“Security online today, is not up to the task of online voting today.”

My friend, Duncan Buell, sent along a .pdf with a blog post of his, Computer Security and the Risks of Online Voting, along with another blog post about drones Meet A.I. Joe <read>

They are both worth reading and contemplating. Duncan’s focus is on the unique responsibility of computer scientists to warn the World of the dangers of Internet/Online voting. It is also a quick, high-level introduction to the relevant history and arguments:

many election officials around the country and around the world seem enchanted with the marketing hype of Internet voting software vendors and are buying in to the notion that we could—and should—vote online now and in the very near future.
Never mind the almost-daily reports of data breaches of financial organizations with deep pockets to spend on securing their computers. Never mind that governments, with shallower pockets, are routinely hacked…Election officials seem in awe of ill-defined vendor terms like “military-grade encryption.”…
Many U.S. states are toying with the notion of online voting, contracting their elections to private companies whose code has never been given a public vetting. As scientists, we would all probably rather be doing science than trying to find ways to convince the public and election officials that security online today is not up to the task of voting online today.

The second article highlights a risk similar to one that I have been contemplating myself, the take over of drones by opposing forces. In short we could fund and provide an enemy, including terrorists the power to defeat, kill, and terrorize us:

Even worse, can robots be hacked? The Iranians claim to have hacked an American drone and brought it down safely on their territory back in 2011.However it happened, they have it, and refused to return it when President Obama somewhat cheekily asked for it back. This incident should prompt us to consider the question: What if robots could be taken over and turned on their masters?

My concern is that if cars can be hacked, why not police vehicles, especially, those armored military vehicles now in the hands of our local police?

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