Stephen Spoonamore on Hacking Voting Machines

This is an interesting interview with Stephen Spoonamore, CEO of Cybrinth, regarding the hackability of Diebold voting machines (or electronic machines in general).

I stress the importance of these points:

    – “There is no system, none, in the world, that cannot be hacked.”
    – “You cannot have secure electronic voting. It doesn’t exist.”
    – “Two graduate students in 3 hours successfully hacked the machine. And once they had completed writing their hack, they then successfully added a 4 line code of self-erasing virus to allow it to propagate across the network. That’s just two guys with two hours who had no interest or motivation in doing it other than scientific interest.”
    – “There are people out there, and there’s a lot of them, who don’t really want to win elections. What they want to do is they want to steal them. They have an enormous incentive for power. They have an enormous incentive for money, And, they have an enormous willingness to go and do it.”
    – “I don’t want to have a society where we’re not sure who won. I want to live in a democracy where there is a valid capacity to audit the entire trail.”

While this may come off as conspiracy theory, I do not believe it is as simple as that. When a democracy relies too heavily on electronic technologies to tabulate the outcome of elections, we must be extremely cautious. And while there has not been the criticism in Canada for voting machines as as there has been in the US, I would suggest all citizens monitor the possible ubiquity of such machines in the years ahead.

Possible Suspension for Student Who Created Proxy Site

This is an interesting story that brings up important questions around school jurisdiction on student activities and on the rights and responsibilities of students. This American student writes that he is facing possible suspension from his school for creating a web proxy service (as part of his job/business) that was used by other students at his school to get around school network restrictions. He is allegedly accused of “violating (his) rights as a student, and intentionally attempting to disturb the learning environment of students in (his) school.”

Worst part is that now I’m tagged as being a ‘computer hacker’ and a ‘potential threat’ to the school system. A mass email was sent out from the administrator who accused me of this to all the teachers, administrators, librarians, etc in the entire school, which basically says I’m a criminal and I need to be watched when getting within a 10-foot radius of a computer.

I find it unfair that Fairfax County Public Schools feels they can impose this kind of totalitarianism on me, I’m now a criminal for making proxies. For making a website. A legal website. On my private server. Outside of school. Great.

Read the article to get a better sense of this situation. Thoughts?