[E-voting] Re: Re: a new voting system

Michael McMahon michael at hexmedia.com
Thu May 17 15:01:03 IST 2007


vote at electronic-vote.org wrote:
> Hi Michael.
> I decided not to disclose details about ClearSoftware
> because I'm looking for companies willing to invest in it
> and I want to give them the competitive advantage they
> deserve. Despite the lack of disclosed details, I'm sure
> that the good points of ClearVoting can be evaluated
> assuming that ClearSoftware really works as I claim:
>
>   
Ok, but I guess you haven't patented it then, because in order to patent 
an idea
or design, you have to publicly disclose how it works. It sounds like 
ClearSoftware
is trying to solve a problem similar to what groups like The Trusted 
Computing Group
are working on. I'm sceptical because TCG have been working on this for 
a number
of years and they have defined a large stack of protocols
and specifications, all of which are published so they can be evaluated 
widely.
Their system also depends on specialized hardware components.
Given all this, even then they don't make claims as broad as "ensuring 
the total absence " of
any computing tricks.

But, even ignoring that question, there is a more fundamental problem 
with all
trusted platforms. It might be reasonable for voting authorities to 
trust them, since they
can run various tests to verify the authenticity of the software, but 
why should voters trust them?
How do voters know whether the software running
on a particular DRE is constructed as you say? A PC is just a box. Nobody
can see the software that is running on it.

If your system uses voter-verified paper ballots, which are audited 
independently
of the software, then that's fine, but all of this additional stuff, is 
superfluous,
and there isn't really anything new about it.

all the best,
Michael.



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