To Vote, Or Not To Vote With An Internet Voting System, That’s The Question!

Voting booths used for the L’Ordre des Avocats...

Voting booths used for the L’Ordre des Avocats de Paris (Paris Bar Association) 2007 election. The booths are in the library of the Palais de Justice, Paris and contain Internet-enabled touch screen voting systems. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Internet security is a cat and mouse game (i.e., Tom and Jerry).  The nature of the Internet has allowed hackers to stay one step ahead of law enforcements.  Even the FBI admits this in Cnet U.S. ‘not winning’ war with hackers, says FBI bigwig article.  What a particular hacker or hacker organization has done what lately has become an occurrent theme for the news headlines that proliferate the Internet, and so many of us have become somewhat familiar with hackers’ capabilities.

News headlines on hackers and their amazing hacks are definitely making people aware of how vulnerable the Internet has become.  I think before the Internet has become so vulnerable, the Internet was once a naive kid.  The funny thing is that back in the day when the Internet was still a naive kid, the Internet must had been more secure.  It was all about security through obscurity?  Of course, security through obscurity is equally as bad as having weak security, because obscurity isn’t a solution but just an attempt to hide the weakness of a system.  As we have seen how the obscurity eventually failed to obscure the Internet’s insecurity and led to the Internet security problems of today.

The widespread of Internet security problems are continually growing as we speak, because the Internet isn’t confining to a country.  Instead of becoming just the problems for a local geographic area, the Internet has made the world so interconnected that anyone who has enough knowledge of a system and a will can actually hack into a system from an ocean away.  This knowledge is cemented with news headlines of successful hack attacks that have been carried out by the hackers.  Yet, even with this knowledge, some people want to have an Internet voting!

(When I say Internet isn’t confining to a country, I’m not promoting a Great Wall of firewall of a country, but I’m just saying!  In fact, I’m fond of an open Internet!  This means I want to promote an Internet which allows common sense freedoms and greater social interactions so many more people can combine and exchange knowledge to move civilizations ahead, in a positive direction!  For now though, moving civilizations ahead, Internet voting system isn’t one!)

Politics can be dangerous as it is, but bringing in another danger such as Internet voting is like begging for adding fuel onto a hungry fire.  A professor of University of Michigan, J. Alex Halderman, in the Slashdot TV’s Hacking an Internet-Based Voting System video mentioned how easy it was for him and his students to take up the challenge of hacking into an Internet voting system (i.e., for a mock election) and beat it — the purpose was to test the security of an Internet voting system.  Washington D.C. city officers opened the Internet voting hacking contest to the public (i.e., anyone could take up the challenge), and they found out that it took only couple hours for the professor and his students to completely take control and manipulate the Internet voting system.

Professor J. Alex Halderman claimed that it was a script injection method that broke through the security of the Internet voting system.  Some codes weren’t sanitized enough, therefore allowed the users of the Internet voting system to enter the malicious text strings to bypass the security of the Internet voting system.  Codes weren’t sanitized?  You might encounter bad codes that weren’t sanitized properly on frequent basis but you just didn’t know about them!  How?  One example would be, the websites you had visited weren’t properly sanitized the browser requests, allowing you to enter bad codes in the browsers’ address bars (i.e., URL) — the bad codes would then command the web servers to do things that weren’t nice to the web servers’ administrators and users.

According to professor J. Alex Halderman, we just don’t have the technology to secure an Internet voting system yet, therefore it is foolish to use an Internet voting system.  We might have to ask, is it foolish to vote the traditional ways too?  I don’t know the exact answer, because I think voting through an Internet voting system or not, any election can be rigged if someone tries hard enough.  Remember, the hackers were around before the existence of the Internet, because in general hackers were the people that were smart enough to rig any system.

So, if any voting system can be hacked, why do we need to only avoid the Internet voting system?  I think the Internet voting system is the least secure method to vote!  I’m saying that even though I don’t know much about the traditional voting systems, because I know it’s foolish to allow just about anybody from any part of the world to be able to manipulate the democracy of the United States, easily.  Like?  How?  What?  Someone in another country can just hacking away at our Internet voting system and manipulate the election results; a country that isn’t so fond of America can directly manipulate the election results of the United States from a computer.  I guess to end this blog post best by saying this, it’s foolish to allow any insecure voting system to be voted by so many people (i.e., the whole world)!

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FBI Had A Huge File On Steve Jobs, And Now It’s Being Released Into The Public; Downloadable In PDF

Steve Jobs image - this is a file from the Wikimedia Commons. Information from its description page there is shown below.  Commons is a freely licensed media file repository.

Steve Jobs image - this is a file from the Wikimedia Commons. Information from its description page there is shown below. Commons is a freely licensed media file repository.

According to Techradar’s Steve Jobs was ‘deceptive’ says FBI file article, the FBI has released Steve Jobs file, and so you can now either go read or download this file at vault.fbi.gov/steve-jobs/steve-jobs-part-01-of-01/view.  The file is around 3.9 MB which is huge for just being a PDF file (at least to me).  Anyhow, according to Techradar, Steve Jobs was under investigation by the FBI for he was considered to be nominated for a high profile government position which had something to do with George H.W. Bush’s administration (i.e., the White House).  Again, according to Techradar, FBI found Steve Jobs to be deceptive.

So, in a way if you had read Steve Jobs’ biography which was written by Walter Isaacson with the title “Steve Jobs,” you may as well want to read the FBI file on Steve Jobs to compare the two to see if there is any discrepancy.  Sure, it might not be necessary to do so, but if you’re interested in learning more on Steve Jobs, how the man was and still is being worshiped by so many in the tech industry, I guess digging into the FBI file on Steve Jobs might shed some more light on what you think you already know about the man himself.  You might also want to be diligent too on judging the man from the FBI file, because it might be that the FBI could not have been entirely correct, and the same would go for Steve Jobs’ biography.  Why?  In truth, nobody would probably know Steve Jobs better than himself, therefore you can only know what you’re being fed to read.

I find that it’s quite interesting to see Steve Jobs, just a man of building a tech giant, has been the talk of the town since he made his few first headlines back in the day.  Even though he is now rest in peace, the talk of the town apparently is still buzzing about him, still.  They talk of him as if they’re worshipping him, isn’t this quite fascinating?  Some even seeing him as a celebrity even though the man wasn’t a celebrity.  Yes, you might agree why he is being worshipped or being seen as a famous dead celebrity too, because you are willing to spend lot of money on his products still.  Nonetheless, I forgot who but someone had pointed out Bill Gates has done much more than Steve Jobs in term of making the world better and so Bill Gates should be the one to be worshipped of and not Steve Jobs.  This person probably was talking about how Bill & Melinda foundation has changed the world.  I believe, Bill & Melinda foundation was found by Bill Gates and his wife.  I have heard how Bill & Melinda foundation has been involved with projects that have huge positive impacts on the world such as allowing the children of the poorest nations to have access to much needed vaccines.

With Steve Jobs is no longer with us, his company is continuing making huge gains to which Amazon and other competitors are very much like to see Apple stumbles.  Just recently, Amazon has released a commercial to point out how expensive iPad has been.  The lady in the commercial said to the man, even with her Kindle which could be read in sunlight and the other two Kindle Fires put together would still be cheaper than the man’s iPad.  The man was embarrassed and asked her who would be sitting in the empty seat next to her, and she said it was her husband.  The commercial ended gradually as it showed the man left in embarrassment and the prices of the regular Kindle ($199) and Kindle Fires ($79) appeared to confirm what the lady in the commercial had said.

Source:  http://www.techradar.com/news/computing/apple/steve-jobs-was-deceptive-says-fbi-file-1062235?src=rss&attr=all