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Security quotes of the week

Security quotes of the week

Posted Feb 8, 2013 9:04 UTC (Fri) by micka (subscriber, #38720)
In reply to: Security quotes of the week by apoelstra
Parent article: Security quotes of the week

You should really add

(d) secrecy : nobody know what you voted except you, not even assessors/officials

"I, ZZZ, vote for XXX at time YYY" doesn't work.


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Security quotes of the week

Posted Feb 14, 2013 16:50 UTC (Thu) by davidescott (guest, #58580) [Link]

I'll take the contrarian position and argue that secrecy is bad for elections. It grants politicians a monopoly on corruption and denies it to Joe Public.

There seem to be two arguments for secrecy one is to prevent a "Boss Tweed" system. I don't see how that would be so much worse than what we currently have. We have a Boss Tweed system where big corporations make donations to politicians who use that money to run ads and convince people they will help them and then do nothing of the kind because they know what side their bread is buttered on.

If a big corporation could instead just buy the votes of the poor in mass, the result might still be the same but at least the poor are getting some benefit from their vote and the corruption will be a lot more obvious. I see that as a win.

The other "secrecy is a requirement" argument comes from authoritarian dictatorships, but those systems don't have a legitimate vote counting process to begin with. Secrecy allows those dictators to claim that the results are correct and prevents independent agencies from demonstrating that they are fradulent. The UN can say "lots of boxes which we suspect were for the opposition were loaded into a truck and disappeared so we decertified the election" but they can't say that they were in fact for the opposition.

If everyone voted publicly in those countries then the dictator might be forced to choose between stepping aside and recognizing the correct count, or mass slaughter on a regular basis of those who publicly try to subvert his authority.

Security quotes of the week

Posted Feb 14, 2013 17:05 UTC (Thu) by mpr22 (subscriber, #60784) [Link]

I'm sure that the UVF and the Provos would both have loved to have a public roster of who voted which way in Northern Ireland during the Troubles.

Security quotes of the week

Posted Feb 14, 2013 20:17 UTC (Thu) by davidescott (guest, #58580) [Link]

> I'm sure that the UVF and the Provos would both have loved to have a public roster of who voted which way in Northern Ireland during the Troubles.

And would that have lead to a meaningful difference in the outcome or a substantially greater loss of life? It was already a violent period so would it make much of a difference if the violence was better targeted?

I don't know that I've seen anyone address that question directly. Everyone assumes that privacy is a requirement, and that makes the process of creating a secure, reliable, and understandable electronic voting system essentially impossible.

I'm not in favor of electronic voting in general because I don't think paper voting is that bad, but if on insists on exploring the idea you might as well explore a more substantive change in the way we vote and challenge all the assumptions to make sure you have the correct system requirements.


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