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Crime Government Privacy

South Korea Breaks Filibuster Record Fighting New Surveillance Bill (thestack.com) 75

An anonymous reader writes: Lawmakers in South Korea's National Assembly have broken the global collective filibuster record in its determination to defeat a new anti-terrorism bill which they believe threatens personal privacy for the country's citizens. 38 liberal members of the National Assembly spoke for a total of 193 hours in a collective effort which began on February 23rd and ended today, with the passing of the bill by 160 parliament members, with one 'no' and apparent abstention from the filibusters.
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South Korea Breaks Filibuster Record Fighting New Surveillance Bill

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  • tldr (Score:4, Informative)

    by Noah Haders ( 3621429 ) on Wednesday March 02, 2016 @04:19PM (#51624151)

    An admirable gesture, but the surveillance bill eventually passed near unanimously, 160-1 (every country has a bernie sanders). Also notably, their NSA was caught "packet tapping" on gmail accounts, and has been accused of manipulating the 2012 election. Another reason to not have electronic voting! (there are so many reasons).

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      and...accused of manipulating...election...Another reason to not have electronic voting

      Analog voting can be tampered with also. A system of checks and balances is needed regardless of the technology used.

      • at least paper voting has an auditable "paper trail." also it probably would be done by CIA, not NSA in that case since it's not related to signals intelligence.

        Of course in NZ the NSA or similar body interfered in the election as well. A couple days before voting, an anonymous person "leaked" private emails showing the leading candidate had an affair. I wonder who did that?

        • Of course in NZ the NSA or similar body interfered in the election as well. A couple days before voting, an anonymous person "leaked" private emails showing the leading candidate had an affair.

          That's pretty weak as far as "interfering in an election" goes... Operation Ajax on the other hand...

        • Because paper is immutable and can never be forged or replaced?

          A correctly designed electronic system would be able to detect tampering a lot easier than with paper (cryptographic chains).
          Of course the keywords are "correctly designed" and since politicians are the ones authorising the purchase of these machines, they either deliberately or incompetently leave that bit out.

          • > Because paper is immutable and can never be forged or replaced?

            See my earlier comment about ballot stuffing.

            > Of course the keywords are "correctly designed" and since politicians are the ones authorising the purchase of these machines, they either deliberately or incompetently leave that bit out.

            Electronic ballot machines are designed by people, and people are fallable and make mistakes, cut corners, etc. The machines are sold by the lowest bidder. The companies in this business are the companies t

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by wardrich86 ( 4092007 )
      This is why Voting needs some sort of ID system to allow you to track your vote. Each year a new hash should be given to each person, which should remain valid until a few weeks after the election. You should be able to log in and see that your vote was correctly registered and counted. I'm pretty sure people will be quick to flock to social media if their hash result doesn't match who they voted for.
      • Secret ballot (Score:5, Insightful)

        by gumpish ( 682245 ) on Wednesday March 02, 2016 @04:50PM (#51624427) Journal

        This is why Voting needs some sort of ID system to allow you to track your vote. Each year a new hash should be given to each person, which should remain valid until a few weeks after the election. You should be able to log in and see that your vote was correctly registered and counted. I'm pretty sure people will be quick to flock to social media if their hash result doesn't match who they voted for.

        But this would break ballot secrecy. If you can prove how you voted then your vote can be bought or coerced.

      • Re:tldr (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Wednesday March 02, 2016 @04:52PM (#51624437)

        That's a good idea, but it needs a tweak. Forget the logging in bit, all the data needs to be made completely public. With a hash, this can be done anonymously easily.

        Give everyone a hash when they register to vote. Using voting machines to record the votes and correlate them with the hashes representing each person. Then after the vote, make available for download the entire data dump, showing (in CSV format perhaps) the voter's hash, and his voting choices. Interested voters just need to download the CSV file and search for their hash and verify the votes match what they chose at the voting booth.

        Someone who knows a lot about crypto and math might want to correct me here about how to tweak this so that the government can't (intentionally or inadvertently) keep lists of voters' real IDs and their hashes, since this could be made public and peoples' votes therefore made public. I'm guessing there needs to be another step here.

        • Re:tldr (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Noah Haders ( 3621429 ) on Wednesday March 02, 2016 @05:02PM (#51624493)

          why don't you just do paper ballots? at my precinct we use a scan tron system. voters fill out a scan tron sheet ("fill in the bubbles with No 2 pencil"). Machine counts it locally and prints out a summary tape. Precinct sends summary tape and all scantron sheets to the state. State adds up the summary sheets and that's the total. Not only are the summary sheets auditable by hand, but even the scantrons can be auditted. 100% transparency, 100% paper trail.

          In what way would an electronic voting system be better?

          • by hjf ( 703092 )

            In Argentina we have paper ballots, and then at every "voting table" votes are counted, and a "telegram" with the totals is given to a postman. This is then entered, at the post office, into the vote count system. Results are out a couple of hours later. The telegram is also scanned and put online available to everyone, along with the manually entered data (to check if the data entry person entered the right data).

            As a backup, all ballots are put back into the ballot box, sealed and sent to the "electoral j

            • by mikael ( 484 )

              Paper ballots can be fudged. There were some cases in the UK where certain minorities were getting their ballot paper sent by mail to particular addresses. Then the votes were cast all to the same political party. Some places, the votes for one candidate were discarded as being "spoiled", while extra votes for the preferred candidate were added.

              • Agreed. Ballot by mail is trickier than ballot in a controlled polling location. But so would be voting by internet.

          • How would ballot stuffing be prevented with that system?
            The illegitimate ballots would certainly be scanned correctly and be sent to state correctly and an audit would show the numbers match.

            • I can tell you my experience as a voting booth volunteer in my home county. The ballots are purchased by the county, and each ballot has a unique sequential ID number. When you arrive at your polling location and check in, they check your name on the voter roll and mark that you recieved a ballot. Then they hand you a ballot from the top of the stack. At the end of the day the polling volunteer submits the number of ballots cast as well as the number of remaining blank ballots. This number should match the

              • And why can't the ballot stuffer get a polling booth extra ballots and use the real ballots?

                Difficult for individuals, not so much for governments.

                • I suppose. There are always checks and balances though. Anybody is welcome at a voting location, so you could stand there all day and count the number of people that came through. Afterwards you could make sure that the number of recorded ballots matches the number of people that voted at that location. This is hard to do at every polling location all the time, but a committed gadfly (or an association of committed gadflies, like the tea party) could do a good spot check.

                  Voting by mail is a little tricker,

          • That's how I vote in Michigan. We've used that system since 2003 without any issues. In fact, the first election I voted in after turning 18 in 2003 (some local school board thing) was the first time my county used this system so, I've never actually voted using the old punch card system we used to have.

          • We use paper ballots here in Canada... we fill it out, drop it in a box, and that's the last we ever see of it. I can't trust that my Government that's already been busted in voter scandals isn't also fudging votes and keeping it hush-hush. I'd like to see the raw data representation to show that my vote is correct, and that the official stats match the data dumps.
            • I'm surprised that your voting system is set up this way. In many US states (the law varies by state) everything is fully auditable by anybody. You can even go in there with a calculator and recount everything by hand, if you really wanted to.

              • We may have this ability... I didn't realize that was a thing. But you still would not be able to find the piece of paper that you dropped into the box to prove that your vote was counted. Hell, for all you know, the entire batch of pieces of paper you're looking at could have been pre-filled and pre-sealed, and everything you actually wrote on was just sent to the incinerator. That's a pretty extreme and far fetched example, but with there being no way to verify your vote, it's 100% plausible.
          • why don't you just do paper ballots? at my precinct we use a scan tron system. voters fill out a scan tron sheet ("fill in the bubbles with No 2 pencil"). Machine counts it locally and prints out a summary tape. Precinct sends summary tape and all scantron sheets to the state. State adds up the summary sheets and that's the total. Not only are the summary sheets auditable by hand, but even the scantrons can be auditted. 100% transparency, 100% paper trail.

            In what way would an electronic voting system be better?

            None.

        • Why even have a hash assigned to them? Just give them a receipt when they vote with a hash that doesn't have any personal information on it linking them. Then post results publicly. People can band together and do their own audits.
          • why not just do this with paper ballots like I described above [slashdot.org]? I don't see any significant benefit to voting technology. Paper already provides 100% transparency and 100% auditing. The only way electronic is a benefit is to get faster counts for election night on CNN, but that's a problem for CNN to worry about, and the voting system shouldn't be designed around that.

            do you see any benefits to electronic voting that I am missing?

            • do you see any benefits to electronic voting that I am missing?

              A paper trail could be lost, or destroyed. An electronic one too, I suppose, but it's much easier to make copies and ensure integrity throughout the process. It would also be simpler to implement far wider independent verification electronically too.

              • I agree that the electronic system is easier to implement. As a voting precinct, counting the ballots is a super pain in the butt! But I would argue that the audit trail and the transparency of paper ballots trump the convenience of a few govt clerks.

                I'm not so sure about the integrity of the electronic system. If private companies make the system, who audits the code? Even if somebody audits the code, will backdoors be missed? Consider back doors like heartbleed and others that went undetected in open sour

                • I'm not so sure about the integrity of the electronic system. If private companies make the system, who audits the code? Even if somebody audits the code, will backdoors be missed? Consider back doors like heartbleed and others that went undetected in open source software. I don't see the integrity here.

                  The integrity I was referring to was that of the vote itself, all other things being equal. Obviously, this would require that the electronic system is not compromised, otherwise it could simply send the same forged/tampered copies to everyone. You're absolutely right that this is a huge concern, without an obvious solution.

                  You could have multiple independent experts or groups verify the software, but as you pointed out, things can be missed. And as with any technocratic system, the experts themselves could

            • The paper auditing thing doesn't help me. If I walk into whatever government office has the ballots and demand to see them, are they going to give them to me to do my own audit? What if thousands of individuals do the same thing? And how does that prove that my vote was accurately recorded anyway? The ballot I filed yesterday doesn't have my name, or anything at all identifiable about me, on it, just my selection. The ballots are all anonymous, so you have no way of knowing if the ballot box was stuffe

              • > If I walk into whatever government office has the ballots and demand to see them, are they going to give them to me to do my own audit? What if thousands of individuals do the same thing?

                Actually yes, you can audit anything through a FOIA request. If thousands of people submit a foia request, then the govt may go to a judge to find a way to aggregate them into a few common requests.

                > The ballots are all anonymous, so you have no way of knowing if the ballot box was stuffed, or if the ballots are fa

        • by Zak3056 ( 69287 )

          Give everyone a hash when they register to vote.

          The problem with the above is "vote for $CANDIDATE or I will break your daughter's arm" now has a means for the nefarious party to audit the vote. I'm not a fan of black box voting, but unless and until you can solve the above problem, every "you can verify your own personal vote after the fact" system constitutes an epic fail. If electronic voting cannot be made secure and reliable, we should go back to scantron sheets and punch cards. If you can't make that work (I'm looking at you, Florida) you probabl

        • I think paper copies of votes would work better. IIRC the main reason stood up for going electronic was because Floridian geriatrics can't figure out how to use a hole punch, and/or stay within the lines. So, take the "best" of both worlds. Vote electronically, but, create a printed copy of the vote. The voting machine shows the paper copy to the voter, behind glass, and waits for their confirmation.
          • Nope. At worst, the electronic device should be used to produce a paper ballot, which the voter then physically walks out to a ballot box, hopefully after double-checking that all of their votes were correct, and drops in. The 'ballot-marker 3000' itself should never keep any sort of record.
    • Re:tldr (Score:5, Informative)

      by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Wednesday March 02, 2016 @05:25PM (#51624653)

      An admirable gesture, but the surveillance bill eventually passed near unanimously, 160-1

      The South Korean National Assembly has 300 seats, 7 of which are vacant, so 293 votes available I assume.

      It was not "uninamous"; in the sense that it had overwhelming support. It had 54%.

      The article appears to state that the 38 members who filibustered abstained. I am not sure why they didn't vote no?? I know next to nothing about south korean's political system.

      But that's at LEAST 39 against the bill.

      And where were the other hundred votes? Did after the long filibuster they all just left? And the government in power (with 157 seats, just whip the party to sit through until it was passed, along with a few independents? of which there are 6)

      By the time the vote came to pass was it just the yes-block left in the room, and the 38 guys abstaining?

      In any case, framing it as 160-1 is lying with statistics. :)

      • it's not though. 160 reps voted in favor for it, 1 voted against it. 38 voted to abstain, and 94 ducked out of the room so they wouldn't have to take a position on the bill (this is common, happens in US all the time).

        sounds unanimous to me, or as close as you'll ever get in a democracy.

        • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

          it's not though. 160 reps voted in favor for it, 1 voted against it. 38 voted to abstain, and 94 ducked out of the room so they wouldn't have to take a position on the bill (this is common, happens in US all the time).

          sounds unanimous to me, or as close as you'll ever get in a democracy.

          Those that ducked out of the room to avoid the vote ARE abstaining. They're just not stating so blatantly.

          The thing with abstaining instead of "no" is that abstaining does two things. First, you avoid having to take a positi

  • by dargaud ( 518470 ) <slashdot2 AT gdargaud DOT net> on Wednesday March 02, 2016 @04:28PM (#51624229) Homepage
    What's the point of talking 193 hours if you are not even going to vote NO but only abstain ?!?
    • After 193 hours, they were all asleep.

  • The filibusters abstained, while another group did not vote.

    That makes no sense! People elect them to write the law, if they do not want to do it, they should resign and leave room for real representants.

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