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Protect our Elections

Bruce Schneier, one of our most respected security experts, wrote this interesting editorial in the Washington Post about the need to protect our election process and resources from cyber attack. While I don't agree with his slant, I agree that we need to improve the security of our election process. As Schneier concludes: "After everyone has voted, it is essential that both sides believe the election was fair and the results accurate. Otherwise, the election has no legitimacy."

Many people are concerned that foreign countries could attack our voting machines and skew the election. I would be just as upset if the Democrat or Republican party, or an election committee for any candidate or just some crazy group hacked our voting machines and got someone elected who would have lost in a fair election. In fact, I am most concerned that someone at the company making the machine might swing an election to someone who paid them.

Our voting machines are known to be insecure and open to attack. There is no excuse for this.

The only way we can be sure the machines themselves are not corrupted from the inside, and are secure from attack is to make them Open Source. Let all the computer scientists and hackers in the world examine the code and offer very large prizes for anyone finding a flaw. Let the government have its crack team of skilled hackers try, but also every university and computer club in the whole world. Structure the contract with the voting machine makers where they pay a substantial penalty for every flaw found.

We could have sound and reliable voting machines. Why don't we?

Further reading

Date: August 2016

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