Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Dutch Securing E-voting After Being Pwned

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the wouldn't-it-be-nice dept.

269

An anonymous reader writes, "After the Dutch we-don't-trust-voting-computers foundation demonstrated glaring security holes in Dutch voting computers last week, the Dutch government has ordered (Dutch) all software to be replaced, all hardware to be checked, unflashable firmware to be installed, and an iron seal to be placed on voting machines. A certification institute will double-check all measures, and on election day will cull random machines to check them for accuracy. The Dutch intelligence service AIVD has been approached to consult on the radio emissions issue. Furthermore, foreign observers will monitor the upcoming elections on November 22nd. But the action group is still not confident (Dutch) that all problems are solved." US elections are controlled at the local level, so unfortunately such a nationwide fix would not be workable here.

cancel ×

269 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

yeh! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16437441)

how does this really matter?

the dutch are fags whether they patch shit or not.

the more important qs. is: is this poast going to make fp?

it did (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16437507)

it did make phurst p0ast

you are our king

we bow before you, o lord of phurst p0asts

lol, dutch are gay (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16438003)

so is kdawson for using the word 'pwned'

glad that this is so GLARING that slashdot is NOT journalism!

TEMPEST? (4, Informative)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437445)

The Dutch intelligence service AIVD has been approached to consult on the radio emissions issue.

I assume they are referring to TEMPEST [wikipedia.org] attacks. It was a Dutchman, Vim van Eck who first brought TEMPEST attacks to public attention while in the U.S. even the security standard was classified. I imagine many Slashdot readers will recognize his name from the "Van Eck phreaking" described in Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon [amazon.com] .

Re:TEMPEST? (2, Informative)

AlXtreme (223728) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437571)

You're correct. By measuring the emissions from the LCD-screen they have shown how one could figure out what someone was voting for. Although relatively low-tech (they detected that the LCD screen would refresh slower when non-ASCII characters were used), they measured this from a distance of 20 meters.

I'm sure that, with some work, they could read the display using 'Van Eck', as in Cryptonomicon. So long for being able to keep your vote hidden.

Re:TEMPEST? A fun experiment (4, Informative)

arabagast (462679) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437667)

Using your monitor as a AM transmitter [silcnet.org] . This little program is a real eye opener for those who still thinks that TEMPEST attacks are something you just see in the movies.

"pwned"? (2, Funny)

IHSW (960644) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437449)

What is "pwned"?

Re:"pwned"? (4, Insightful)

leonmergen (807379) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437479)

What is "pwned"?

.. something that shouldn't belong in a slashdot headline..

Always kdawson (5, Insightful)

a16 (783096) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437743)

"Pwned" has been showing up constantly recently, and it's always kdawson.

What Slashdot need to remember is that their headlines show up in a variety of professional places (by rss) - Google news for one, and having words such as "pwned" looks beyond amateurish.

How about the next story being "Slashdot editors pwned with a dictionary, improvements expected all round"?

Re:Always kdawson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16437987)

"Slashdot editors pwned with a dictionary, improvements expected all round"

Oh, quit your joking. We all know that slashdot editors would never do anything to improve their work.

Re:Always kdawson (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16438043)

Oh, shut the fuck up. Every time there's a new editor there are complaints about them for fucking months, over tiny little things like this. This is slashdot. News for nerds. Nerds use words like pwned, and they don't give a SHIT whether any "professional places" read them or not. If you're that concerned about image, why the hell are you reading slashdot rather than businessweek or something? Slashdot does not pander to an audience. Slashdot does whatever the fuck it wants, and attracts readers who like that. Piss off with your incessant whining (this isn't directed at you, a16, alone. It's directed at everyone you represent for the purposes of this vitriolic rant. I'm sure you personally don't whine incessantly.) and find somewhere else to read your news. Or, stay here and stop complaining about pointless, insignificant peeves.

Re:Always kdawson (4, Insightful)

DittoBox (978894) | more than 7 years ago | (#16438183)

No, nerds don't use terms like 'pwned.' Lame World of Warcraft players who think, just because they've touched a RPG of sorts, that they now classify as 'nerd' use the word.

Re:Always kdawson (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#16438209)

But that song is so pwned [xkcd.com] !

Re:"pwned"? (1)

thelost (808451) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437749)

and yet this is the second time recently it has made it's way on. Is slashdot taking submissions from digg now?

Re:"pwned"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16437961)

Maybe if enough tag the story with "typo" they will fix it.

Re:"pwned"? (1)

ImTheDarkcyde (759406) | more than 7 years ago | (#16438099)

sorry, I lost all of my mod points or you'd definately get them. It makes me terribly flustered when I see make-believe words on NEWS sites.

Re:"pwned"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16438213)

It is the recentest example of the young irritating the old, just as we Boomers did in our own way: No haircut, no shave, no bath, go nude, rock-n-roll. We sucked the air from following generations so all they've got is nihilistic monkey-wrenching--programming languages or spoken ones.
So far off-topic from the parent/parent/parent... I'd like to see a forum just for kdawson and "pwned".

Re:"pwned"? (1)

Bob The Mutant Hamst (1005725) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437497)

"pwn" is a misspelling of the verb "own" meaning, essentially, to kick the ass of.

Re:"pwned"? (2, Informative)

rvw (755107) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437523)

From the Urban Dictionary... [urbandictionary.com]

A corruption of the word "Owned." This originated in an online game called Warcraft, where a map designer misspelled "owned." When the computer beat a player, it was supposed to say, so-and-so "has been owned."

Instead, it said, so-and-so "has been pwned."

It basically means "to own" or to be dominated by an opponent or situation, especially by some god-like or computer-like force.

What is "pwned"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16437551)

Pwned is the term for when you randomly add the word "Dutch" in parenthesis to any section of text.

Re:"pwned"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16437727)

It's a reference to this headline [slashdot.org] ... prolonging the agon^H^H^H^H hilarity for another day or two.

Re:"pwned"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16438243)

Someone who believes that they're being "oh so" clever; but, in reality, is demonstrating to the world just how stupid they are.

What is the theory... (1)

abscissa (136568) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437457)

behind not controlling American elections at the National Level?

In Canada we still use pencils and paper... call us inefficient and backward, but at least we never had an illigitimate government, b1atches!!

Re:What is the theory... (1)

supabeast! (84658) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437515)

"...behind not controlling American elections at the National Level?"

The US is a Federalist nation, built around the idea that the national government should have control over only what is absolutely necessary, and that the state should handle the rest. So the states each have the right to electoral votes in choosing the President, and representatives in Congress, but how the states choose their representatives and decide electoral votes before passing them on to Congress is up to the states.

Re:What is the theory... (2, Insightful)

Trailwalker (648636) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437631)

The Federal Government controls the actions of states by attaching conditions to funding. Highway speed limits and the .08 alcohol limit are examples. Easily done in other areas.

Re:What is the theory... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16438073)

how the states choose their representatives and decide electoral votes before passing them on to Congress is up to the states

Except when the Supreme Court - a branch of the Federal government - decides to intervene to stop local election law from working. The most recent and glaring case is Bush v. Gore (notice Bush's name is first - he brought the lawsuit to prevent local election law from working in Florida, even with his brother, Jeb Bush, and a Republican politician, Katherine Harris, overseeing the election). I wish it had been up to the states.

Re:What is the theory... (3, Insightful)

From A Far Away Land (930780) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437565)

Paper is neither inefficient, or backward. It's the only way to conduct an open and accurate election on a nation wide scale, without introducing unacceptable doubt into the legitimacy of the winner(s). Florida's paper chad system was a failure because machines more complicated than pencils, and obscuring of the working of the ballot was placed between the voter and the ballot. The result was a flawed result, and a delayed result, many times longer than the longest recent Canadian federal general elections.

Re:What is the theory... (2, Interesting)

penix1 (722987) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437797)

Paper ballots are subject to all the same security flaws that they have always been subject to. This means physical security for the most part. Ballot boxes can be "stuffed" and elections thrown into chaos quite quickly. In a bay in California they found several ballot boxes with uncounted votes still in them. In my state of WV they are still prosecuting people for vote buying and ballot box stuffing. Even when you use electronic voting with a paper receipt, they will still be vulnerable to all those security concerns. Until they invent the bullet proof way to get votes directly to the voting precinct reliably and securely, problems will be in every election with or without electronic voting.

B.

Re:What is the theory... (4, Informative)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437981)

We have various methods to keep both sides honest here in Quebec.

  1. Your name has to be on the permanent voting list - all citizens over 18 are on it, except people who have committed an electoral crime in the past 5 years. The local voters list is distributed to your area well in advance of the elections, so there's no chance to get a bunch of fake voters on it, and it gives people who slipped through the cracks a chance to update their info (for example, if they moved).
  2. You have to first present ID to get your ballot. Your name is then removed from the list. The people (there are 2 for each box or "polling station") are appointed by the two parties who got the most ballots in the previous election - so they're watching each other, and making sure that nobody tries to pull a fast one.
  3. Before they give you your ballot, they sign the tear-off stub or counterfoil. When you present your ballot to be put in the box, they remove the stub after verifying their signature, and you put your ballot in the box. No chance to conceal a half-dozen ballots in your hand.
  4. The ballot boxes are opened and counted on iste. No chance for something to happen in transit. Then, after the count is made and everyone signs off on it, the ballots are put back in the box and the box re-sealed. Recounts are automatic for all results where there is less than 100 votes separating the winner from second place, and any candidate can ask for a judicial recount.
  5. We've disallowed all donations of money, goods or services except from individuals, and those are capped at $3k per annum. All donations totaling over $200/year/person have to be reported, identifying the donor - and these lists are made public.

We tried electronic voting machines for one election, and quickly abandoned them - it was actually quicker, as well as being more transparent, to process ballots by hand, and there were no problems with power, questionable software, etc.

Still, there are those who want to go back to using pine cones and beaver chips instead of a paper ballot.

Re:What is the theory... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16437567)

behind not controlling American elections at the National Level?

Probably the theory that sovereignty is constitutionally divided between a central governing authority and constituent political units (like states or provinces), creating what is often called a federation.

At least, that's how Wikipedia puts it.

No national elections (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437623)

We have no elections that are nationwide, for one thing. The biggest scope of any election is statewide.

Re:No national elections (1)

Merovign (557032) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437767)

Forget it, dude, they aren't listening. They've got a SlashMeme, and they aren't going to let facts get in the way!

But seriously, elections are always going to have a certain amount of abuse, whether it's tampering (Chicago), legal challenges (Florida & Washington), stuffing (Venezuela) or death threats and imprisonment (Iran).

I don't know the Canadian history of voting well enough, but I'd bet there have been tampering and scandals there, too.

I worry less about mechanisms than processes, in this case, but I'll admit the US processes aren't open enough. That's partly because we have a thousand different systems. Centralization/standardization would allow fraud on a level we have not yet seen. They'd also require constitutional amendments by the score (Fed & State).

It's nowhere near as simple as gaming the highway funding system so the Feds can write state DUI laws.

Unfortunately, like everything else political, the gamesmanship has overwhelmed the intent of the process - representation. And no doubt we'll fumble along with our little vote scams like before.

Best of luck to the Dutch, though. (Jeez, there was a topic?)

Re:No national elections (2, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437907)

Well technically in Canada there are no "National" elections either. Not even at the provincial level. Each person votes for someone in their riding. Whoever gets the most votes in the riding gets a seat in parliament. There are 308 seats for the entire country. Whichever party gets the most seats is "in power" although if they don't have the majority of the seats, they don't really have the power, as other parties can team up against them to over power them when voting on different issues. Who ever is the leader of the party in power is the Prime Minister.

Re:What is the theory... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16437879)

The last time we had an illegitimate government was prior to 1776, and the problems with it has nothing to do with elections because that government was NOT elected.

Besides, you can afford to use pencil and paper. your population is 1/10th that of the US. Even the UK has more people.

Re:What is the theory... (1)

anshil (302405) | more than 7 years ago | (#16438091)

I live in Austria in we also vote with pen and paper.

The results are usually available 4 hours after the election sites closed. So this is efficient enough!

I also think the multi-pary system is what makes fraud just much less likely as in example the US with their 2-party system. We usually have 4 parties in every election office, watching and guarding each other things are done correctly, never heared of a case of election fraud here. Well not quite at one point some members of one of this parties tried to make some vote invalid by adding another cross, but they were cought by the other 3 parites.

fixed here (4, Funny)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437469)

US elections are controlled at the local level, so unfortunately such a nationwide fix would not be workable here.

Oh, don't worry, I have it on good authority that the elections will be fixed here.

Re:fixed here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16438035)

well of course they will. The government has a full contingent of Election Mechanics on hand to fix any election.

One of the major concerns... (2, Interesting)

thrill12 (711899) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437473)

...of the group is that they are simply replacing eproms with proms, while the group demonstrated that the chips could be replaced, not just 'reprogrammed'.
This is probably still something some politicians 'fail' to see over here: we can buy these chips in any electronics store, so why reprogram them - apart from the fact that reprogramming would take much more time than simply replacing.

It (the prom instead of eprom) is probably a failing idea of the company Nedap [nedap.nl] , which makes these monsters. Heck, they need to change their own software too, from time to time.

Re:One of the major concerns... (1)

Murphy Murph (833008) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437527)

simply replacing eproms with proms, while the group demonstrated that the chips could be replaced, not just 'reprogrammed'.

Is that not why they also are using the tamper-evident seals?

Re:One of the major concerns... (1)

arabagast (462679) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437589)

What they could do is to have a on board chip which checks a signed firmware on the PROM against a public key. This chip could be buried in epoxy as Microsoft does in some of the new revisions of the xbox360. This makes it easy to roll out new firmware revisions, while still making it much harder to change the prom, since you'd also have to swap the key in the epoxy-buried chip, which is not very easy to do to several boxes in a short time without leaving traces. Isn't this basically the ultimate goal of trusted computing and DRM folks ? Shouldn't be to hard to implement.

Re:One of the major concerns... (3, Insightful)

pe1chl (90186) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437821)

Remember that these electronic voting machines were designed and build in the eighties of the last century, and have been used ever since.
What Microsoft does in an xbox360 is not relevant to what a small engineering company would have done over 20 years ago.

You could call it the disadvantage of an early rollout of modern technology.
On the other hand, you can also claim that the current hardware can be understood by a causal onlooker with electronics and software background.
It contains only off-the-shelf parts and the protest group was able to disassemble and analyze it (as well as port a chess program to the hardware) in a months time.
Try that with an Xbox.

Re:One of the major concerns... (2, Informative)

hanwen (8589) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437833)

The problem is that these machines are actually from the late 80s. It's not feasible to retrofit new chips onto these boards. For a fun look, go to www.wijvertrouwenstemcomputersniet.nl, where there are pictures of the board-internals. These show soldered resistors, the likes of which I've last seen in my Apple II.

Re:One of the major concerns... (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437973)

``which is not very easy to do to several boxes in a short time without leaving traces.''

You don't necessarily need to be able to do things in a short time. These machines are often left unattended for extended periods of time.

``Shouldn't be to hard to implement.''

The problem is not that it would be hard to improve the security of these machines, it's that absolutely no thought whatsoever had been given to it. That applies to Nedap (the manufacturer), but also to the government - if they had demanded security and held the delivered machines to any sort of standard, all this would have come out much sooner.

Re:One of the major concerns... (1)

pe1chl (90186) | more than 7 years ago | (#16438075)

It is true that some obvious defects should not have been there (like the possibility to open the hardware box and swap EPROMS without any trace like a broken seal), but it is not fair to claim that there should have been security features as we know them today (like signed software) implemented in a machine designed over 20 years ago.

This would be much like holding the government responsible for the absence of antilock braking, a feature that is required in today's new cars, in all of the current car fleet. If they had demanded that in 1980 all cars would have it now.

Technology progresses, insight in computer security progresses, hackers do things that we did not consider practical 20 years ago.
(like exploiting stack overruns to run malicious code, while at that time it was only considered that they could be used to crash programs)

Re:One of the major concerns... (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16438139)

``it is not fair to claim that there should have been security features as we know them today (like signed software) implemented in a machine designed over 20 years ago.''

Perhaps, but that's no excuse for not evaluating and upgrading the security in the meantime.

Re:One of the major concerns... (1)

pe1chl (90186) | more than 7 years ago | (#16438277)

The excuse for that is of course: money.
Those machines were quite expensive and have to be amortized over a large number of elections, and thus: years.
It is not something that is being evaluated and upgraded all the time, like a PC.

Had they used a PC instead of this machine, and upgraded it to the latest state-of-the-art, it would maybe be replaced by a "trusted computing platform" system this or next year.
However, in practice that would most likely have been a less accountable and less secure system than we have now.

Paper trail? (4, Insightful)

Constantine Evans (969815) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437481)

They do all of these things, and yet still do not create a paper trail of each vote?

It appears that the machines only create a paper copy of the results at the end of the day...

Mod parent insightful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16437709)

With a paper trail, this would be less critical.
Without one, it is insufficient.

Re:Paper trail? (1)

pe1chl (90186) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437843)

Having a paper trail of each vote would be very dangerous to voting security, as the team behind the table knows exactly in what sequence the voters have passed along the machine. So a sequential printout of all votes on the paper roll printer would be a very bad thing to have.

Re:Paper trail? (2, Insightful)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437927)

``It appears that the machines only create a paper copy of the results at the end of the day...''

Yes. I never understood the use of that. Nice that you can verify that the count the machine reported electronically matches what it printed on paper, but that doesn't say _anything_ at all about whether it's been tampered with, right?

I always thought that the simple solution would be that the machine print out what you just voted, and you check that this is what you intended and dump the printout in a ballot box. If there's any doubt about the reliability of the machines, count the votes on the printouts; they have been verified by the voters to contain the correct data.

understandable (2, Interesting)

agent dero (680753) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437483)

I get it, see, e-voting is worth all the trouble and hassles because it...does...what better than paper voting?

Maybe somebody can enlighten me, besides the ease of rigging an election what exactly do 'we' gain from e-voting?

Re:understandable (2, Funny)

ichigo 2.0 (900288) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437535)

But it's electronic, so it must be better!

Re:understandable (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437557)

Countability. If it weren't controlled by companies with a vested interest in rigging e-voting would be much superior to paper voting because a mistake in counting would be much less likely. When people ask for a paper trail they really mean an audit trail which could be done fully electronically too.

Re:understandable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16437585)

What exactly do we gain from e-voting?

I think its:

  1. validated input - no more spoiled ballots
  2. instant results

Re:understandable (1)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437699)

no more spoiled ballots

I live in the UK, and we still use paper, and I like being able to spoil my ballot (indeed, i did it at the last general election); it's my form of protest at our main political parties and the fact we have no real choice. It's more proactive than simply abstaining. Not being able to spoil ballots is a bad thing, no a good one.

Re:understandable (1)

pe1chl (90186) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437895)

This is not an issue. The electronic voting machines here (the Netherlands) have a separate button for this purpose.

Re:understandable (1)

supabeast! (84658) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437595)

Maybe somebody can enlighten me, besides the ease of rigging an election what exactly do 'we' gain from e-voting?


Rapid results for election commentary on cable news. And a lot of money into the coffers of Diebold.

Re:understandable (1)

mjbkinx (800231) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437923)

Rapid results for election commentary on cable news.

But that takes all the fun out of it. I actually like exit polls, projections and so on. I get all excited when they say they have a new extrapolation based on the latest results. I enjoy watching a tight race for hours. I hate watching sports, but just have a thing for bar graphs and politics.

Re:understandable (1)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437679)

E-voting does two things better than paper voting:
- no counting errors (yes, assuming the software works correctly)
- results are in much faster than with hand counting. We basically know who won 5 minutes after the poll closes.

IOW, we use e-voting because it's convenient.

Re:understandable (2, Interesting)

anshil (302405) | more than 7 years ago | (#16438287)

We use pen&paper voting, we know who won 4 hours after the poll closes.

Whooo 4 hours every 4-6 years... how can you wait so much..?

The votes are counted by seperatly by the different parties monitoring the poll. Different results -> count again.
So counting errors are *very* unlikely also.

Re:understandable (3, Funny)

Reverend528 (585549) | more than 7 years ago | (#16438283)

I get it, see, e-voting is worth all the trouble and hassles because it...does...what better than paper voting?

I guess you were part of the 3% of the population that voted against electronic voting and not part of the 203% that support it.*

*numbers calculated by diebold voting machines.

Huh? (2, Insightful)

reverend_rodger (879863) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437491)

Pwned? What is this, Digg? Next thing you know you'll see headlines like this: ***RUMOR*** Apple might make iBooks a slighterly darker shade of white!!!!

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16437525)

Yes, this is embarrassing and degrading. Fix the headline.

Re:Huh? (1)

deevnil (966765) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437925)

For real, they can't even spell p3wn.

Arguments for local control of voting regulations. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16437509)

US elections are controlled at the local level, so unfortunately such a nationwide fix would not be workable here.

Arguments for local control of voting regulations.
(posting as AC to save my devil's advocate ass)
1 - The United States Of America was designed as a confederation of (mostly) independent states. Only the powers explicitly given to the federal government are not the jurisdiction of the states.
2 - The innovative power of the open market. The belief that by allowing a competition of ideas in how best to run elections (as long as they meet minimal standards) the best choice will be eventually reached.
3 - Local boards of elections consist of an equal number of members of both parties. The belief is that Democrats won't allow Republicans to steal the election, and vise versa.

Worked great. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16437959)

What you got was a two-party system where Diebold rules the market, no matter the number of scandals they're the center of.

Anon to protect my truth-telling ass.

I thought.. (1)

Paralizer (792155) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437531)

I thought we all agreed [slashdot.org] that "pwn" should not be in the topic. Why the hell does it keep popping up? "Up next... the prescription medication you bought may in fact be pwned by that super-duper company who is roffling poopsickles to pimp the quick buck, ha ha." /. is better than that.

impossible wtf or impossible, wtf? (3, Insightful)

masklinn (823351) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437533)

US elections are controlled at the local level, so unfortunately such a nationwide fix would not be workable here.

Why the hell wouldn't it be? Sure it would cost more and probably be harder to setup than in holland since there is more territory and a much higher population count, but not workable? We're talking democracy at stake here, I don't see much that you could want to "fix" more than the risk of losing your voice, of making your votes irrelevant and inexistant, or being cheated out of choosing your leaders and the way your country will behave in the future.

Of course, some people may be more interested in there being a high risk of electronic electoral fraud, if they're committing or benefiting from the fraud in the first place...

Re:impossible wtf or impossible, wtf? (1)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437933)

The problem with a national 'fix' is that politics has infected everything done at the national level. Legalized influence peddling would ensure that a trusted election process could never occur.

Re:impossible wtf or impossible, wtf? (1)

RexRhino (769423) | more than 7 years ago | (#16438141)

What makes you think nationalizing the voting process would make it harder to cheat in an election? If anything, the patchwork of differing voting systems makes it harder to create some silver bullet exploit that would swing an election.

If monoculture is bad for computer security, why would monoculture be good for voting security?

The Dutch shouldn't go to so much trouble. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16437577)

They should turn to those who know democracy best and contract out to Diebold.

Our little scandals here are not enough to prompt this type of action, so it should be good enough for them!

'Independent committee'? (2, Insightful)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437583)

If true, this is a major step. The voting process hasn't been very transparent, with Nedap trying to keep the software and voting procedures a secret. Wijvertrouwenstemcomputersniet forced the issue using the Dutch 'freedom of information' act to get access to documents.
Let's hope this committee will have access to the source code, and will be able to monitor and verify that the new PROMs actually contain the code the committee has been reviewing.

I, for one, welcome our election-monitoring overlords. Where do I sign up to be one of them?

Re:'Independent committee'? (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16438115)

``Let's hope this committee will have access to the source code''

They'd better well have access to the source code! Nedap can claim all they want that this is their intellectual property, but this is the whole country that's at stake here. If the whole scandal about their voting machines being "secure as long as you don't make the slightest effort to tamper with them" isn't enough to dump them and get a responsible vendor, than certainly a refusal to let their machines be audited will be?

Besides, what deep intellectual property is going to be in vote counting software anyway? If there's anything in there that they don't want me to see, I'm scared, angry, and demanding they be punished.

It would work (4, Insightful)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437625)

US elections are controlled at the local level, so unfortunately such a nationwide fix would not be workable here.

Sure it would. Powers reserved for the states have been nationalized over and over again by the simple application of cash: The federal government offers funding for a particular project but you have to follow the federal rules to get it. The federal rules are rarely too onorous and the money you don't have to collect in local taxes is too much to turn down when the neighboring states all take it.

An Iron Seal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16437629)

"...and an iron seal to be placed on voting machines."

Cast or forged? Does the form of a whiskered sea mammal have some kind of mystical or psychological significance to the dutch? Or does the iron somehow prevent WiFi access? The dutch are so weird.

"Pwned" (1)

jb.hl.com (782137) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437657)

Please, "pwned" in a story title, again? Has Slashdot been taken over by 12 year old Counter-Strike players?

Re:"Pwned" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16437877)

Pull your head out of your ass and laugh at it, because I don't think I can remember the last time anyone used the word "pwned" in a serious manner.

Re:"Pwned" (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437975)

Counter striek? pah! they grew up and are now 13 year old WoW players.

Local Level? (3, Informative)

Corbets (169101) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437681)

"US elections are controlled at the local level, so unfortunately such a nationwide fix would not be workable here."

Um, as an American currently living in Switzerland, I have to ask... do you know how big the Netherlands are (is? that's a tricky one)? Smaller than Chicago, if I remember correctly... so being applied at the national level there is essentially the same as the local level in the US.

Re:Local Level? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16437781)

The Netherlands (while still a small country) are about 70 times as large as Chicago.

Netherlands: 41,526 SQ KM
Chicago: 600 SQ KM

I know, I know... everything American has to be bigger by definition...

Re:Local Level? (1)

Peyna (14792) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437819)

Even all of Chicagoland is only 28,000 km2.

Re:Local Level? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16437799)

do you know how big the Netherlands are

16 million people. This is of course less than nationwide in the US, but it's also less local than is normal in the US.

Re:Local Level? (1)

Luthair (847766) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437999)

I believe you missed the point, because US Elections are run locally the federal government cannot simply force a change.

financial industry's solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16437697)

They should do it just like the financial industry does it.

You swipe your card, enter your pin number, and get a receipt. You get a bank statement sent to you in the mail. You then match your receipt to your statement. When it comes to money, people don't fuck around.

      It's not like the e-voting problems are a technical 'glitch' or software error. It's a design problem, one that has simple solutions for.

    The current e-voting systems in place are purposefully designed poorly so they can be exploited. Wake up people.

Re:financial industry's solution (1)

pe1chl (90186) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437911)

The reason this is generally considered a bad thing (and thus not done) is that it would be very easy to prove what vote you entered, and this could promote vote buying.
(you deliver your "voted party X" proof to some agent and get cash or other advantages in return)

Re:financial industry's solution (1)

eipgam (945201) | more than 7 years ago | (#16438023)

Yeah, because it's not like credit/debit cards can be cloned and PIN numbers stolen.

Pwnd? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16437729)

OMFG YAY!

Observers (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437765)

Anyone could get us Canadaians [canadobserv.org] to observe the election. And we would be happy to do so.

Re:Observers (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437795)

Canadians
I suck.

In Soviet Russia... (1)

PhysicsPhil (880677) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437773)

...the voting machines pwn you!

Re:In Soviet Russia... (1)

traveller604 (961720) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437935)

In Slashdot, crappy use of "In Soviet Russia" jokes is not rewarded :p

Re:In Soviet Russia... (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 7 years ago | (#16438245)

if Diebold has their way it will be that way in the USA too...

in India (1)

mahesh_gharat (633793) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437803)

Electronic voting in India was first introduced in 1989 and used on experimental basis. From Year 2003, all state elections and by-elections were held using EVMs. In India the chances of tampering with machine is less likely, since it is considered easy to fix people rather than machines. ;-) Tempest can be used to find out "who voted for whom" on an individual basis. The entire confidential process can be breached in this manner. Chances that Tempest being used are more since it does not require physical access to the machine.

In belgium we have been voting ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16437805)

electronically for almost 15 years now.
AFAIK election tendencies have not been altered as compared to paper voting
Also voting is not faster, only counting requires much less people.

Here, magnetic cards basically replace paper and the computer only serves as
sophisticated crayon. Handling of the cards is guarded by representatives
of political parties and are sent under sealed envelopes where again representatives
of the parties continue monitoring.

W

Local level control? (1)

Toddlerbob (705732) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437807)

US elections are controlled at the local level, so unfortunately such a nationwide fix would not be workable here.

When you think about it, elections are rapidly becoming nationally controlled through the use of electronic voting machines, which are controlled by a national or international corporation. I believe at this time only a handful of corporations make such machines, and when the inevitable corporate mergers occur, it will gradually tend toward one company controlling everything nationwide (assuming bought-off politicians, of course).

Nedap Commentary (2, Interesting)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437901)

I remember when this was on the news (I live in the Netherlands), there was a spokesperson for Nedap who said something like:

``Our machines are fine. I don't understand why the website is called "We don't trust voting machines", rather than "We don't trust people".''

I think that about sums up their approach to security. We don't need any security measures; people should just behave themselves. Yeah, right.

Stop putting 'owned' in headlines! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16437903)

Come on, it's been in three headlines (that I've seen) so far and it's just not funny or clever.
Frankly it makes me cringe to read it and I don't even have to put up with this kind of crap on Kuro5hin, it's more annoying than Roland.

CUT IT OUT!

compare (1)

Fuzzums (250400) | more than 7 years ago | (#16437991)

"US elections are controlled at the local level, so unfortunately such a nationwide fix would not be workable here."

US-local and NL-nation wide are more or less the same ;)

Here (1)

mynameis_1 (1005131) | more than 7 years ago | (#16438055)

US elections are controlled at the local level, so unfortunately such a nationwide fix would not be workable here.


Ok, so now I know where you live, but do you know where I live?

Violation of law still continues (1)

AllanVanHulst (999396) | more than 7 years ago | (#16438085)

I still don't see how to check the counting of votes in a voting machine (isn't it a constitutional right to check the counting of votes in any election?). How about publishing the source code? How can I be sure the right source code is in the machine? I will give $100 to the first one who can convince me that the following code is NOT in a voting machine: if (vote == VOTE_DEMOCRAT && 54321 * rand () % 12345 == 0) vote == VOTE_REPUBLICAN;
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>