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Government Open Source Security Politics

Validating Voters For Open Source Governance, In Person 214

An anonymous reader writes "As we (very gradually) move away from feudal, leader-based forms of governance to collaborative and open source governance, some interesting new issues arise. The biggest is usually user authentication: how can we avoid sock-puppets and spammers from overtaking the voting process? Enter the concept of the streetwiki, an ingenious system for having humans validate their physical neighbors. Bleeding-edge social organization meets ancient validation protocol."
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Validating Voters For Open Source Governance, In Person

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 11, 2012 @08:23PM (#40960947)

    At least in California, there's no requirement for ID (nor should there be).. however, you do have to announce your name and address out loud to the election official at the poll before they let you sign in. (some people find this weird.. you're working the polls, and people come in and just show you their sample ballot or ID, and you tell them.. gotta say it out loud)..

    The idea is that a poll watcher (a neighbor, for instance) could, at that time, say, "hey, that isn't John Smith who lives on Cherry Lane", triggering a provisional vote for that person. The provisional ballot has a signature on it and gets comared against the signature on file at the county.

  • by mister2au ( 1707664 ) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @08:29PM (#40960977)

    This is a joke, right?

    Representative governments work because people has better things to do than ALL be involved with EVERYTHING.

    That is a sure way destroy an economy and then destroy a social by being controlled by vocal minority wackos - in fact, I'd suggest that some people would view current governments as already being too driven by vocal minorities.

  • The biggest problem? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WarSpiteX ( 98591 ) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @08:29PM (#40960981) Homepage

    Is the biggest problem truly voter identification, rather than voter education?

    On another note, once people don't have leaders to blame, will we see increased societal polarization? Right now, hippie liberal wiener in Boston isn't blamed for abortion laws, just as frothing at the mouth nutjob conservative in New Mexico isn't blamed for gun laws. What sort of societal conflict would we see if neighbours, or at least neighbouring states, disagree on divisive issues?

  • by GoodNewsJimDotCom ( 2244874 ) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @08:37PM (#40961009)
    I eventually want to write a piece of software which allows for direct democracy. Everyone who has a computer or goes to the library can vote on bills, and tell their figure head officials how to act. You still need people as acting officials because sticking a robot in the UN is kinda silly for example. This isn't to change the US government, but if you have a piece of software that acts as direct democracy with customizable features for a constitution, any time some people overthrow their oppressive government, they could just go,"Hey, lets install direct democracy."

    Anyway the problems I've run across is:
    You need to authenticate users manually, so maybe the authenticator cards are good for people so stolen passwords can't stop you.

    But the bigger problem will be people doing MTM attacks and changing votes, or maybe hacking the system from out of the country, or buying citizen's voting rights.

    The main solution for some problems is:
    You need your own closed Internet in your country, a secure web, where people from outside the Internet can't log in.

    Sure sometimes someone will tap into the line on the telephone pole for MTM, but if you stop it, they get prison time.

    You gotta limit what a standard citizen's client can get to also, or people could just route from the internet to client to into the system.

    There are a WHOLE HOST of problems though... more than I can even imagine. There is just about no greater honeypot to a hacker than to become a leader of a country. The way I'm going to go about it involves not working on the security issues at first, but just working on the direct democracy system, so when the security issues can be addressed, the system could be altered or rewritten when it happens. Just having something as proof of concept is better than nothing at all.

    The street based community wiki seems pretty smart. It was better than my plan to start locally and get people to sign up in person, and for us to hand them a password.

    Probs is I have a few projects on my plate before I go back to this system again. If someone wants to start an open source form of government, I'm sure some country down the line will have a revolution and might be interested. So any work done here will be of benefit in the future.
  • not sure (Score:5, Interesting)

    by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @08:41PM (#40961031) Journal
    The way this works (as I understand it, simplified), is people eventually notice sock-puppets, un-trust them, and then the sock-puppets live off in their own un-trusted world that no one trusts.

    That might work on a fairly neutral topic, but imagine you notice there are sock-puppets who agree with your opinion on abortion, are you going to un-trust them, or are you going to create more yourself? After all, it's a matter of life-or-death, what are a few bogus accounts when such an important principle (insert any principle you believe strongly) is on the line??

    This plan doesn't seem to account that people would be willing to accept sock-puppets that agree with them. Also doesn't seem to realize that I have better things to do with my time than constantly update my 'trusted' list.
  • Reasons? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by zidium ( 2550286 ) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @09:58PM (#40961355) Homepage

    At least in California, there's no requirement for ID (nor should there be).

    Would you mind naming one reason outside of the tired excuse that some mythical poor person with no ID will be so disenfranchised because s/he had no idea how to obtain a free state ID card?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 11, 2012 @10:10PM (#40961413)

    And when the IDs are free and don't require any time to get them, then you can require photo IDs. At the moment there's no evidence that voter fraud, as in people pretending to be other people, is common enough to justify disenfranchising other voters. The GOP trots that out whenever they lose a close race, but the fact is that they have yet to show that there's any greater likelihood for one candidate or another to win based upon voter fraud or for it to of substantial volume.

    It's quite simply a way of discouraging the poor, elderly and minorities from voting for political reasons. If there's evidence of significant levels of voter fraud then the GOP has the duty to report it so that the individuals can be prosecuted. They don't because they can't.

    Uh, until you stop being ignorant why don't you just let the adults speak on this?

    Right now in the USA there are close to 3 million dead people who are registered to vote and voting.

    Dead, deceased, buried and/or cremated people. Voting. Close to 3 million .. that we know about.

    You'll never, ever guess which party they overwhelmingly vote for. That's right... Democrats.

    Now these are facts. Maybe you really hate them and can't stand they are true. They are true anyway - get over yourself. I would LOVE to have state-issued photo ID required to vote. It would be great. Photo IDs are very low cost. If you simply cannot afford $10 every 5 years or so then you have bigger problems.

    The only people who are against this are 1) racists who think just because you're black or Hispanic that you cannot afford $10 every 5 years or so, 2) people who want to commit voter fraud, 3) Democrats who benefit from voter fraud, or 4) well-meaning liberals who sincerely and completely wrongly believe that photo ID requirements would ever disenfranchise anyone. You see, none of these are valid.

    Like so many good ideas that we should already be doing, the people who oppose this have no factual reason. Just pure emotion. They don't like something so they think none of the facts are worth investigating. Sigh. Maybe a country full of people like this deserves to fail. Maybe those of us with some sense who understand basic things like the importance of honest elections should find another country to relocate to and let the emotional non-thinkers reap what they sow.

  • by Mashiki ( 184564 ) <mashikiNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday August 12, 2012 @02:22AM (#40962519) Homepage

    At least in California, there's no requirement for ID (nor should there be)..

    Why? For the love of all that's ... why? In Canada it's a requirement to have ID to vote. And it's to stop flagrant voter fraud that runs amok like you have in the US now. Here's how it works here: At tax time you are given the option to give your personal information to elections canada via your taxes. This information is passed to the provincial branch of elections canada. If you weren't of age at the time, you can be enrolled when the next election comes along(very rare but it happens). When you show up at the polling station, you show government issued ID. Or two current bills(last 30 days), showing that you live in that district. Everyone has ID of some form up here. There are also a few other things you can use. Once that happens, your name is stricken from the voter register and the ballot is used up.

    No wonder voting in the US is a mess.

    Hey, someone earlier up wanted a source on that 3 million dead? Here, well it's 1.8 million, give or take a bit. [npr.org] Though it might be more, with 24 million more listed as inaccurate, and several million more registered illegally. Including non-americans.

    Voter ID works. GET IT.

  • by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @08:54AM (#40963637) Homepage Journal

    At the moment there's no evidence that voter fraud, as in people pretending to be other people, is common enough to justify disenfranchising other voters.

    Correct. It's a much bigger problem that people don't get to vote, for various reasons. Including the WTF requirement of having to "register to vote" - a measure that's only designed to reduce the amount of voters, and the disenfranchisement of prisoners[*], neither of which you will find in most western democracies.

    Let's face it - the goal here isn't to catch the one or two people who might be voting without a right, the goal is to intimidate people into not voting, and using this excuse as a veneer of performing society a service. If you really want to do society a service, help by doing free taxi service for voters on election day, so we get more votes, not fewer.

    [*]: When someone in jail for mild drugs or bigamy isn't allowed to vote on whether mild drugs or group marriage should be allowed, you don't have a democracy - you have value-conservative moral oppression.

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