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U.S. Aims To Give Up Control Over Internet Administration

jaria Reaction from other Internet organisations (279 comments)

Note that this move is broader than just ICANN. IANA functions are actually run in close coordination with a number of organisations, for instance, regional internet registries (RIRs) and IETF who decide about address allocation policies and protocol number allocations.

Here are some initial reactions from all of these organisations:

http://www.iab.org/documents/c...

about 8 months ago
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IPv6-only Is Becoming Viable

jaria It works surprisingly well (2 comments)

IPv6-only networking does work, surprisingly well. But there are a number of issues as well, and some hard work will be needed to resolve them.

For one, we were early transitioning to this mode and hit many of the bugs in various operating systems and applications. The situation has improved dramatically in the two years since we turned on our IPv6-networking mode, for instance Linux today works much better than it did back then. Still, some bugs remain. And I think the users need to push some of the application vendors to make the updates. For instance, while there now are recent versions of WoW that support IPv6, the same is not true of most other games. Similarly, Skype has known about their lack of support for IPv6-only networking for at least two years. When are they going to publish an update?

more than 2 years ago
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Chains of RFCs and Chains of Laws?

jaria Re:how about this site (168 comments)

You should try to IETF tools site, they have very good linking of the various RFCs and how they depend on each other. For instance, if you look at http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc5395 you can click on the RFC it replaces (=obsoletes) or the RFCs it updates.

more than 4 years ago
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Finnish Court Dismisses E-Voting Result

jaria Re:How hard can it be to get this right? (114 comments)

How does your system allow voting from multiple locations, prevent duplicate votes, prevent voters to be associated with their votes, etc?

It is funny, and perhaps lucky that they got the user interface work so badly botched. The user interface is the easy part. The hard part is getting the security right and the entire country-wide system reliable, and not allow any particular party (such as the vendor) steal the elections, or allow government to look at how you voted.

The system we used failed on all counts, but only the user interface problems were visible to the end-user. For instance, revealing votes: the government officials have keys to open the ballots and see who voted how. Luckily, they have promised not to look, so we can all sleep well now.

more than 5 years ago
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Finnish Court Dismisses E-Voting Result

jaria Interesting facts about the case (114 comments)

It is of course a completely correct decision from the supreme court to re-run the elections, and we are very happy about it.

But it has been interesting to follow the developments and the various attempts to avoid this outcome.

Before the elections, the minister of justice, Tuija Brax claimed any possible problems were "science fiction". After the elections and when the problems were announced, she has not been a support of new elections, just stating that the courts need to decide. However, she was quick to launch an internal investigation and fire the Director of Elections. Not sure the director was really the true guilty person here, but at least a scapegoat had been found...

The city voting boards very resisting new elections for the last second. They came up with interesting claims to prevent this from happening. One claim that we've heard often -- even after the decision -- is that the new elections do not matter, because the party situations would not change. Well, they were missing the minor issue that in Finland the election system is based on voting on persons, not parties. Some of us do care about who we vote there. A more sinister claim was that the voters had conspired to misuse the voting system on purpose, to show that it was unreliable (!). Now, talk about science fiction, maybe these guys could be of some use in the JFK murder investigation? Not to mention the fact that a correctly implemented voting system should not be vulnerable to such misuse.

The three cities involved are now extremely unhappy with the ministry, as the law requires them to pay for the new elections. The ministry has promised an extra budget to help out... though in my mind, the architects and vendors of the system should get to pay.

Its also been extremely difficult to get any information from the government on the details of the system. The local EFF wanted to take a look before the elections, but was refused (or impossible NDAs were requested). I made an official request to get the cost information of the entire project, and the government claimed that they have no such information. One number that has been circulated in the press was 700 000 euros, but that seems low, given that a large number of design and specification work went in, even at the ministry level not to mention the vendors.

All in all, a happy outcome:

- director of elections fired
- minister is now pro-open source and paper trail
- general knowledge of possible problems in e-voting was increased in the country :-)
- elections are re-run

However, everyone is quite focused on the specific bugs we experienced, thinking that individual bugs can easily be fixed. I'm more worried about the process and the way that these things are done. I don't see a way to avoid bugs next time either, for instance. Lack of verifiability, openness, government not listening to citizens or outside experts, blind acceptance of vendor sales pitches, lack of sensible motivation for the entire effort are the worrisome aspects.

more than 5 years ago
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Finnish Court Dismisses E-Voting Result

jaria Re:How hard is it? (114 comments)

Its actually surprisingly hard, if you start to think about it. If you compare to the paper ballot system, there are checks and balances. The different party officials and citizens can oversee the counting (in fact, they volunteer to do it). One corrupt counter does not break the system, however, because the others will catch him. And its very hard to cause a country-wide discrepancy.

If you compare an e-voting system to, say, a banking application, there's one big difference: in the banking application you WANT a secure trail of events, stored for perpetuity. In voting you want anonymous results while at the same time secure results. Its very hard to do this, as almost every design makes you trust someone in some way.

Then if you add the issue of voters not being able to verify the system for various commercial reasons... my take on this is that an e-voting system does not make sense for simple and efficient elections like the ones we have in Finland. Counting is fast, there are no reliability problems (in fact, there is a 10x higher reliability in paper ballots). Its cheap, because its mostly run by volunteers who have an incentive to participate.

more than 5 years ago
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Finnish Court Dismisses E-Voting Result

jaria Re:2% of the Vote? (114 comments)

The loss of a single vote might have affected the results, given the Finnish system.

My city was one of the affected ones. In our city there were candidates A and B who got the same number of votes, both on the margin that you need to get in, and only one place was left. Only one made it to the city council, based on a toss of a coin by the voting board. If there had been one more on vote on either one, the random selection would not have been necessary.

Remember that we are talking about local elections and elections of individuals as opposed to parties. The number of votes lost in my city was greater than the number of votes needed to get into the city council.

more than 5 years ago
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Finnish Court Dismisses E-Voting Result

jaria Re:The systems did not lose any information (114 comments)

Please check YOUR facts first. There were several problems:

- bad user interface design
- machines freezing up at the critical moment
- machines crashing when presented with the voting card
- instruction leaflet asking the voter to press "OK" once when twice was needed
- secret, closed source design
- no paper verification
- no public review possible of the algorithms etc

Of course, the publicity around this case centers on the first issue, because its the easiest to understand. But there were other problems, too, just read the witness statements from the actual appeals.

more than 5 years ago
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Did Bat Hitch a Ride To Space On Discovery?

jaria Re:Seriously (422 comments)

> I hope they at least did a quick back-of-the-envelope look to see if it *could* be risky, rather than just hoping it wouldn't be.

Bat-of-the-envelope calculation?

more than 5 years ago
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Finnish Court Accepts E-Voting Result With 2% Lost

jaria Re:Would I be correct... (159 comments)

Not really, it depends on the city in question. In my city they are not the winners, can't remember if they have even a single seat. In the other two cities they are more significant. As a rule of thumb, Finland's political power is divided between the three roughly equal size parties: the left (Social Democrats), center (Keskusta), and right wing (Kokoomus) parties.

more than 5 years ago
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Finnish Court Accepts E-Voting Result With 2% Lost

jaria Re:Only 232/157/N votes rejected by e-evoting (159 comments)

Not really a national catastrophe, only few test sites.

Of course. But this case is important, because if this test had seen as a "success", the next time the system would be used for real in the whole country. I suspect the government might have actually done so, even with this mess, if there had not been a public outcry. Luckily the issues have been publicized widely, and I think we won't see a similar system in the near future. The minister of justice has talked about re-evaluating whether the whole thing makes sense, and if they go ahead, about the need for open source implementation and paper trail. This is a good thing.

more than 5 years ago
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Finnish Court Accepts E-Voting Result With 2% Lost

jaria Re:What's the margin of victory? (159 comments)

I did a little digging, but couldn't find an article in English that mentioned what the actual gap was.

It was zero votes in two towns, for instance. That is, two candidates got the same number of votes, one got to the city council.

That probably means that the gap was greater than 2%, and the various bloggers are afraid that publicizing the fact that the missing votes don't matter might blunt our outrage.

The correct state of affairs was stated here in this thread already. Do your research first before you jump into conclusions.

more than 5 years ago
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Finnish Court Accepts E-Voting Result With 2% Lost

jaria Re:Failed to Finnish (159 comments)

> Did they offer any reimbursement for the people whose vote they didn't count?

I am considering paying 2% less taxes this year. Clearly, 2% is within the allowable government tolerances.

more than 5 years ago
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Finnish Court Accepts E-Voting Result With 2% Lost

jaria Re:It all depends... (159 comments)

Perhaps, like the elderly. But we have to remember that in this case we also had young computer savvy people who experienced problems. (This is all well documented in the court case and not under dispute by the way.)

For instance, a computer science teacher saw the machine crash when he inserted his smart card.

A young student saw the computer froze for several minutes in the middle of the voting process. Had she not waited, pulling out her card before the process was final would have resulted in her vote getting lost.

None of this is demography related. The machine crashes when it decides to do so... (or when networking conditions, timing of key presses, memory leakage reaching a certain point, etc makes it to).

more than 5 years ago
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Finnish Court Accepts E-Voting Result With 2% Lost

jaria Handling of the problems was even a bigger mess (159 comments)

We can never have a 100% perfect system. Paper ballots lose about 0.5% of votes in Finland. But 2% is way too much. We spent a lot of money on that system, and it gives worse results than the almost free paper ballot system (the votes are counted by volunteers).

The reasons for the mess include incompetence on the part of the ministry organizing the elections and completely ignoring the feedback from external experts prior to the election. For instance, minister of justice, Tuija Brax, painted the worries as "science fiction" just before the elections.

But I am even more stunned by the handling of the problems after they were discovered. Normally, if you get problems you try to deal with them and rectify the situation. But many of the government officials, voting boards, etc. have focused on blaming the users, explaining that 2% isn't a big deal, and attempting to avoid discussion of the actual technical problems that were discovered.

And it gets worse. My city voting board actually blamed the votes for purposefully misusing the machines so that they would appear unreliable. Conspiracy! Normally it is the crazy citizens who suspect the government of conspiracies, but this time the government thinks the citizens are conspiring against them. Maybe the officials involved should be re-allocated for JFK murder investigations...

More information here:

http://www.arkko.com/vaalit/evoting.html

more than 5 years ago
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Finnish Court Accepts E-Voting Result With 2% Lost

jaria Re:Is this a problem? (159 comments)

The race was close. In two of the three cities, the last person to be selected was chosen randomly because they got the same number of votes as some one else. In the third city there was just a few votes of difference.

In addition, the lost number of votes alone would have been enough to get someone elected, i.e., 2% would get you to the city council.

more than 5 years ago
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Finnish Court Accepts E-Voting Result With 2% Lost

jaria Re:2% (159 comments)

There were multiple problems. Bad user interface design, which allowed modes where the votes don't get registered. Machines becoming frozen at the time of the voting process, making it impossible to press the OK button. Instructions which stated to press OK once, when you had to press it twice. And so on.

The most serious issue is that if the machine freezes for several minutes, the voter does not know what to do. If he pulls the card out before the machine returns to life and you can press the 2nd OK, your vote was lost.

No one really knows what happened why the 2% of votes were lost. I presume it is a combination of people simply walking out in the middle of the voting process, machine hangups, and people misunderstanding what they had to do, and possibly some yet unknown problems.

By the, none of the problems described above were in dispute. The court only decided that despite the problems, the result stands.

more than 5 years ago
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Finnish Court Accepts E-Voting Result With 2% Lost

jaria Re:What's the margin of victory? (159 comments)

The margin of victory was *0* votes. There are people who got elected by roll of dice in the voting board, because they got the same number of votes as someone else.

Clearly, even one additional vote would have changed the situation.

more than 5 years ago
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Finnish E-Voting System Loses 2% of Votes

jaria More information here (366 comments)

http://www.arkko.com/evotingfailure

For information, I am a citizen of one of the three small places where the system was tested. I have already sent out an appeal of the decision to the voting board; if necessary, I will also appeal to the administrative court. Lets see how this plays out. I think we have a good chance of overturning the election results.

about 6 years ago

Submissions

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The sweet sound of rough consensus

jaria jaria writes  |  about 5 months ago

jaria (247603) writes "The Register writes about the most recent RFC from the IETF: In the midst of working on topics such as the next-generation web protocols, or improving the security of the Internet against the NSA, it also finds time to ponder important questions, such as humming. Can you develop cutting-edge technology for the Internet by having hundreds of engineers hum together in a meeting room? Hummmmmmmmmm..."
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Finnish supreme court orders an election re-run

jaria jaria writes  |  more than 5 years ago

jaria writes "The Finnish Supreme Administrative Court has made the final decision in the case of e-voting problems in the last year's municipal elections. The election results are thrown out due to faulty e-voting machines, bad testing, and bad instructions. New elections will have to be run in the three involved cities. The local EFF is celebrating the result."
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Finland admits e-voting failure

jaria jaria writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Jari Arkko writes "In a surprise move, Finland's Minister of Justice Tuija Brax announced that yes, indeed, there were serious problems in e-voting last month. She also plans to fire her 2nd in command, the Director of Elections. There is no word yet on whether the elections will be re-run, but the minister is already planning how to arrange new elections if the courts so decide. Despite this all this and the general public outcry, the cities involved in the scandal claim that the voters conspired to misuse the machines in order to show that the system is unreliable. Normally, the crazy citizens see government conspiracies, but now the roles are reversed!"
Link to Original Source
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Finland admits e-voting failure

jaria jaria writes  |  more than 5 years ago

jaria writes "In a surprise move, Finland's Minister of Justice Tuija Brax announced that yes, indeed, there were serious problems in e-voting last month. She has also fired her 2nd in command, the director of elections. There is no word yet on whether the elections will be re-run, but the minister is already planning how to arrange new elections if the courts so decide. Despite this admission from the ministry that designed the system and general public outcry, the cities involved in the scandal claim that the voting citizens conspired to misuse the user interface in order to show that the system is unreliable. Normally, crazy citizens see government conspiracies, but now the roles are reversed!"
Link to Original Source
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E-voting system loses 2% of votes in Finland

jaria jaria writes  |  about 6 years ago

jaria writes "Three cities used a new e-voting system in Finland in last week's local government elections. The system lost 2% of the votes, far more than with paper ballots. It turns out that the problem was the sequencing of events, where the designers expected the voters to first press the final confirmation OK on the screen and only then withdraw their smart cards. But some voters reversed the order, and their votes were not recorded. I am a citizen of one of the affected cities, and it seems likely to me that 2% would have been enough to change some of the people that got chosen to the city council. While this is just one bug that could be fixed in the system, I fear that the entire design is flawed. Naturally, everything was done by a contractor in secrecy and no outsiders were able to perform a review and report their results freely. No paper trail, either. Government officials are happy with the new system despite losing a few votes, however. They report positive feedback on how nice the user interface was. Sigh..."

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