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Timely, well-reasoned, and excellent article by Schneier.

But there's a problem.

Elections are managed by state governments by design. This is to prevent centralized political corruption. Having the feds "take the lead" is a little too nebulous to be practical.

What could be done is a certification system for electronic voting that requires a paper audit trail and individualized printed receipts for each voter. (Which would be encrypted to prevent others from determining which votes were cast)

The big leap is that electronic-only systems are never going to work. For various reasons, I don't think most folks are ready to go there. That is the major problem that must be solved. After that's fixed, the other stuff will at least be easier to address.




> Timely, well-reasoned, and excellent article by Schneier.

I thought it was pretty breathless. He says

>> Retaliation is politically fraught and could have serious consequences, but this is an attack against our democracy. We need to confront Russian President Vladimir Putin in some way ­ politically, economically or in cyberspace ­ and make it clear that we will not tolerate this kind of interference by any government.

(my emphasis)

I don't see that the New York Times, releasing the same information, would come in for criticism, much less this level of demonizing. If other countries want to interfere in our elections by giving us accurate information, what's the problem supposed to be? That's the whole point of having elections.


To be clear, my complaint was that it skimmed the surface. Your "breathless" was my "you missed some important parts"

I'm willing to cut him slack for adding his own politics in to the article. With the election approaching, it's like the Ponn Farr here in the states. If anything, it was a bit reserved.

His over-arching points are important and need attention. 1) We are basically in an ongoing cyber-war with other major international powers, and 2) we've been busy buying electronic voting systems that are terribly insecure.

It's a message that needs to be transmitted, and he's one of the best folks to transmit it.

I don't think there's any demonizing going on. This is the state of affairs. We must be aware of it and act accordingly.


> It's a message that needs to be transmitted, and he's one of the best folks to transmit it.

> I don't think there's any demonizing going on.

Ok, what is it that we're not supposed to tolerate from Russia? They spied on our documents and released them for public review. Schneier himself would be the first to tell you that they're not going to stop spying on us and we shouldn't expect them to. The phrase "attack against our democracy" can only refer to making accurate public representations to our electorate. That's not an attack against democracy.


Accurate or not, foreign influence is something to worry about. Let's be honest here. Governments don't release intelligence on foreign leaders in some sort of magnanimous and innocent gesture to help inform the foreign populace. No. They do it for influence. They choose what to release and when.

For the sake of argument, let's say that your had evidence that a major candidate for office in a strategically important foreign country was engaged in, or had recently engaged in some tawdry or perhaps illicit affair. What do you do with it? Realpolitik dictates that all that matters is that if it's more advantageous for the candidate to lose or not. If you want the candidate to lose, but he's winning, you release it. If not, you don't. Sure, it's transparency, but it's outside influence, for your gain, not the foreign country's.


So what? You appear to be defending the idea I originally mocked, that this is a good thing when the New York Times does it and a bad thing when Pravda does it. You won't ever be able to make that argument coherently; all information releases serve the goals (or are intended to) of the person releasing the information, and those goals are never your goals. Why are Russia's US federal policy goals more nefarious than Salt Lake City's US federal policy goals? If they are, how does it matter?


I am defending the idea you mocked.

Why does it matter who's releasing the information? Because they're not us. It's that simple. It's same reason why you can talk shit about your proverbial sister, but no one else gets to.

If you don't understand the concepts of national sovereignty and self-determination, I can't help you.


Your argument here is not compatible with your argument two levels up. You've retreated from the idea that foreigners talking to us is bad by any metric, and gone to the more defensible (?) idea that it makes you personally indignant.

Good luck.


If you think ice changed position, you never understood it to begin with.

Thanks for playing!


VVPATs just demonstrate that the printer is working. Nothing more. Receipts remove voter privacy.

The Australian Ballot, private voting / public counting, remains the gold standard for election integrity.

(Forgive the repetition.)




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