On Wed, May 05, 2004 at 12:21:49PM +0100, Bryan O'Donoghue wrote:
> I suppose it's a bit of a recursive case... do I trust the compiler that
> compiled my disassembler, which disassembled the compiler that compiled it
> and disassembled itself?
Thompson's ACM classic, "Reflections on Trusting Trust"
extends the argument :)
> I guess, when you *have* to put your faith in something.. it's a lot less
> likely a compromise point.
In a traditional election we put faith in the fact that competing
election candidates and their agents are all naturally suspicious and
distrusting of each other. At a polling centre and counting centre they
are all eager to make sure noone has an unfair advantage, and there is
over 100 years of experience in dealign with paper count
- we know what to look for.
One can see steel ballot boxes being sealed and unsealed, one can
observe that pencil-lead does not fade, one can verify that polling
stations are relatively busy places with a Garda presense. All of these
things are easily verifiable at a human level, and they make tampering
hard indeed and certainly infeasible on a nationwide level.
There is no need to compromise beyond that, we do not need to degrade
trust. There is no reason why we cannot take the advantages of E-voting
(harder to mistakenly spoil a ballot, better accsessiblity) and combine
it with what we know - paper counts.
Colm MacCárthaigh Public Key: colm+pgp at stdlib.net
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