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Kaspersky Says Lack of Digital Voting Will Be Democracy's Downfall 388

hapworth writes "Eugene Kaspersky, founder and CEO of cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab, has warned that one of the greatest cyber threats facing the world is the lack of effective online voting systems, claiming that unless young people can vote online they won't bother at all and the whole democratic system will collapse. Not everyone is buying that theory, however (and there's reason to suspect Kaspersky has a vested interest in online voting, which may need his firm's cybersecurity products). As producer James Lambie writes, 'Ultimately, the digital native's disenchantment with voting is based less on a lack of suitable technology and more on disillusionment with the craven and anemic political choices they are presented with.'"
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Kaspersky Says Lack of Digital Voting Will Be Democracy's Downfall

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 21, 2012 @07:23PM (#40405399)

    People are jiggering electronic voting machines, online polls get stuffed more than a dimestore pornstar, contentious elections are par for the course every four years.

    Seems like digital voting is eroding democracy more than anything else, Kapersky.

  • Re:Honestly.. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cpu6502 ( 1960974 ) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @07:44PM (#40405609)

    >>>selecting a random choice because MTV told you itâ(TM)s your duty to vote is only going to make things worse.

    What's actually making it worse is that most of these people just vote on name recognition. Which is why existing politicians win again-and-again. I know I did that when I was 18, just voting for the name I knew. (I'm wiser now.) There ought to be some basic test like: "Please identify the first president of the United States: George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison." If you fail to answer correctly your vote doesn't count, because you obviously don't care enough to learn your own country's history, and don't care about the current president either.

  • by Pi1grim ( 1956208 ) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @07:50PM (#40405661)

    Estonia is a shining example of that. They have implemented online voting with smartcards and system is even more tamper-proof, than pen-and-paper voting, as a person can re-vote any number of times he/she wants to and only the last one will count.

  • by IAmR007 ( 2539972 ) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @07:56PM (#40405727)
    You could also potentially separate the vote tallying and voter tracking by generating unique random IDs. This would allow the public to check the government's results via methods similar to bitcoin.
  • Re:Honestly.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sir_Sri ( 199544 ) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @07:57PM (#40405739)

    True, but you shouldn't introduce artificial barriers to voting. The US for example has gotten rid of tests to qualify for voting precisely because it disenfranchised certain voters.

    Besides, the electorate at large can't really make educated decisions about policy. They try, but ultimately the best you can do is set the tone for the type of politician you want to represent you, not have a perfect mesh of policy ideas.

    When people are young they tend to be fixated on certain issues, pot legalization, the environment, cost of education that sort of thing. Not that those issues aren't important, but they don't exist in a vacuum, and as you get older and spend more time being aware of the broader scope of government (as an insurance system, as a source of stable investment through bonds, as a regulator of various things and so on) you realize more about how you need to vote as a broader ideological vote than a specific issue vote, and you get more worried about not the other guy, or the one who will hit 3 of the 5 things you like rather than the one who will only do 2 of the 5 kind of thing.

    But in the end, the vast majority of the electorate wouldn't recognize a liquidity trap even if they were in one, and aren't capable of understanding how to vote about the issue because of that. Governments are necessarily large complex operations, and you end up trading off wacky things like individual health care mandates against military bases in swing districts or missile defence for aid against assad in syria. The public as a whole are never really going to grasp tradeoffs like that, and certainly not 4 or 5 years worth of potential future tradeoffs at a time.

  • by cpu6502 ( 1960974 ) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @08:02PM (#40405799)

    >>>as a person can re-vote any number of times he/she wants to and only the last one will count.

    This is what we should have for our House of Representatives. We will keep the same politicians, in order to have their meetings and craft the bills, but when it comes to the final passage, it will be decided by the People online. That way stupid stuff like TARP will not pass (almost 80% of Americans were against it). The Senate would still function normally, with politicians voting "aye" or "nay", so as to block any bad bills the People's House might pass.

  • Re:Honestly.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cloricus ( 691063 ) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @08:06PM (#40405845)

    I prefer something productive like widely shown moderated public debates like we have in Australia. This could be the basis of an enforced voting question to ensure the voter at least bothered to skim an hours TV. We get away without the voter question as several million of our population watch the shows and discuss it after with those who didn't.

    Our two successful formats are 'the worm' and 'Qanda'.

    • In the worm a panel of the countries best media journalists ask targeted policy questions of the two contending political leaders and an audience (either right/left or swing only) controls an opinion graph that is shown to the TV audience in real time.
    • For Qanda a balanced audience including undecided voters and online viewers may ask literally any question and a moderator enforces either a reasonable answer or an admission of some type. The audience and moderator ensure facts are kept forfront so very little spin survives the process without embarrasment.
  • Re:Honestly.. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Velex ( 120469 ) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @09:09PM (#40406425) Journal

    The US for example has gotten rid of tests to qualify for voting precisely because it disenfranchised certain voters.

    Maybe those voters need to be disenfranchised. For a long time I've seriously believed that the 19th Amendment needs to be revisited. When I was young and idealistic, I didn't think so. I've encountered too many living stereotypes, people who put themselves in bad situations just because thanks to their gender or skin color, there's always going to be some white male clamoring to pull them back out of their own crap.

    I didn't choose my gender. I didn't choose my skin color. I am sick of being judged by them. What I chose was to do well in school, and apparently that was the wrong choice because everybody else really was out doing drugs and having sex.

    I suppose it did help that my folks once threatened to commit me to an insane asylum and have me put in solitary with a straight jacket so that I'd shit and piss myself the one time I didn't get an A.

    Let's get rid of the bullshit. Let's get rid of the excuses. Let's get rid of the politically correct horseshit. If you can't write your name, that's your choice. If you can't read, that's your choice. If you can't do basic math, that's your choice.

    What I DO NOT need is someone too stupid to do anything but be a baby mamma directing my tax dollars. Too stupid to understand that intelligent design IS NOT A THEORY? I don't want you legislating science class. Proud of the fact that you never took algebra class? What the fuck? Too stupid to understand that marijuana prohibition is causing mass murder in Mexico? I don't want you legislating your morality, because human life is far, far more important than whatever hysteria you have. Too stupid to understand that the USA isn't going to be on the top of the world much longer if you don't pull your head out of your ass? I don't want you making the problem worse.

    I honestly have no idea what I'm going to do this fall. I'm very tempted to vote Republican for the first time since I was an idealistic, sheltered teenage kid. If this "war on women" ends with the repeal of the 19th Amendment, I'm one homosexual who doesn't care what happens to gay rights, because things are going to get better after that happens. On the other hand, can I trust Republicans to not just turn into a ball of angst because their wives aren't putting out and at the end of the day we've got a federal DOMA amendment and the 19th still guaranteeing suffrage to a demographic that has been shown time and time again to vote with their vaginas instead of with anything approaching reason?

    I do have some female body parts, but nobody would ever consider me a woman. Most notably the one between my ears is female. I don't know what it's like to turn 12, get your tits, and then find out that every guy you come across will do anything you want just because they want in your panties. What I can see is what that does to someone. I keep hoping I'll figure out what's so special about women besides being able to give birth. Instead all I see are a bunch of irresponsible, spoiled children who can get pregnant.

    Oh yes, the issue of poll taxes and other Jim Crow laws. I got lost on a rant about women and I forgot to respond to your point!

    I've just been called a cracker and a honkie one too many times. I get sick of it. I get real damned sick of it. Don't you think I don't know that marijuana prohibition is turning a disproportinate number of colored people into criminals for no other reason than the only drug white people can handle is alcohol and even some of them can't handle that? Don't you think I don't know that marijuana prohibition started as a kind of thinly veiled racism? But you start hurling names at me, and you cross the line.

    Half of me didn't even come off the boat until my great-great-grandparents fled the Kaiser. You think I owe you something because the other half of me comes from South Carolina

  • Re:Honestly.. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jmorris42 ( 1458 ) * <> on Thursday June 21, 2012 @09:10PM (#40406433)

    Oh please do fight on. I do, even though the cause is lost to any rational analysis. But we lost the war the second we crossed the event horizion of 50% of the country falling into the Taker class.

    There were any number of almost as bright lines we have been crossing the last century. Go look at the footage of the more sane pols from the Great Society era who warned we were spending our children and grandchildren's inheritance... they were right. It's all spent. The social security 'trust fund' is just a bunch of IOUs from the government to be paid by the government; meaningless. Things that can't continue, don't. Bailouts just postpone the Doom! and we are so screwed there isn't enough wealth on the planet to bail the West out of the hole it has managed to dig itself into.

    Our money has no intrinsic value and since we are now calling it into existence trillions at a time even stupid people are figuring out that it doesn't have any real value. And again, we are so far in that rabbit hole we probably couldn't reverse course even if we wanted to.... and we don't.

    And so on.

    But we should fight anyway, because if we surrender we certainly lose and in the era of rapid change we live in we just might be able to struggle long enough to make it to a game changer. Because while all the wealth on Earth can't bail us out, if we doubled our wealth we could probably at least buy enough time to do it again. And somewhere along the way we might invent a political game changer and end the century of progressive misrule.

  • by gwolf ( 26339 ) <gwolf AT gwolf DOT org> on Thursday June 21, 2012 @09:20PM (#40406523) Homepage

    A very important factor in a democracy is the secret of the vote. If I can prove my vote was cast for a given option, then the gate is open for parties buying it â" Or punishing me for voting according to my will.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 22, 2012 @12:02AM (#40407465)

    THAT is rich.

    Let me tell you what would happen under your system. TARP would be put to the popular vote. It would be spun as doing one thing, while actually doing another thing. If it was voted down, it would be brought up again, and again, and again. Until ultimately it was passed.

    See: California proposition system. Californians recently voted to extend term limits under the guise of reducing them. The average voter is that stupid.

Life in the state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. - Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan