[E-voting] Disinformation again

David GLAUDE dglaude at poureva.be
Fri Apr 14 22:51:32 IST 2006

Adrian Colley wrote:
> On 4/11/06, Pierre Muller <pmmaillists at free.fr> wrote:
>> Nevertheless, we did our best (we = an activist from PourEva, the
>> representative from French academics in computer science, both in the
>> public [!], and I). We think that we made people doubtful. The public
>> was mainly civil servants from election departments of municipalities.
>> We distributed an 8 page document about DREs (in French:
>> http://www.recul-democratique.org/IMG/pdf/Qui_controle_le_vote_electronique.pdf)
> An interesting document.  A few comments:
>  - It's "Association for Computing Machinery" (not Computer).
My fault, it was copy pasted from an article I posted on PourEva.be.

>  - The argument about citizens losing control of elections didn't go
> down well with our electoral
>    administrators (who view the public's involvement as something to
> be minimised).  When
>    Joe argued that the administrators would lose control of the
> election while still being formally
>    responsible for it, the silence (in the Oireachtas committee room)
> was total because that
>    did actually worry the elected people present.  I think you should
> frame your "control"
>    argument in terms of control by the mayors' electoral
> administrators (versus the suppliers'
>    technicians).
The election should be under the control of the citizen.
There is always a bit of organisation made by the state such as
maintaining the list of elector, making verification on the list of
candidate, checking that the schedule is respected, receiving formal
complain and answering them, ...

The organisation of the election by professional is one way of doing
things. In Belgium, it is the judiciary power that do control the
election process... this is one way to avoid the elected one to organise
their own re-election.

However, for scalability reason, there will always be citizen involved
and a few partisan whitness. Those citizen are not suppose to be only
puppet but active in the process and a guarantee that thing have been
done properly.

Telling the politician and/or the citizen and/or the civil servant that
they do loose the control is one way of archieving awareness on the issue.

But whatever way things are practicaly organised, the theory is that the
power should be on the citizen side. If for organisationnal reason, some
proxy are used, it is only for practical reason but they only have the
legitimacy that is given to them.

In Belgium our "moto" is "Who control electronic voting?".
That question can be adressed to anybody, including the general public.
The more likely answer are "I don't know" and "Certainly not me".
But there is a believe that someone take care of it... that computer do
not make mistake... that there is no issue.

>  - The phrase "la sécurité informatique, c'est compliqué, coûteux et
> incompréhensible par
>    l'électeur lambda" fascinates me; it seems to mean "computer
> security is complicated, costly
>    and incomprehensible to the lambda voter".  What does "lambda" mean
> in this context?  If
>    the French language now incorporates the lambda calculus, then I'm
> moving to France!
The "lambda" thing is also comming from belgium.
"lambda citizen" would mean "normal citizen" this mean one without
special IT skills that could help him understand the things.

>  - The warning about miniature cameras (footnote 38) is a good one --
> how come it hasn't
>    been part of our arguments in Ireland?
There is also the problem of "cell phone with camera" or any device that
an elector could be presured to bring or use in order to take a
snapshoot of his vote... sadly the undo capability of eVoting might be

There is also the issue of tempest proof eVoting system... but maybe
this is too theoretical and to paranoiac.

>  - Footnote 48 has an interesting analogy: reading someone's (snail)
> mail is elaborate, slow,
>    and risky, whereas reading someone's email is so easy that it's
> possible to read everyone's
>    email.  Similarly, vote-tampering on paper vs. vote-tampering with
> electronic records.  That's
>    a good clear analogy.
One way of saying this is that the electronic fraud is:
* invisible and can be made undetectable
* hard to proof or disproof
* not too risky for the author
* global rather than local (for manual fraud)

In Belgium the official word for eVoting is "Vote Automatise" so we can
say that there can be "une fraude automatisé" (Automated fraud).


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