Thursday, December 04, 2003

The WIPO director general told reporters in Geneva yesterday that "Piracy is like terrorism today and it exists everywhere and it is a very dangerous phenomenon... We would like to have consensus by all countries and all nations that piracy is a very dangerous phenomenon today"

This stuff is too important for this kind of claptrap, which really annoys me. People like Idris should be raising the level of the debate, not resorting to ridiculous soundbites. This adds absolutely nothing to the task of waking ordinary people up to the increasing importance of intellectual property laws - now a form of personal regulation not just industrial regulation of the creativity distribution industries, as used to be the case - explaining the complexities of the issues and addressing the problems of piracy and, more generally, balance in intellectual property laws.

After all, in a information society, intellectual property laws are the default rules of the road. Aaaaaargh - now they've got me using soundbites!
According to Computer Weekly, security flaws have been found in e-voting machines from the four major suppliers in the US.
The Irish Labour Party have issued a report outlining their concerns about electronic voting in Ireland and suggest that it may be a threat to democracy. They use a quote from the Gangs of New York at the beginning:

"The voters don't decide the election, the counters decide the election, so keep counting."


Although the individual components of the system have been tested, what the report calls an "integrated end to end test" of the entire system has not been carried out.

Promised cost savings in reducing staff for counting may be outweighed by increased numbers of people required to operate the voting machines.

The lack of appropriate procedures in the use of the system leaves it open to "interference from unauthorised persons".

And the report recommends that the electronic voting in Ireland be suspended until

1. A voter verifiable audit trail is available
2. A sensible set of operational procedures is in place
3. The whole system in fully integrated operational mode is tested and proved to be robust.

All seems pretty sensible really. Will it happen? Mmmm.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

The Markle Foundation's Task Force on National Security in the Information Age has released a report saying that there has been a failure in the past to share information effectively amonsgt government agencies to combat terrorism. It also recommends more sharing of information between federal agencies and also use of private sector databases. They also directly criticise the Bush administration for not improving the sharing of information and federal agencies for sharing data on terrorism threats insecurely.

Fighting the worms of mass destruction - the Economist on computer security including comments from Lessig, Schneier and Greer.

The New York Times have caught up with the Diebold story.
The Markle Foundation's Task Force on National Security in the Information Age