walk all the way to the mailbox. If we dont have li'l rascals in every home to carry voters to their mailboxes , then obviously democracy will die.

Re:Kaspersky on online voting (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40077851)

The next generation won't have mailboxes, if the libertarians have anything to say about it.

Re:Kaspersky on online voting (0)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#40077819)

He also discounts postal voting. Dropping a ballot in a mailbox isn't that inconvenient.

Postal voting is notoriously corrupt.

Of course online voting is unlikely to be much better.

Re:Kaspersky on online voting (1)

green1 (322787) | about 2 years ago | (#40078849)

20 years from now will you still be able to find a mailbox? will the post office still exist? Hard to say.

I still think electronic voting will have to be done in the future. But I also believe it isn't yet ready. We need to find ways to make it every bit as verifiable as paper voting first. That shouldn't be that hard though. we already have electronic banking that has that level of reliability. It's not impossible.

Now the reason for electronic voting isn't because going to the polling station every 4 years is too difficult (it isn't) it's because for a true democracy to function we need to get past the "every 4 years" model, and get people involved in more of the regular business of law making. This wasn't practical 400 years ago, but it is practical now. maybe not a complete direct democracy, but a long way ahead of where we are now.

Re:Kaspersky on online voting (1)

lgw (121541) | about 2 years ago | (#40079131)

Now the reason for electronic voting isn't because going to the polling station every 4 years is too difficult (it isn't) it's because for a true democracy to function we need to get past the "every 4 years" model, and get people involved in more of the regular business of law making. This wasn't practical 400 years ago, but it is practical now. maybe not a complete direct democracy, but a long way ahead of where we are now.

Athens had direct democracy once, for quite some time. It was "practical" 2500 years ago, but it was a terrible system of government. Most people just don't care about most of the business of government, and so will vote according to whatever speaker was the most entertaining, or according to what seems most likely to help them next week. We're already on the verge of collapse thanks to the amount of money we just directly hand to various groups of citizens (more than 100% of revenue); I can't even imagine how fast things would fall apart if people could directly vote themselves a check each week.

Re:Kaspersky on online voting (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40077913)

I think it would be workable. We could simply make the House a true People's branch --- Keep the representatives, allowing them to craft laws and write bills, but when it's time for the "ayes and nays" have the reps stand-aside and submit the bill to the People for a direct referendum.

And keep the Senate as is (a house representing the 50 Member States). If we had such a system the TARP Bailout Bill never would have passed the House, and 1 trillion not transferred as corporate welfare.

Re:Kaspersky on online voting (3, Interesting)

Fallingcow (213461) | about 2 years ago | (#40078343)

It is entirely absurd to expect a majority of the population to invest the time and effort required to understand enough about politics, economics, international relations, etc. to make anything approaching intelligent decisions on most legislation.

Hell, people can't even be bothered to understand how existing legislation affects them, even when it's something as direct and quantifiable as how much money they pay on their taxes.

Choosing representatives to do it for us is far simpler, and we're not even good at that. Direct voting on bills would be a disaster.

Re:Kaspersky on online voting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40079465)

It is entirely absurd to expect a majority of the population to invest the time and effort required to understand enough about politics, economics, international relations, etc. to make anything approaching intelligent decisions on most legislation.

This is true, but our elected representatives don't do this either, so I'm not sure it would make a serious difference.

People's veto not people's referendum (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40078625)

I think it would be workable. We could simply make the House a true People's branch --- Keep the representatives, allowing them to craft laws and write bills, but when it's time for the "ayes and nays" have the reps stand-aside and submit the bill to the People for a direct referendum.

Experience in California with propositions suggests that is not a good plan.

What might be a good plan is a People's veto. Although I expect it would need a high threshold to be truly beneficial, sometimes politicians need to do something unpopular. That is the point of representative government as opposed to direct democracy. 2/3 may be too low, perhaps 3/4. Still the veto would need supreme court oversight, preventing vetoing things link the voting act of the 1960s.

Re:People's veto not people's referendum (1)

Crosshair84 (2598247) | about 2 years ago | (#40078863)

California is a prime example of WHY there needs to be decentralized power. Most things should be done at the state level. When national government gets things horrifically wrong, everyone suffers. When a state gets things horrifically wrong, only the people in that state suffer. With small, largely self governing states, leaving for another state is relatively easy, putting economic pressure on the state government to not do stupid stuff and to fix current stupid policies.

Not to mention there is often several ways to solve a given problem. Just look at alcohol sales. Most states have a reasonably good laws on alcohol sales. Some states are really stupid about it, but they are limited to those states. This variety makes comparison easy, since we don't have to work on theory, we can go look at how the different laws work in practice.

Not to mention that some problems are bigger in some places than others. Is anyone really going to care if a farmers pickup driving down a gravel road in North Dakota has a catalytic converter in it? One-size-fits-all national solutions simply mean that the solution will not fit anyone.

Re:Kaspersky on online voting (1)

lgw (121541) | about 2 years ago | (#40079213)

And keep the Senate as is (a house representing the 50 Member States). If we had such a system the TARP Bailout Bill never would have passed the House, and 1 trillion not transferred as corporate welfare.

While this is true, it's not our bigest financial problem: we transfer over $2 trillion a year to various groups of voters as it is - if people could just vote themselves a check each week, that amount would never go down, until the government collapsed.

And you think "the people" would read the bills being voted on? OK, there's maybe 1 or 2 issues a year that people would care enough to read some blog summary of the bille, maybe, but all the normal day-to-day business? Just like ancient Athens, everything would go according to who the most entertaining speaker was that day. This has been tried, and it was terrible.

Re:Kaspersky on online voting (1)

doston (2372830) | about 2 years ago | (#40079579)

I think it would be workable. We could simply make the House a true People's branch --- Keep the representatives, allowing them to craft laws and write bills, but when it's time for the "ayes and nays" have the reps stand-aside and submit the bill to the People for a direct referendum.

And keep the Senate as is (a house representing the 50 Member States). If we had such a system the TARP Bailout Bill never would have passed the House, and 1 trillion not transferred as corporate welfare.

What you're talking about is simpler than the system that's in place now. The founding fathers went out of their way to ensure elite rule and avoid a direct democracy, so understand that what you're talking about flies in the face of that. The point was to avoid public input as much as possible and only give "the bewildered herd" an opportunity to endorse one elite candidate or another, not directly make choices. What you're talking about isn't just some voting tweaks, but a revolution.

Die out in 20 years? (3, Interesting)

wjousts (1529427) | about 2 years ago | (#40077587)

The guy must be an optimist. After Citizens United, most of us concluded that democracy was already dead.

Re:Die out in 20 years? (1, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | about 2 years ago | (#40077609)

Citizens United only effects the United States of America, which was never a democracy. We are, and always have been, a democratic republic.

Re:Die out in 20 years? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40077649)

Actually, that's what the US used to be. Now it's an oligarchic empire play-acting as a democratic republic.

Re:Die out in 20 years? (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 2 years ago | (#40077813)

No, it's still a democratic republic, it's just a democratic republic where a significant number of the population watches Jersey Shore and similar shit. Not hard to manipulate that.

Re:Die out in 20 years? (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40077971)

>>>Not hard to manipulate that.

As Bush, Obama, and now Romney have shown. I can't believe we got such lousy anti-Bill of Rights, pro-killing, pro-debt spending people in a row. The only explanation is that the De'mos (the People) are easily manipulated. Maybe the Founders were correct in NOT having the president chosen by a direct vote... maybe the job really should be left to the Electoral congress (chusen by the States) or the U.S. Congress (parliamentary style).

Re:Die out in 20 years? (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about 2 years ago | (#40078365)

No, it's still a democratic republic ...

Actually I think it is a constitutional republic. Representative not democratic in nature.

Re:Die out in 20 years? (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 2 years ago | (#40078635)

Republic already implies representative rather than direct democracy. It is democratic because the leaders are elected by vote. I suppose you could call it a "constitutional democratic republic." But it depends a lot on exactly how you define your terms ("republic" doesn't have a precise universal definition).

Re:Die out in 20 years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40078841)

I thought we were an anarcho-syndicalist commune

Re:Die out in 20 years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40077655)

As much as Citizens United was a poor ruling, it merely moved into the public eye something that has been going on for 100+ years. That slush money is used in campaigns to buy politicians.

Before, it was clandestine. Now it's rather like a Blue Light Special at K-Mart... everyone's putting their cash down... And if anyone thought the regulation before Citizens United curtailed the spending... I've got some coastal Property in Arizona looking for a buyer.

Citizens United is about speech not votes (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about 2 years ago | (#40078251)

The guy must be an optimist. After Citizens United, most of us concluded that democracy was already dead.

Citizens United is about speech not votes. You can ignore speech. For example there is no amount of TV ads that Newt Gingrich could have run to convince someone significantly left of center to vote for him. Another example, BP can run many millions of dollars worth of "green" TV commercials and very few will be convinced that they are an environmentally friendly company.

It is still one person one vote. The only threat to democracy is complacency.

Re:Citizens United is about speech not votes (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40078353)

Naive'. The politicians then "pay back" the corporations that funded them during the campaign. Example: Obama paying back his insurance company donors by giving them ~50 million new customers (via the mandated purchase). Example 2: Bush giving his defense corporate donors a massive war. Example 3: Giving bailouts to financial corporations that gave donations. Example 4: Rewarding Hollywood corporations by signing ACTA, installing a copyright czar, and pushing for SOPA/CISPA passage.

Citizens United is about speech, yes, but that speech is backed by dollars and the corporations expect the politicians to repay those dollars w/ favorable legislation.

Re:Citizens United is about speech not votes (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about 2 years ago | (#40079135)

You examples are flawed. For example the financial firms gave to both sides. Eventually the bailout was supported by both parties. There was eventually a genuine fear of economic collapse. To say the bailouts were merely political payback is quite revisionist. Similarly it is a stretch to say the health care mandate was merely payback. There were many legitimate concerns regarding a public option and a mandate was a practical alternative.

Citizens United (CU) actually has little effect. Keep in mind that there is massive spin and exaggeration by opponents of the ruling. For example the "corporations are people" thing was pure spin, the court never said that. Brilliant spin, irresistible to the media, but spin none the less. All the court actually said was that groups of people have the same rights with respect to speech as individuals, and that media corporations have no special privileges regarding speech with respect to non-media corporations. Similarly the opponents of CU spin/distort the effect on public discourse, focusing only on corporations and ignoring the fact that it applies to any organization. Trade unions, interest groups, etc.

Payback hardly requires CU. For example the bundlers that aggregate many small donations and gain access/influence brought us Solyndra. These bundlers will continue to have greater influence than CU since they provide money directly to candidates. CU merely allows organizations to run ads without coordinating with clients. Again, ads can be ignored. And for those that are gullible they would be influence by only a few ads, the post-CU many ads will persuade very few *additional* likely voters. CU's effect is limited by diminishing returns, the very high expense of each additional person influenced. Again, Newt Gingrich could have had million of more ad dollars and he still would have lost.

Re:Citizens United is about speech not votes (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40079825)

>>>For example the financial firms gave to both sides.

Doesn't change my point that corporations expect to be repaid by the Congressmen or presidents in the form of favorable legislation.

>>>"corporations are people" thing was pure spin, the court never said that

You couldn't be more wrong. They did say that, back in a case of the 1890s, and that precedent of treating a corporation as a person has been carried forward ever since.

And as for whether corporations should have a right to speak? No. They are an artificial government-created entity (via a license) and have no more natural-given right to speak than this building I'm sitting in. Yes the building is filled with lots of humans, and those humans each carry an individual right to speak, but the building itself? No. Neither dod trees or rocks have a right to speak. Rights belong to individuals, not inanimate objects called "Oak tree" or "The Muir Building" or "Microsoft Corporation".

Re:Citizens United is about speech not votes (2)

lgw (121541) | about 2 years ago | (#40079709)

But you simply can't prevent an organization (incorporated or otherwise) from advertizing in favor of a candidate they like without directly destroying free speech. The problem is that advertizing spending swings too many votes. Allowing groups of people to advocate their political position is a fundamental right, not a problem.

Re:Citizens United is about speech not votes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40079297)

And yet, time and again, it's proven that while any one person can ignore any one piece of speech, the net effect of bombarding a population with advertising of any sort, political or commercial, is to infliuence the mass opinion, which is only accomplished by influencing many individuals, each of whom could have rejected it, but didn't.

I agree, or rather I want to agree, that democracy is fine, and I absolutely reject the notion that limiting speech (even speech by proxy, such as advertising) is needed or acceptable to preserve it, but in the cold hard light of reality, I can't say democracy is immune to sheer volume of speech (no matter how worthless the content), so how can it be said to be functioning? It appears that Democracy (even in the watered-down representative and constitutionally-constrained forms we've instituted) and classical Liberalism are locked in inevitable conflict, and as a society our continued denial of this conflict prevents us from choosing a side.

What's a cyber-weapon? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40077593)

A general-purpose computer? Is Dell an international arms dealer?

More business for government... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40077617)

The most lucrative business in human history.

Cocain's a helluva drug (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40077631)

While he's at it calling for creating useless treaties, he should also demand a global ban on software bugs too. That'll solve everything! Evil hackers can't exploit what doesn't exist, amirite?

I hope they will be! (3, Interesting)

delphi125 (544730) | about 2 years ago | (#40077707)

"conventional modes of democracy could be extinct within two decades"

At present "conventional democracy" has a vote every 4-5 years (perhaps with mid-term or local elections halfway) in which your bit of information (if that!) ends upo with a single bit of who leads for the next 4-5 years, during which politicians tend to drop their campaign promises.

Internet technology allows for finer-tuned democracy, yes, but if anything "election day" should be an annual day on which everybody does physically go to the polls and cast a secret ballot. Because although technology does allow secrecy (not necessary for all votes, but essential for some), the risk of back doors will always be greater than when a simpler and less technological procedure is used.

I'm in my forties now and want to be able to vote issues, not parties. I'd also like to be able to vote for individuals who have proven leadership qualities without them being beholden to a party. Not that I could vote Perot - being European - nor that I would want his finger on the button anymore than anybody else, and at least Obama comes across as somewhat statesmanlike even if his mantra of "Change" never really happened, but you should see the bunch of twits in Europe nowadays (on all sides of the political spectrum).

Almost as if we are forgetting what populism brought in the 1930s.

Re:I hope they will be! (1)

barv (1382797) | about 2 years ago | (#40077935)

"and want to vote issues, not parties"

Could not agree more. Like in Switzerland, where citizens can directly vote issues they feel important.

Computer security of voting is a design problem. Each citizen should have a login account (like a bank account) where current and past issues are listed. In this way he can see what votes have been registered in his name. Also he could download the database containing votes and encrypted users) and score the votes. Even the software should be open source.

If our financial system works online, so can our democracy (without appointing dictator-representatives),

Re:I hope they will be! (1)

rickb928 (945187) | about 2 years ago | (#40078281)

"Like in Switzerland, where citizens can directly vote issues they feel important"

Sounds like California. And several other states.

Re:I hope they will be! (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about 2 years ago | (#40078493)

Could not agree more. Like in Switzerland, where citizens can directly vote issues they feel important.

Counterexample: California.

Re:I hope they will be! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40079459)

We've rejected non-secret ballots because we fear corruption -- either rewarding voters for showing proof they've voted the right way, or threaten them (e.g. with loss of their job) for failing to show proof. Mechanisms like you suggest leave it up to the voters to decide whether to vote their conscience and always refuse to show others their vote, to vote their conscience and then opportunistically take whatever "bribes" are available for it, or vote to maximize bribes (or minimize threats).

Re:I hope they will be! (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40078447)

We have more "democracy" over corporations than we do over our own government. Every dollar we cast is another vote for a business we like (and not casting dollars == driving the business out of the market; like we did with Circuit Shitty).

Voting on issues is not a panacea (3, Insightful)

perpenso (1613749) | about 2 years ago | (#40078463)

... want to be able to vote issues ...

You intentions are good but I think the wisdom of the founding fathers wins on this point. Direct democracy voting on issues is not the panacea one might think. For example look at California and its propositions system, it is largely what you are asking for and some really bad/dumb stuff gets passed.

The flaw in your plan, and a flaw the founding fathers presumably were expecting, is that direct democracy assumes a well informed electorate that seriously contemplates the issues and votes for the common good rather than self interest.

How does he propose regulating CODE? (3, Interesting)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | about 2 years ago | (#40077741)

Would he suggest regulating programming languages, compilers, etc. as "cyber weapons precursors"? After all, certain chemicals and nuclear materials are strictly watched because they can be used to create chemical or nuclear weapons, right?

Right of Self Defense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40078381)

I think he is saying Google has a right to defend themselves, and their advertising markets, from anyone and anything that threatens them.
By any means necessary.

Online voting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40077743)

This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.

but what about... (0)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#40077783)

Apparently hacking tools and custom viruses are what they usually refer to in these types or articles but if a government makes them, they're "weapons." Of course, I don't recall that article mentioning EMP blasts. I have a feeling Kaspersky's software wouldn't be able to stop an EMP blast.
Btw, I've got an idea. That one mechanical computer from like 2000+ years ago that they found at the bottom of the ocean? Rebuild that into a voting machine :-D You can't hack something with no OS lol.

Electronic Voting could work (1)

na1led (1030470) | about 2 years ago | (#40077823)

I know it sounds crazy, but just think, if we all vote online, we can all keep track of our votes. We can see what/who we voted for, and have the option to publicly announce it online. If we think someone has been fudging the numbers, a re-count could be a simple has checking your email, and verifying how you voted. I would think that it would be easier for computer geeks to catch problems if something doesn't look right. When I vote on paper, I never see that ballet again. Who knows what happens to it, probably gets trashed.

Re:Electronic Voting could work (1)

Nyder (754090) | about 2 years ago | (#40078987)

I know it sounds crazy, but just think, if we all vote online, we can all keep track of our votes. We can see what/who we voted for, and have the option to publicly announce it online. If we think someone has been fudging the numbers, a re-count could be a simple has checking your email, and verifying how you voted. I would think that it would be easier for computer geeks to catch problems if something doesn't look right.

When I vote on paper, I never see that ballet again. Who knows what happens to it, probably gets trashed.

Voting is private, what you are suggesting isn't really private.

Cybercommenting (1)

Tifer (2644417) | about 2 years ago | (#40077833)

Am I the only one who hates the prefix "Cyber"? Since when does "cyber" mean "digital"? Cyber bullying, cyber warfare, cyber crime; it's impossible to take it seriously! The mental images are too hilarious. When I think of "cyber" bullying, I think of a kid getting beat up by a robot. When I think of "cyber" warfare I think of Tron. They just coined it to scare southern housewives and the elderly.

Make the House a true People's branch (1, Interesting)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40077857)

More democracy Mr. Kaspersky? Okay. Keep the representatives, allowing them to craft laws and write bills, but when it's time for the "ayes and nays" have the reps stand-aside and submit the bill to the People for a direct referendum.

Also keep the Senate as is (a house representing the 50 Member States). If we had such a system the TARP Bailout Bill never would have passed the House, and 1 trillion not transferred to the top 0.1% as corporate welfare.

 

Re:Make the House a true People's branch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40078803)

The top 1% ? Do you mean the unions? Please clarify ..

How could this possibly work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40077859)

Chemical and nuclear arms conventions work because there's a fair amount of risk in developing both, and the latter is generally too cost prohibitive for an individual to create. Cyber "weapons" are neither risky nor expensive to create, so I question how one might restrict individuals from doing so. Indeed, I think it would actually be cost-prohibitive to even monitor for it.

"democracy will die" ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40077863)

Kaspersky has obviously been living in his parents' basement for the last 40 years.

Yours In Ulanbator,
K. Trout, PatRIOT [youtube.com]

I think they should adapt ATM machines for voting (4, Interesting)

Marrow (195242) | about 2 years ago | (#40077889)

1. You get a print-out of your vote.
2. You can optionally get a print-out that says whatever you want in case you are under duress.
3. There is a picture record of who voted for your ID in case of a question of voter fraud.
4. The machines are already everywhere, wired and secure enough to handle money.
5. You dont have to congregate at a place away from your work.
6. Your vote is filed under a random number, so you can call your vote back up if you are concerned about tampering
Im sure threre are other good reasons

Re:I think they should adapt ATM machines for voti (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40078099)

2 and 6 are inconsistent. As your boss, I'm going to fire you unless you show me your paper confirmation and your online confirmation to prove to me you voted as I told you. Unless you're seriously proposing that the local Board of Elections maintains two separate pools of votes: one legitimate and one fraudulent. If that's the case, I'm going to fire you for having a completely unrealistic world view.

Re:I think they should adapt ATM machines for voti (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40078303)

I'm sure the banks that operate those ATM's have no opinion on the outcome of the votes, and can be trusted to oversee the vote. Right? Right?

Re:I think they should adapt ATM machines for voti (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40078517)

7. You can donate to the candidate of your choice while you vote! One stop shopping in the true American fashion.

Re:I think they should adapt ATM machines for voti (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40079037)

In the name of honesty and capitalism, just change the election into an auction. Vote with your wallet!

I think the dude targeted Russian market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40077917)

Eugene probably observed that the traditional paper/ballot based voting system can be fixed by the gov in Russia.
Note, I am not saying that the elections there were rigged or no, I have no credible information on the subject.
But assuming that Eugene has such information, and thinks that the traditional way can be easily "fixed", do you see any alternatives to the online voting?
Having every single new machine (within the next 20 years) equipped by UFW or whatever is quite doable.

Yours truly,
Russian dude.

You fool, you'll destroy everything we love (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40078103)

No.

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO.

Mr. Kapersky obviously has no idea just how oppressive and invasive most governments are willing to be when enforcing WEAPONS laws. The American BATF is currently being investigated for a false-flag gun-smuggling conspiracy meant to justify a huge increase in their power and authority. Lots of European weapons regulatory agencies are even more ruthless.

He does NOT want that camel's nose under the tent with anything having to do with programming or software development. There is nowhere for that to go but downwards.

Good, its about time... (2)

TheCarp (96830) | about 2 years ago | (#40078157)

Its high time for such a conference. Not only do I support it, I fully support locking the doors and setting fire to the building about 15 minutes into the keynote address.

If there is anything we don't need more of, its more dead weight profiteer warmongers who do nothing more than invent bogeymen to protect us from, and expect us all to thank them and pay for it.

This is highly suspect (1)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | about 2 years ago | (#40078209)

From the article:

He warned Cebit delegates that unless young citizens were provided with safe and reliable ways to vote online, democracy as we know it could be dead within 20 years. People would expect biometric, cryptographic online identification verification that was 100 per cent secure in order to vote online.

Without that he said that without that conventional modes of democracy could be extinct within two decades as the younger generation would not vote in a conventional physical polling booth, which could lead to âoevery serious conflict between the generations.â

Really young'uns won't show up to the ye olde fashioned polling boothe? And his evidence for this is.. what exactly? The Arab Spring, where polling booths ..... didn't work... correctly?

He recommends biometrics.. what biometrics exactly? Surely not this:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/steriley/archive/2006/09/20/457845.aspx [technet.com]

He's right about one thing. (2)

rickb928 (945187) | about 2 years ago | (#40078319)

There are, essentiually, two options for social networking sites:

1. Total freedom.
2. Censorship and/or denial.

No middle ground. But then this is freedom. You are either free, or you are not. No middle ground. Freedom in some things does not change the lack of freedom in others.

Crap, now I sound like a Libertarian. I hate that.

Oblig. (2)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#40078391)

  1. 1. Kaspersky testifies about threat of cyber weapons.
  2. 2. People rush to install Kaspersky s/w.
  3. 3. Kaspersky calls for switch to on-line voting.
  4. 4. Kaspersky elected King of the World!
  5. 5. ??????
  6. 6. Profit!

Treaty? (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 2 years ago | (#40079033)

Treaty are between nations. Any individual, or group of individuals, in any or several parts of the world, can make a "cyberweapon", no expensive or controllable resources needed to build something that could qualify as such. And for them to believe that they control that means handling them in a silver plate the privacy and basically freedom, of everyone and every organization in any part of the world, except the prepared enough individuals that could do that "weapons".

In the other hand, nations already started cyberwar, like with all probability Israel and/or USA government agencies making Stuxnet. The bomb has already been dropped, and will be used as excuse by those very countries to push laws to avoid people doing that, killing their privacy, while at the same time keep producing those weapons when they think it should be necessary, and probably blaming individuals or "terrorist" organizations and reinforcing restrictions for everyone each time. Won't be the first time that something of that kind happens.

Internet eventually will split, either logically or physically, one with full government surveillance and intervention, other with ensured hard encryption, privacy and anonimity, and countries networks where all relevant services are enclosed by and for them.

Democracy may already be dead (0)

wcrowe (94389) | about 2 years ago | (#40079473)

FTA ...without that conventional modes of democracy could be extinct within two decades as the younger generation would not vote in a conventional physical polling booth, which could lead to “very serious conflict between the generations.”

That is probably perfectly okay with older generations, who would rather younger generations not vote. I suppose I could be lumped in with the "older generation", but I differ with many of my peers in that I appreciate the ideas and concerns of people around my daughter's age.

Personally, I haven't voted in 12 years. There are two primary reasons for this: 1)There never seems to be anyone to vote FOR. I always feel like I'm selecting the lesser of two evils. 2) The vote-counting process is corrupt, even in non-electronic venues. It's not that way everywhere, but enough so that voting seems like a waste of time.

People tell me that it is my civic duty to vote. These are often the same people who run red lights and cheat on their taxes. It is no wonder that young people are apathetic about voting.

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