NPR Programs Explain Issues and Vulnerabilities

Update: Media Matters covers distortions in media coverage of CA decertification

Two recent NPR programs clearly explain the issues in easily understandable terms for the general public.

Science Friday, August 4th, Matt Bishop, University of California, Davis Red Team Leader and Security Expert, Professor Matt Bishop, describes clearly how security can be compromised. Also disputes Diebold response.


Like a bank taking all of its money, putting it in a room, and shutting the door and then saying no one will ever find this room so we’re not going to waste money on a lock…

Companies or customers…entirely by accident leak information…

Keeping the information secret assumes that people can’t figure things out and attackers are incredibly ingenious. There’s a technique known as social engineering where you can often get people to reveal information they didn’t realize they were revealing <Listen>

Morning Edition, August 8th, by Pam Fessler, “Voting Officials Wary About Electronic Ballot” Short interviews with voting advocates and Debra Bowen summarizing the issues, while other voting officials downplay the risks and emphasize their reluctance to work to protect our votes.

“When NASA discovers a flaw or a potential safety concern in the Space Shuttle… it scrubs the mission and fixes the problem” –Debra Bowen, California Secretary of the State

“Is the amount of time that you’re spending defending these systems or…is it really worth the effort?” – Kurt Browning, Florida Secretary of the State

“ ‘ The debate that we’ve only started to have is how we use that paper to make voting systems more secure and more reliable’, his group recommends thorough audits to verify election results, ‘paper by itself isn’t going to prevent a programming error…software bugs…hacking’ ” – Larry Norden, the Brennan Center <Listen>


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