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Invading Privacy for School Credit

timothy posted more than 8 years ago | from the and-for-a-good-cause dept.

Privacy 422

veryloco writes "Students in Prof. Avi Rubin's Security and Privacy course at the Johns Hopkins University completed a project where they gathered as much public data on residents of Baltimore City as possible. One interesting fact was that 50 deceased persons voted in the last election. Read on to find out what other interesting tidbits were discovered."

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422 comments

50 deceased persons voted in the last election? (5, Funny)

Kittyflipping (840166) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567393)

You know what that means... Zombies!!!

Re:50 deceased persons voted in the last election? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12567424)

But...but...but... every vote counts!

Re:50 deceased persons voted in the last election? (5, Funny)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567459)

You can't make campaign promises like a chevy in every driveway and two brains in every pot without attracting the zombie voting bloc.

Re:50 deceased persons voted in the last election? (3, Insightful)

srikantux (865596) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567465)

ah! now i know why bush won in the elections.

Re:50 deceased persons voted in the last election? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12567548)

Actually this is an age old Democrat trick. Just look at the recent governor race in Washington State where after 2 recounts, enough votes were "found" so the Democrate would win. Oddly enough 50 of those votes turned out to be dead people.

Re:50 deceased persons voted in the last election? (3, Insightful)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567768)

Yes, because Republicans never do the same. They also don't get a bunch of college students to sign a petition and then change their voter registration information (address and party) using their signatures. They also aren't responsible for hundreds of people who weren't able to vote because, due to the changes, their voting location was changed - without their knowledge.

This happened last autumn to students at the University of Pittsburgh (main campus) who signed a petition to legalize marijuana.

The point is, both major parties (and probably many minor parties) will do everything they can to get votes. Whether that means screwing people out of the right to vote or voting as dead people, they're going to do it. How about next time you show a little class, dignity, and honesty and confront the real problem - voter fraud - instead of twisting it into something that fits your personal political preference.

How about Chicago? (4, Informative)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567495)

I bet if they had done this in Chicago, the number would be above 5,000 dead voting people. And, many of them would have voted at least twice.

Seriously, Chicago does have this problem and every attempt to cleanse the voting roles of dead voters is shot down as being discriminatory against minorities.

Re:How about Chicago? (4, Funny)

pegr (46683) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567538)

Seriously, Chicago does have this problem and every attempt to cleanse the voting roles of dead voters is shot down as being discriminatory against minorities.

I guess you've never heard of the dead as "The Silent Majority" then...

Dead (3, Funny)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567653)

I guess you've never heard of the dead as "The Silent Majority" then...

Nah, they're usually too stoned to vote. Although if anyone named Garcia ran, he'd probably win.

Re:How about Chicago? (4, Funny)

whitehatlurker (867714) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567666)

Seriously, Chicago does have this problem and every attempt to cleanse the voting roles of dead voters is shot down as being discriminatory against minorities.

I'm glad that the dead are still a minority in Chicago. Given the city's reputation [usatoday.com] , one would presume that they were in the majority [prairieghosts.com] .

Re:How about Chicago? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12567721)

No, no... the voting dead are a minority. Apathy about the democratic process is a huge problem in the dead community; most of them can't be bothered to get up and go to the polls.

Re:How about Chicago? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12567739)

So minorities have a constitutional right to vote multiple times after their dead?! It sounds to me like dead white people are being disenfranchised. Anyone want to step forward to support these people? It sounds like they could use a spokesperson.

What about Peoria and Cicero? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12567752)

Same thing happens in white trash precincts, too.

Re:50 deceased persons voted in the last election? (-1, Redundant)

bahwi (43111) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567572)

"Oh God! The Dead are Rising and Voting Republican!!" ~ Bart "The Simpsons"

Re:50 deceased persons voted in the last election? (5, Funny)

TooMuchEspressoGuy (763203) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567600)

Zombies?

Hmm... brainless, concerned only with consuming, attack anyone who isn't like them... anyone else willing to bet that they voted Bush?

(Aww, c'mon, it's just a harmless joke... *ducks the "troll" mod's*)

election fraud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12567637)

I though that if it could be proven that election fraud existed in any manner all the votes of that district needed to be thrown out.

Re:50 deceased persons voted in the last election? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12567645)

It's a known fact that Zombies always vote the demoncratic ticket.

OT: Article formatting (2, Insightful)

kevin_conaway (585204) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567400)

Sorry this is off topic but is anyone else enamored with the way IHT formats their articles?

Re:OT: Article formatting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12567461)

Actually, yeah... it's a refreshing change from the standard ridiculous HTML adaptations of print media.

I second this opinion.

Re:OT: Article formatting (1)

MrAnnoyanceToYou (654053) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567464)

Yes. That IS the coolest thing I've seen in a while. Were I still a web programmer, I would steal that stuff and hide it for a rainy day.... err... yeah, maybe 'borrow.' :)

Re:OT: Article formatting (3, Interesting)

Cecil (37810) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567480)

Absolutely! Also, I love how you can click on the right half of the article to move to the next page, or left side to move back... it's completely contrary to web standards but it's so useful that I just love it anyway. The whole website's entirely Firefox compatable, has no shitty floating javascript toolbars or other garbage

I regularly point to it as an example of excellent corporate webdesign, but I don't think it gets NEARLY enough credit. It's a fantastic website.

Re:OT: Article formatting (3, Insightful)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567510)

Enamored? No, more like "enraged" - if you are running Javascript disabled you simply cannot view any aspect of the story - unless you use the "View->Use Style->None" option of Mozilla to strip all the stupid formatting BS out.

Once again: it is FINE to use JS to enhance your web site, but making it a REQUIRED part of your site is foolish.

Re:OT: Article formatting (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12567618)

Get over it. You might as well be enraged at websites that require html.

Re:OT: Article formatting (0)

Roofus (15591) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567634)

What are you, some kind of pinko? Every God fearing red blooded American should be running as Administrator (real American's use Windows) with Javascript enabled, TWICE!

Re:OT: Article formatting (1)

UncleGizmo (462001) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567656)

Love it. And, it's nice that, at the end of the article, your 'back' button takes you back to the previous site [/.] rather than the previous page.

I'm sure some won't like it b/c of some programming incompatibility, but as a reader, it was very nice.

OK, I'll start the flame war.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12567405)

Did the dead people vote democratic or republican.

Let the meltdown begin!

Re:OK, I'll start the flame war.... (2, Funny)

planetoid (719535) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567443)

They voted for BRAINS I want to eat BRAINS BRAINS HUNGRY FOR BRAINS!!

Re:OK, I'll start the flame war.... (0, Offtopic)

planetoid (719535) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567489)

Troll? :| Moderators aren't big George Romero fans I guess.

Re:OK, I'll start the flame war.... (0, Offtopic)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567601)

Romero zombies didn't specifically crave brains. Romero zombies just wanted to eat people, viscera were just as desirable to them as arms and legs.They never said "Brains!", in fact Romero zombies never spoke. O'Bannon zombies are the ones that wanted "BRAINS!"

LK

Re:OK, I'll start the flame war.... (4, Insightful)

jaymzter (452402) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567531)

50 votes for Kerry if history is any indicator.

Re:OK, I'll start the flame war.... (4, Funny)

planetoid (719535) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567563)

The brain-hungry flesh-eating undead zombies roaming the Earth were like, "hey, that candidate looks like us. He's got my vote!".

Re:OK, I'll start the flame war.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12567626)

Ah so they voted for Bush then.

I'M AN OPEN PROXY, BAN ME! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12567414)

This message is posted from an open proxy. Open proxies are used to crapflood sites like Slashdot. Please mod this comment down so the proxy gets banned. If you don't care about open proxies, please mod this comment down because it's offensive to NIGGERS and KIKES.
iji iji iji iji iji iji jtiji iji iji iji iji iji
iji iji iji iji iji ijjDMNQtiji iji iji iji iji ij
iji iji iji iji iji cXMNMNMNQjiji iji iji iji iji
iji iji iji iji ijcSMNMNMNMNHJiji iji iji ij iji ij
iji iji iji iji iSWMNMNMNMHJiji iji iji ij iji iji
iji iji iji iji6WMNMNMNMNYiji iji Jciji iji iji ij
iji iji iji i5WMNMNMNMN5iji iji JHMNSc iji iji iji
iji iji iji5NMNMNMNMW5iji iji JHMNMN MWSiji iji iji
iji iji ijcXMNMNMNMNNYiji ijtKMNMN MNMNMW6iji iji i
iji iji iji jDMNMNMNMNHJijtQMNMN MNMNMNMNMW5iji iji
iji itciji iji QMNMNMNMNKDMNMN MNMNQWMNMNMNMN5iji i
ijitKMWSiji iji jQMNSIEGMNMN MNMNQtijSWMNMNMNMNYiji
itQMNMNMW6iji iji tKMNMNMN MNMNKtiji icSMNMNMNMNHJi
iJHMNHEILMW6iji ijcSMNMN MNMNMNDjiji ijicXMNMNMNN5i
ijiYNMNMNMNMN5ijiSWMNM MNMNMNMNMNDciji ijicDMNW6iji
iji i5NMNMNMNMNSWMNM MNMNHNMNMNMNMNXciji iji 5iji i
iji iji5WMNMNMNMNM MNMNN5ij5NMNMNMNMNSciji iji iji
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iji iji ijiSWM MNMNW6iji iji tKMNMNMNMNXciji iji ij
iji iji iji cSMNWSiji iji tQMNMNMNMNDjiji iji iji
iji iji ij iji c6ciji iji QMNMNMNMNQjiji iji iji ij
iji iji iji iji iji ijjDMHITLERNQtiji iji iji iji
iji ij iji iji iji ijcXMNMNMNMNKtiji iji iji iji ij
iji iji iji iji iji jQMNMNMNHJiji iji iji iji iji
ij iji iji iji iji iji tKMNHJiji iji iji iji iji ij
iji iji iji iji iji iji tYiji iji iji iji iji ij ij



Wed May 18 18:09:25 CEST 2005 [3349]

Re:I'M AN OPEN PROXY, BAN ME! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12567517)

go back to #buttes

un first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12567418)

not first post, but close!

I'M AN OPEN PROXY, BAN ME! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12567419)

This message is posted from an open proxy. Open proxies are used to crapflood sites like Slashdot. Please mod this comment down so the proxy gets banned. If you don't care about open proxies, please mod this comment down because it's offensive to NIGGERS and KIKES.
iji iji iji iji iji iji jtiji iji iji iji iji iji
iji iji iji iji iji ijjDMNQtiji iji iji iji iji ij
iji iji iji iji iji cXMNMNMNQjiji iji iji iji iji
iji iji iji iji ijcSMNMNMNMNHJiji iji iji ij iji ij
iji iji iji iji iSWMNMNMNMHJiji iji iji ij iji iji
iji iji iji iji6WMNMNMNMNYiji iji Jciji iji iji ij
iji iji iji i5WMNMNMNMN5iji iji JHMNSc iji iji iji
iji iji iji5NMNMNMNMW5iji iji JHMNMN MWSiji iji iji
iji iji ijcXMNMNMNMNNYiji ijtKMNMN MNMNMW6iji iji i
iji iji iji jDMNMNMNMNHJijtQMNMN MNMNMNMNMW5iji iji
iji itciji iji QMNMNMNMNKDMNMN MNMNQWMNMNMNMN5iji i
ijitKMWSiji iji jQMNSIEGMNMN MNMNQtijSWMNMNMNMNYiji
itQMNMNMW6iji iji tKMNMNMN MNMNKtiji icSMNMNMNMNHJi
iJHMNHEILMW6iji ijcSMNMN MNMNMNDjiji ijicXMNMNMNN5i
ijiYNMNMNMNMN5ijiSWMNM MNMNMNMNMNDciji ijicDMNW6iji
iji i5NMNMNMNMNSWMNM MNMNHNMNMNMNMNXciji iji 5iji i
iji iji5WMNMNMNMNM MNMNN5ij5NMNMNMNMNSciji iji iji
iji iji i6WMNMNM MNMNW5iji ij6WMHEILNMWSiji iji iji
iji iji ijiSWM MNMNW6iji iji tKMNMNMNMNXciji iji ij
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iji iji ij iji c6ciji iji QMNMNMNMNQjiji iji iji ij
iji iji iji iji iji ijjDMHITLERNQtiji iji iji iji
iji ij iji iji iji ijcXMNMNMNMNKtiji iji iji iji ij
iji iji iji iji iji jQMNMNMNHJiji iji iji iji iji
ij iji iji iji iji iji tKMNHJiji iji iji iji iji ij
iji iji iji iji iji iji tYiji iji iji iji iji ij ij



Wed May 18 18:09:25 CEST 2005 [5810]

About those 50... (4, Funny)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567423)

50 deceased persons voted in the last election.

But how many of them are still posting to Slashdot?

Only the Insightful zombies! (1)

xtermin8 (719661) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567485)

I might actually spend some time getting (or trying to get) and cross-referencing deaths and voting records. Seems like a worthwhile project to me.

Re:About those 50... (1)

Intron (870560) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567503)

Since nearly 1,000,000 slashdot IDs have been issued, its safe to assume that many thousands of the original users have died. Some of those IDs may now be in use by survivors, friends or hackers.

Re:About those 50... (1)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567609)

Actually there should be a procedure to free up all usernames which haven't been used in the last x years. The id should stay used though to make difference between an old somenick and a new somenick.

I'M AN OPEN PROXY, BAN ME! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12567425)

This message is posted from an open proxy. Open proxies are used to crapflood sites like Slashdot. Please mod this comment down so the proxy gets banned. If you don't care about open proxies, please mod this comment down because it's offensive to NIGGERS and KIKES.
iji iji iji iji iji iji jtiji iji iji iji iji iji
iji iji iji iji iji ijjDMNQtiji iji iji iji iji ij
iji iji iji iji iji cXMNMNMNQjiji iji iji iji iji
iji iji iji iji ijcSMNMNMNMNHJiji iji iji ij iji ij
iji iji iji iji iSWMNMNMNMHJiji iji iji ij iji iji
iji iji iji iji6WMNMNMNMNYiji iji Jciji iji iji ij
iji iji iji i5WMNMNMNMN5iji iji JHMNSc iji iji iji
iji iji iji5NMNMNMNMW5iji iji JHMNMN MWSiji iji iji
iji iji ijcXMNMNMNMNNYiji ijtKMNMN MNMNMW6iji iji i
iji iji iji jDMNMNMNMNHJijtQMNMN MNMNMNMNMW5iji iji
iji itciji iji QMNMNMNMNKDMNMN MNMNQWMNMNMNMN5iji i
ijitKMWSiji iji jQMNSIEGMNMN MNMNQtijSWMNMNMNMNYiji
itQMNMNMW6iji iji tKMNMNMN MNMNKtiji icSMNMNMNMNHJi
iJHMNHEILMW6iji ijcSMNMN MNMNMNDjiji ijicXMNMNMNN5i
ijiYNMNMNMNMN5ijiSWMNM MNMNMNMNMNDciji ijicDMNW6iji
iji i5NMNMNMNMNSWMNM MNMNHNMNMNMNMNXciji iji 5iji i
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iji iji i6WMNMNM MNMNW5iji ij6WMHEILNMWSiji iji iji
iji iji ijiSWM MNMNW6iji iji tKMNMNMNMNXciji iji ij
iji iji iji cSMNWSiji iji tQMNMNMNMNDjiji iji iji
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iji iji iji iji iji ijjDMHITLERNQtiji iji iji iji
iji ij iji iji iji ijcXMNMNMNMNKtiji iji iji iji ij
iji iji iji iji iji jQMNMNMNHJiji iji iji iji iji
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Wed May 18 18:09:25 CEST 2005 [5727]

I'M AN OPEN PROXY, BAN ME! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12567426)

This message is posted from an open proxy. Open proxies are used to crapflood sites like Slashdot. Please mod this comment down so the proxy gets banned. If you don't care about open proxies, please mod this comment down because it's offensive to NIGGERS and KIKES.
iji iji iji iji iji iji jtiji iji iji iji iji iji
iji iji iji iji iji ijjDMNQtiji iji iji iji iji ij
iji iji iji iji iji cXMNMNMNQjiji iji iji iji iji
iji iji iji iji ijcSMNMNMNMNHJiji iji iji ij iji ij
iji iji iji iji iSWMNMNMNMHJiji iji iji ij iji iji
iji iji iji iji6WMNMNMNMNYiji iji Jciji iji iji ij
iji iji iji i5WMNMNMNMN5iji iji JHMNSc iji iji iji
iji iji iji5NMNMNMNMW5iji iji JHMNMN MWSiji iji iji
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iji itciji iji QMNMNMNMNKDMNMN MNMNQWMNMNMNMN5iji i
ijitKMWSiji iji jQMNSIEGMNMN MNMNQtijSWMNMNMNMNYiji
itQMNMNMW6iji iji tKMNMNMN MNMNKtiji icSMNMNMNMNHJi
iJHMNHEILMW6iji ijcSMNMN MNMNMNDjiji ijicXMNMNMNN5i
ijiYNMNMNMNMN5ijiSWMNM MNMNMNMNMNDciji ijicDMNW6iji
iji i5NMNMNMNMNSWMNM MNMNHNMNMNMNMNXciji iji 5iji i
iji iji5WMNMNMNMNM MNMNN5ij5NMNMNMNMNSciji iji iji
iji iji i6WMNMNM MNMNW5iji ij6WMHEILNMWSiji iji iji
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iji iji iji cSMNWSiji iji tQMNMNMNMNDjiji iji iji
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iji iji iji iji iji ijjDMHITLERNQtiji iji iji iji
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iji iji iji iji iji jQMNMNMNHJiji iji iji iji iji
ij iji iji iji iji iji tKMNHJiji iji iji iji iji ij
iji iji iji iji iji iji tYiji iji iji iji iji ij ij



Wed May 18 18:09:56 CEST 2005 [6244]

I'M AN OPEN PROXY, BAN ME! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12567427)

This message is posted from an open proxy. Open proxies are used to crapflood sites like Slashdot. Please mod this comment down so the proxy gets banned. If you don't care about open proxies, please mod this comment down because it's offensive to NIGGERS and KIKES.
iji iji iji iji iji iji jtiji iji iji iji iji iji
iji iji iji iji iji ijjDMNQtiji iji iji iji iji ij
iji iji iji iji iji cXMNMNMNQjiji iji iji iji iji
iji iji iji iji ijcSMNMNMNMNHJiji iji iji ij iji ij
iji iji iji iji iSWMNMNMNMHJiji iji iji ij iji iji
iji iji iji iji6WMNMNMNMNYiji iji Jciji iji iji ij
iji iji iji i5WMNMNMNMN5iji iji JHMNSc iji iji iji
iji iji iji5NMNMNMNMW5iji iji JHMNMN MWSiji iji iji
iji iji ijcXMNMNMNMNNYiji ijtKMNMN MNMNMW6iji iji i
iji iji iji jDMNMNMNMNHJijtQMNMN MNMNMNMNMW5iji iji
iji itciji iji QMNMNMNMNKDMNMN MNMNQWMNMNMNMN5iji i
ijitKMWSiji iji jQMNSIEGMNMN MNMNQtijSWMNMNMNMNYiji
itQMNMNMW6iji iji tKMNMNMN MNMNKtiji icSMNMNMNMNHJi
iJHMNHEILMW6iji ijcSMNMN MNMNMNDjiji ijicXMNMNMNN5i
ijiYNMNMNMNMN5ijiSWMNM MNMNMNMNMNDciji ijicDMNW6iji
iji i5NMNMNMNMNSWMNM MNMNHNMNMNMNMNXciji iji 5iji i
iji iji5WMNMNMNMNM MNMNN5ij5NMNMNMNMNSciji iji iji
iji iji i6WMNMNM MNMNW5iji ij6WMHEILNMWSiji iji iji
iji iji ijiSWM MNMNW6iji iji tKMNMNMNMNXciji iji ij
iji iji iji cSMNWSiji iji tQMNMNMNMNDjiji iji iji
iji iji ij iji c6ciji iji QMNMNMNMNQjiji iji iji ij
iji iji iji iji iji ijjDMHITLERNQtiji iji iji iji
iji ij iji iji iji ijcXMNMNMNMNKtiji iji iji iji ij
iji iji iji iji iji jQMNMNMNHJiji iji iji iji iji
ij iji iji iji iji iji tKMNHJiji iji iji iji iji ij
iji iji iji iji iji iji tYiji iji iji iji iji ij ij



Wed May 18 18:09:25 CEST 2005 [9347]

So what do we do about public records? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12567436)

I think having records available to the public is a good thing, especially when it comes to the government. So how do we fix potential problems without letting the government operate in secrecy, which is what it always tends to like more? How do we have records available to the public, and prevent them from ending up in the hands of aggregators?

I'M AN OPEN PROXY, BAN ME! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12567440)

This message is posted from an open proxy. Open proxies are used to crapflood sites like Slashdot. Please mod this comment down so the proxy gets banned. If you don't care about open proxies, please mod this comment down because it's offensive to NIGGERS and KIKES.
iji iji iji iji iji iji jtiji iji iji iji iji iji
iji iji iji iji iji ijjDMNQtiji iji iji iji iji ij
iji iji iji iji iji cXMNMNMNQjiji iji iji iji iji
iji iji iji iji ijcSMNMNMNMNHJiji iji iji ij iji ij
iji iji iji iji iSWMNMNMNMHJiji iji iji ij iji iji
iji iji iji iji6WMNMNMNMNYiji iji Jciji iji iji ij
iji iji iji i5WMNMNMNMN5iji iji JHMNSc iji iji iji
iji iji iji5NMNMNMNMW5iji iji JHMNMN MWSiji iji iji
iji iji ijcXMNMNMNMNNYiji ijtKMNMN MNMNMW6iji iji i
iji iji iji jDMNMNMNMNHJijtQMNMN MNMNMNMNMW5iji iji
iji itciji iji QMNMNMNMNKDMNMN MNMNQWMNMNMNMN5iji i
ijitKMWSiji iji jQMNSIEGMNMN MNMNQtijSWMNMNMNMNYiji
itQMNMNMW6iji iji tKMNMNMN MNMNKtiji icSMNMNMNMNHJi
iJHMNHEILMW6iji ijcSMNMN MNMNMNDjiji ijicXMNMNMNN5i
ijiYNMNMNMNMN5ijiSWMNM MNMNMNMNMNDciji ijicDMNW6iji
iji i5NMNMNMNMNSWMNM MNMNHNMNMNMNMNXciji iji 5iji i
iji iji5WMNMNMNMNM MNMNN5ij5NMNMNMNMNSciji iji iji
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Wed May 18 18:10:55 CEST 2005 [3790]

Cautionary tale (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12567442)

At the price of Hopkins tuition, maybe this isn't the best "HOWTO" for a course there ;)

timothy
(lapsed member of the JHU alumni association, thanks to high-school summer courses at CTY)

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Wed May 18 18:09:25 CEST 2005 [4047]

When did they die? (5, Insightful)

millahtime (710421) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567445)

50 deceased persons voted in the last election

Ah, but did they die right around election time. Could they have sent in an absentee ballot before they died? Or did they die on election day after they voted? Not having all the info can lead to misleading ideas in our overactive imaginations.

Or, it could be like the earlier post... zombies or ghosts.

Re:When did they die? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12567647)

For that matter, it is of course *inceivable* that Rubin's students may have erred in their count...

Re:When did they die? (1)

jjr1 (691500) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567663)

You'd think with only 50 results that would be easy to check by hand or automatically since you could probably just subtract two weeks from the election date (or however far back you want to go), and compare it to the date of death and then you've removed any chance that those 50 individuals died after filling out absentee ballots.

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Wed May 18 18:09:25 CEST 2005 [2324]

I'M AN OPEN PROXY, BAN ME! (-1)

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Wed May 18 18:12:48 CEST 2005 [3033]

How is public data considered private? (4, Insightful)

Kainaw (676073) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567483)

There is a lot of public data about everyone. Basically, any transaction you do with a government office or agency is public data. If someone views that public data, how are they invading your privacy?

Re:How is public data considered private? (2, Insightful)

bluGill (862) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567687)

This is called sensitive information. Public, but it should still only be made available to people who will not abuse it.

There is enough public information about most people to destroy them. (mostly financially, but there are other ways to destroy someone, with or without killing them) Than information needs to be public, because there are honest uses for it. However it needs to be restricted who can access it because of the damage they can do.

Cemetery records are public. They should not be available to just anyone with an internet connect though because you want to make it hard on those voting in a dead person's name.

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Wed May 18 18:14:24 CEST 2005 [8714]

1500 dead people were registered to vote (5, Insightful)

GQuon (643387) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567487)

1500 dead people were registered to vote. But did they join those records on SSN or some other unique identifier? There might be some cases of people with the same name, right?

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Wed May 18 18:14:27 CEST 2005 [5389]

I'M AN OPEN PROXY, BAN ME! (-1)

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Wed May 18 18:13:15 CEST 2005 [3421]

invasion? (2, Interesting)

spoonyfork (23307) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567504)

How is a sustainable and legal business model of data warehousing and resale an "invasion" of privacy?

Re:invasion? (1)

Ooblek (544753) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567731)

You should ask that question when some psycho you piss off figures out where you live. I'm sure after said psycho visits your house in the middle of the night and delivers you a flaming-hot UFIA [wikipedia.org] , you'd probably be pretty pissed that your info was available to the public too.

Not that surprising (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12567511)

This isn't all that surprising. I mean, did anyone actually think that the elections were completely fair or legitimate?

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Wed May 18 18:14:14 CEST 2005 [7958]

more frightening.... (-1, Offtopic)

to_kallon (778547) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567515)

1,500 dead people who were also listed as active registered voters. Fifty of those dead people somehow voted in the last election.

is that 150 of them were sued by the riaa...

It was over long ago (5, Insightful)

maczealot (864883) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567516)

The "privacy battle" was over long ago. This article just shows how slow senators can be in figuring stuff out. Sadly no legislation is ever going to put the horse back in the barn. Granted, things like public offices handing over entire databases burned to CD MIGHT (depending on the data) be preventable. However as anyone who comes to slashdot should know, social engineering works great.
So what is the solution? Just prepare for your identity theft now, keep good records and generally don't be a jerk to those you post about and email. Because its all out there.

applied privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12567528)

That's what I call applied privacy to dig into other people's personal information. I wonder who pays for this "study"? Don't tell me it is us tax payers.

Necromancy (5, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567534)

Rubin has been one of the people screaming the past few years about how easy the elections would be to hack. Now it seems that he's widened his scope, showing how much of a joke is any attempt at precise counting of so many people.

We need election laws that guarantee the margin of victory is larger than the sampling error. In fact, we need a law that requires the office get at least a simple majority (50%) of the eligible voters, or it goes unfilled. With so few eligible voters actually voting, that would force districts to hold runoffs, and parties to get out the vote. Or just get outnumbered by the representatives from districts which do turn out. Put a little competition into our rotten voting system, and cut out the deadwood.

Re:Necromancy (2, Interesting)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567717)

How about forcing people to vote, make it mandatory. Fine them if they decide to stay home on election day, in the way of income taxes. Don't Vote? Fine.. You get $250 less this april (or you end up paying $250 more.)

multitiered privacy (2, Interesting)

Felgerkarb (695336) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567549)

I suppose this is a good opportunity to suggest an idea I have about protecting private information. There is a whole spectrum of sensitive information about a person, and a similar range of people who want every last tidbit of information completely private to those who are clueless or just unconcerned. There obviously should be a middle ground that allows for reasonable exchange of reaosnable information, but protects that which is truly sensitive.

I've thought, and I'm interested in (constructive) comments, that a three tiered system should be used. The 'green' level, is basically that which any person can get freely, which should be equivalent to that info one can get just by, let's say, seeing you in the street. Basic physical parameters. If a person chooses, they can make other information 'green' such as name and age, etc.

Yellow would be freely available to law enforcement, and to others only with express permision from the individual. This should include credit information, address, ssn, ....city hall sort of stuff.

Red would be available to law enforcement without permission only by court order, or with permission from the individual. This would include things like phone records, or other information that currently requires a supoena.

An individual can make information more or less private for the general public (i.e. I can decide that no one shold really know that I am 6'2 with brown hair.) or more available (i.e. I live here, come visit me!). I think an auditing system should be built in, tracking access, informing an individual of the identity of people accessing their information.

Auditing would require a central repository of information, which would then be the only source of the info, and that could be a problem, with privacy/security of information. However, the rest really only requires a change in legislation, but doesn't really provide a mechanism for enforcement or knowing if someone is invading your privacy.

What do you think?

Re:multitiered privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12567709)

I think that the bigger problem is not the regulations per se, but the fact that all of this info is stored among myriad organizations, municipalities and so forth, with overlapping juristictions. Such a color coding system would be great if we are dealing with a single, monolithic organization, but that isn't the case.

Centralized government control the worst thing (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12567710)

We need responsibility and liability. Those that provide public records need to be responsible for security and cleansing of data. Those that aggregate and disseminate these records for profit need to be liable and responsible for security. If any of these institutions are derelict in their duties, they must be 100% responsible for cleaning up the mess and paying off the debts. I suspect this will never happen, as industry will lobby against it, and government NEVER makes itself liable for any failings. And potential legislations will surely absolve the government from liability. If no one can be found responsible and liable for damages they will have no reason to fix things.

Misleading Title (4, Informative)

shancock (89482) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567553)

This article appears in the NY Times today http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/18/technology/18dat a.html? [nytimes.com]
and the primary focus of the article is on how easy it is to steal identities on line using legal methods and less than $50.

The slashdot title implies that a college course was used to invade the privacy of Baltimore individuals. This is most misleading. While this is nothing new to most readers here, the significant thing is that this article is in a mainstream media publication and may help to strengthen some of the right to privacy laws that are currently under the gun.

Engineering (5, Funny)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567558)

"or simply "asked nicely" - sometimes receiving whole databases burned onto a CD"

once again proves that geek security is compromized by cleavage or the promise that someone likes you.

Obligatory Simpsons Quote (4, Funny)

Close_Enuf (870643) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567565)

Bart: "Oh my God...the dead have risen and they're voting Republican!"

Re:Obligatory Simpsons Quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12567630)

Cute, since the Democrats and unions made that little scheme popular in Chicago and elsewhere.

"Vote for Daley or we'll kill ya. And then you'll be voting for him anyway, so you may as well save us both the hassle and the dry-cleaning bill."

Patriotism... (2, Funny)

Decameron81 (628548) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567605)

One interesting fact was that 50 deceased persons voted in the last election.


That's the kind of thing that makes you proud of being an American.

Re:Patriotism... (1)

jjr1 (691500) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567761)

These valiant citizens braved all the hardships including death to make it to the polls... don't you feel bad now?

Baltimore City (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567624)

...completed a project where they gathered as much public data on residents of Baltimore City as possible

Where's that? Is it near Baltimore?

Re:Baltimore City (1)

syrinx (106469) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567695)

That's "Baltimore City" as opposed to "Baltimore County". They're not the same thing.

Re:Baltimore City (3, Informative)

Jurph (16396) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567715)

"Hons" (residents of Baltimore) make the distinction between "Baltimore City" and "Baltimore County" in their writing. Hearing just one can be confusing unless you know the local geography, and realize that just the word "Baltimore" refers to a large number of towns (like Towson) that are part of Baltimore but are actually in "the county". This map [bcinfobank.com] shows the difference.

Openness for those with public TRUST (1)

crush (19364) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567646)

Privacy for the rest of us.

The only benefit of openness comes with elected officials, government appointees, government contracts, campaign financing etc being available to us.

Everyone else deserves privacy.

B'More! (2, Interesting)

srock2588 (827871) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567655)

It's actually true, the city has more then just crabs, heroin, and hospitals! Not mention syphilis and a yearly contender for US murder capital. Now they are a hot spot for identity theft, yippee! Its still better then moving to Virginia.

Invasion of privacy? (4, Insightful)

Jumbo Jimbo (828571) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567694)

I think that the original headline to this article isn't the most informative - Invading Privacy for School Credit

I'd say that the opposite is true - this information is in the public domain, and the students were able to demonstrate how easy it is to access and collate, thus stimulating debate (look, we're having a real debate, on Slashdot!).

Invasions of privacy, in my mind, constitute one of two things. 1) Attempting to make someone reveal personal information about themselves that they may not want to, or 2) revealing data on someone else that you have not been given permission to reveal.

While some of the original sources of the data that the students used could have invaded privacy to get the data, by using data already in the public domain the students weren't invading privacy.

If they'd acted illegally or persuaded someone to breach someone else's privacy as part of the project, that would be another thing, but the students weren't allowed to do that as part of this project.

Infrastructure Mapping (4, Interesting)

bubba_ry (574102) | more than 8 years ago | (#12567700)

This reminds me a news item I saw/read about 1-2 years ago where a student wanted to see if he could map out the U.S.'s infratructure given public records/information. He was extremely successful in that he mapped out whole power grids, telecom lines, subways, etc and overlayed them all. Much to his dismay, he was held from presenting this (his doctorate thesis, I believe) by the Feds who worried that terrorists would want to get their hands on the info.

And if you're a terrorist, that makes sense; someone else has already done the work for you and provided additional instructions on how to do so. On the other hand, this poor guy can't complete his work. And all he did was what any Tom, Dick, or Harry could've done.

full article (w/o bullshit next button) (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12567713)

Privacy vs. openness: A data dilemma in U.S.
By Tom Zeller Jr. The New York Times

WEDNESDAY, MAY 18, 2005
BALTIMORE Ted Stevens wanted to know just how much the Internet has turned private lives into open books. So the U.S. senator, a Republican from Alaska and the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, instructed his staff to steal his identity.

"I regret to say they were successful," the senator reported at a hearing he held last week on data theft.

His staff, Stevens reported, came back not just with digital breadcrumbs on the senator, but also with insights on his daughter's rental property and some of the comings and goings of his son, a student in California. "My staff provided me with information they got from a series of places," he said. "For $65, they were told, they could get my Social Security number."

That would not surprise 41 graduate students in a computer security course at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, who, with $15 less than that, became mini data brokers themselves over the last semester.

Working with a budget of $50 and a strict requirement to use only legal, public sources of information, groups of three to four students set out to vacuum up not just tidbits on individuals, but whole databases - death records, property tax information, campaign donations, occupational license registries - on citizens of Baltimore. They then cleaned and linked the databases they had collected, making it possible to enter a single name and generate multiple layers of information on individuals.

The Johns Hopkins students demonstrated - as has a growing chorus of privacy advocates around the United States - that there is plenty of information to be had on individuals without ever buying it (or stealing it) from big database companies like ChoicePoint and LexisNexis. And as concerns over data security mount, the inherent conflicts between a desire for convenience, openness and access to public records on the one hand, and for personal privacy on the other, are beginning to show.

The Johns Hopkins project was conceived by Avi Rubin, a professor of computer science and the technical director of Johns Hopkins's Information Security Institute. Rubin has used his graduate courses in the past to expose weaknesses in electronic voting technology, digital car keys and other byproducts of a society that is increasingly dependent on computers, networks and software.

"My expectations were that they would be able to find a lot of information, and in fact they did," Rubin said.

In some instances, students visited local government offices and filed official requests for the data - or simply "asked nicely" - sometimes receiving whole databases burned onto a CD.

In other cases, they wrote special computer scripts, which they used to slurp up whole databases from online sources like Maryland's registry of occupational licenses (barbers, architects, plumbers), or from free commercial address databases.

"I think what this professor and students have done is a powerful object lesson in just how much information there is to be found about most of us online," said Beth Givens, the director of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse in San Diego, "and how difficult it is, how impossible it is, to control what's done with our information."

David Bloys, a private investigator in Texas, has helped craft a bill now pending in the state legislature there that would prohibit the bulk transfer and display over the Internet of documents filed with local governments.

There are real dangers involved, Bloys said, when such information "migrates from practical obscurity inside the four walls of the courthouse to widespread dissemination, aggregation and export across the world via the Internet." However convenient online access made things for legitimate users, the information is equally convenient for "stalkers, terrorists and identity thieves," Bloys said.

The bill, which was introduced in Austin by Representative Carl Isett, a Republican, unanimously passed out of the State Affairs Committee on May 3 and is awaiting a vote in the full House.

Meanwhile, in Alaska, the American Civil Liberties Union - a vanguard for openness and access to public documents - has taken up the cause of Maryjane Hinman, a nurse who had lobbied unsuccessfully to have her home address removed from the state's online registry of occupational licenses.

"We feel that open access to public records is key to a free society," said Jason Brandeis, the ACLU attorney handling the Alaska suit, which seeks to bar the state from disseminating contact information for all licensed nurses. "But a balance needs to be struck between the public interest in open access to government information, and the need to protect individual privacy."

Whether such a balance can ever be struck when so much information is already out of the bag remains an open question.

"I have no problem with an individual who faces unusual threats from publication of her identity or identifying details being able under the law to seek special exception from openness," said Rebecca Daugherty, the director of the Freedom of Information Service Center for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in Virginia. "But the secrecy should be the exception," she said, "not the rule."

Several of the students at Johns Hopkins came to a similar conclusion. Despite their surprise at the number of records they were able to amass, many still felt that the benefits of openness outweigh the risks of secrecy.

"If some citizen is concerned about dead people remaining registered to vote, he can simply obtain the database of deaths and the voter registration database and cross-correlate," said Joshua Mason, whose group discovered 1,500 dead people who were also listed as active registered voters. Fifty of those dead people somehow voted in the last election. "The problem is, we don't know what we want," Rubin said, referring to the competing social interests in openness and privacy.

And it's a crime to watch the border ... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12567729)

Every one is completely digitized execept the 30 million illegal immigrants.

I love this quote: (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12567773)

"If some citizen is concerned about dead people remaining registered to vote, he can simply obtain the database of deaths and the voter registration database and cross-correlate," said Joshua Mason,

Umm, you know, maybe the government should do that as part of the electoral process? If felons can be removed from voting lists, so can dead people.
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