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Elizabeth Warren calls for a zero-emissions military, serviced by zero-emissions contractors

Среда, 15 Мая 2019 г. 23:04 (ссылка)

In her latest detailed policy proposal, would-be 202 Democratic presidential nominee Elizabeth Warren sets out a Green New Deal for the US military, whose own policy analysts have identified climate change and energy independence as serious risks to US security.

The Pentagon is America's leading energy consumer (unsurprising, given the size and scale of the US military, which dwarfs every other country's military in both absolute and per-capita terms). Warren reasons that any expense incurred to reduce the military's domestic and foreign carbon footprint will more than pay for itself in savings realized by not having to endure floods and other extreme weather events, and by averting the global conflicts generated by climate change and its force-multipliers (famine, disease, etc).

And I’ll invest billions of dollars into a new, ten-year research and development program at the Defense Department focused on microgrids and advanced energy storage. The Pentagon has been responsible for countless technological breakthroughs, working together with colleges and universities, our national labs, local governments, and private companies. Let’s put that effort toward new clean energy solutions that will improve our security by allowing military bases to remain operational when traditional power sources fail, and save taxpayers money through lower overall energy consumption.

Finally, I want the Pentagon to produce an annual report evaluating the climate vulnerability of every U.S. military base at home and abroad, using real scientific methodology, so that we can make more informed plans moving forward.

We don’t have to choose between a green military and an effective one.

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British jury ignores judge and frees self-represented climate activists based on the "necessity defense"

Суббота, 11 Мая 2019 г. 17:52 (ссылка)

In 2017, climate activists Roger Hallam and David Durant painted the words "divest from oil and gas" on a wall at King’s College London in chalk paint; they were facing Ј7,000 in fines and up to 18 months in prison, and did not qualify for a legal aid lawyer.

The pair represented themselves in front of a jury at Southwark Crown Court in London, arguing the rarely used "necessity defense," that their actions were justified by the urgency of climate change. During the trial, Judge Michael Gledhill QC frequently interrupted the pair to instruct the jury to ignore the defense, telling them that climate change was "irrelevant" to the charge.

Despite this, the jury exonerated the pair after deliberating for just two hours, the mandatory minimum for such a deliberation.

Recently, more than 1000 activists from Extinction Rebellion were arrested in the UK following a week of climate-change-related civil disobedience (Extinction Rebellion has also put forward a slate of independent UK candidates for the upcoming European Parliamentary Elections, and I have instructed my proxy voter to cast my ballot for them).

“We were shut down quite a lot,” Durant said. “We’d try to read out case law and we were shut down.” He said he and Hallam snuck climate arguments into their defense and were helped when the prosecution showed clips of their filmed divestment campaign. “That was really handy,” he said. “That was making the case for us.”

Durant, 25, said the 2017 campaign was successful because King’s College London subsequently announced it would divest lb14 million from fossil fuels and pledged to become carbon neutral by 2025.

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The best political commentary of the Australian election cycle: "Honest Government Adverts"

Четверг, 09 Мая 2019 г. 07:07 (ссылка)

Juice Media's Honest Government Adverts are some of the best, most biting political satire being produced today -- they're so good at afflicting the comfortable that Australia basically banned their style of humour -- and now, on the eve of (yet another) critical Australian election, they've produced a "season finale" that recaps the parade of horrors that a succession of bumbling, oligarchic, racist, climate-denying, torturing, confiscatory, planet-destroying Australian governments have bequeathed to the nation and the world. I laughed, I cried, I laughed again. Now I'm crying.

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Trump campaign won't say no to hacked political dirt, Democrats agree not to use illegally obtained data

Среда, 25 Апреля 2019 г. 01:42 (ссылка)

Rudy Giuliani: “nothing wrong with taking information from Russians.”


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Here's how primary elections work, and how to vote

Среда, 24 Апреля 2019 г. 22:49 (ссылка)

Spread The Vote is a non-profit that works to help educate and empower voters on the voting and political process. Boing Boing invited the group to help everyone understand how primary elections work, and how you can participate in them if you are an eligible U.S. voter. Sign up for their state-specific voter education packages, which are really an amazing educational resource. Xeni Jardin


When most voters think of election day, they likely imagine a general election where they vote to determine which candidate on the ballot will win the position of elected office. However, voters may be less familiar with primary elections. This may explain, in part, why voter turnout is so different for general and primary elections. That’s where Spread The Vote comes in. We want every eligible voter to understand and participate in primary elections because they are such an important element of our democracy.


1. Turnout in primaries is notoriously low: in the 2016 presidential race, just over 28% of eligible voters voted in a Republican and Democratic presidential primary election.

This number is shocking compared to the nearly 60% of Americans who were eligible to vote that turned out for the general election. Even though general elections get a lot of attention, primary elections are just as important and are a significant opportunity to make your voice heard.

2. Primary elections, or primaries, are elections where voters choose who will be on the ballot for each specific office in the general election. Read the rest


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On the eve of a contentious election, Twitter suspends the accounts of progressive activists

Вторник, 16 Апреля 2019 г. 21:42 (ссылка)

Today, Alberta is having one of its bitterest, hardest-fought elections, with far-right/xenophobic elements on the upswing through the United Conservative Party, led by Jason Kenney, who has been awfully cavalier about the white nationalists in his party.

On the literal eve of the election, Twitter suddenly -- and without explanation -- removed the accounts of many prominent progressive activists who'd been campaigning against the UCP.

My money is on the Twitter suspension system being gamed by far-right elements: as neo-Nazis and other xenophobes have been removed from Twitter for violating the company's policies, they have become experts in walking right up to the line for removal, and then goading their opponents into crossing that line. They've also mastered Twitter's complaints procedure, figuring out how to phrase a complaint to maximize the chances that Twitter will take action on it.

They're basically the Nazi dice-lawyers of Twitter.

And the thing is, the more account-suspension policies Twitter and the other platforms put in place, the better these trolls will get at abusing them. People who want to criticize Nazis are good at pointing out what's wrong with Naziism, while Nazis are increasingly skilled at mastering the baroque, secretive process of getting your opponents' accounts suspended from the big platforms.

And as the bannable offenses mount, Twitter and the other platforms are having to adjudicate an ever-longer docket of complaints from dolphins who've been caught in their tuna-nets, meaning that it can take days or even weeks to get unblocked after the trolls have managed to get you suspended. Read the rest


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Bernie Sanders is the most popular candidate among Hispanic voters

Суббота, 06 Апреля 2019 г. 17:50 (ссылка)

A Morning Consult poll of Hispanic voters shows 33% for Bernie Sanders, more than any other candidate from any party -- Joe Biden is polling at 24% and Beto O'Rourke is at 13%, with other Democrats trailing far behind. Three early primary states have large concentrations of Hispanic voters: California, Texas and Florida (California and Texas are also "delegate rich," with a significant impact on candidate selection within the national Democratic party). The majority of Sanders' campaign staffers are women, and 40% of the staff are people of color. Sanders outraised every other candidate, and I am a Sanders donor (I also donated to Elizabeth Warren's campaign).

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Chicago's first gay, Black, woman mayor won all 50 wards, defeating the machine candidate with an anti-corruption campaign

Четверг, 04 Апреля 2019 г. 21:30 (ссылка)

Lori Lightfoot is Chicago's newest mayor, succeeding the notoriously corrupt establishment figure Rahm Emmanuel (who quit after two terms, triggering a race), and beating out Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, who had been anointed by Chicago's legendarily unassailable Democratic machine as the next mayor.

Lightfoot -- who is Black, queer, and a woman -- ran her campaign as an anti-incumbency, anti-corruption, anti-machine campaign, and caught the mood of the voters, winning in all 50 wards, despite having been viewed as a longshot/lost cause when she kicked it off last year.

Unofficial totals give Lightfoot 74% of the popular vote.

Two other Black people served as mayor of Chicago; one other woman has held the office. Lightfoot is the first openly gay mayor in Chicago history.

Lightfoot also campaigned on affordable housing, police accountability, and increased public services.

The prime example became Lightfoot and Preckwinkle’s disagreement over so-called aldermanic privilege or prerogative, in which aldermen have veto power of zoning and permitting decisions in their wards. That power played a key role in the charge against Burke, who has been accused of holding up a permit for the owner of major fast-food chain in his ward in exchange for the business owner giving property tax appeals business to Burke’s law firm.

Lightfoot called for an end to aldermanic privilege while Preckwinkle, a former alderman, defended the practice and said instead council members shouldn’t be allowed to hold outside jobs.

"There is no doubt in my mind that in the coming days, and weeks at the most, we're going to see a series of indictments from my former colleagues at the U.S.

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Elizabeth Warren's latest campaign plank is a national Right-to-Repair law for farm equipment

Среда, 27 Марта 2019 г. 19:46 (ссылка)

Senator Elizabeth Warren is hoping to be the Democratic presidential nominee in 2020; she distinguishes herself from other left-wing Democrats like Bernie Sanders in her belief that capitalism is a force for good, but must be reformed and subjected to democratic control, while Sanders and the DSA are skeptical of capitalism and its long-term future (Disclosure: I donated to both the Sanders and Warren 2020 campaigns).

Warren's defense of a better capitalism distinguishes itself from the usual fare -- capitalism's apologists rarely have much detail to offer in terms of what a "good capitalism" would look like -- by setting out specific, actionable policies, often in the form of detailed legislative action, for a reforming capitalism and rendering it safe for human habitation.

Whether that's ending the Electoral College, state-backed generic drug manufacturing, or a Thomas Piketty-style wealth tax, Warren sets out an extremely plausible case for a humane version of American capitalism.

One of Warren's most welcome proposals is an antimonopolistic break-up of Big Tech, which, while laudable, did not go far enough -- for one thing, it was conspicuously silent on the question of breaking up related monopolies like Big Cable and Big Content, and it also spared one of tech's most voracious and abusive monopolists: Apple.

Now, Warren has introduced another flagship proposal that has spared Apple while putting other abusive manufacturers square in its crosshairs: a national Right-to-Repair law as part of a family farmer's bill of rights.

Warren's Right-to-Repair rules tick all the boxes in the blizzard of state-level Right to Repair bills that have been introduced and largely defeated, thanks to an alliance of big agribusiness companies like John Deere and consumer electronics companies led by Apple. Read the rest


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A critical flaw in Switzerland's e-voting system is a microcosm of everything wrong with e-voting, security practice, and auditing firms

Среда, 13 Марта 2019 г. 13:42 (ссылка)

Switzerland is about to have a national election with electronic voting, overseen by Swiss Post; e-voting is a terrible idea and the general consensus among security experts who don't work for e-voting vendors is that it shouldn't be attempted, but if you put out an RFP for magic beans, someone will always show up to sell you magic beans, whether or not magic beans exist.

Swiss Post contracted with Barcelona firm Scytl to build the system, then consulted with outside security experts and KPMG to audit the system, and then announced a bug-bounty program that would allow people who promised to only disclose defects on Swiss Post's terms to look at some of the source code.

This kind of bug bounty is pretty common, and firms like to assert that they can be trusted to be responsible stewards of bad news about their own products and should have the right to decide who can make truthful disclosures about their mistakes and the defects in their offerings. During the fight over DRM standardization for browsers at the W3C, we pointed out that one side-effect of adding DRM to browsers would be that browser vendors and media companies would acquire a new right to silence security researchers who wanted to make factual statements about security defects in their products. At first, the commercial members and browser vendors denied that this was the case, but eventually they decided that it was true, and that this was a feature, not a bug, and set about trying to craft rules for when it would be OK for companies to decide that users couldn't know about defects in their products. Read the rest


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The eminently electable Bernie Sanders enjoys strong support from African-Americans and young people

Воскресенье, 10 Марта 2019 г. 17:15 (ссылка)

When critics want to dismiss Bernie Sanders's bid to be the Democratic presidential candidate in 2020, the say that he is too old and too white, and incapable of bringing young people and racialized people to the polls, the way that, say, Obama did in 2008 (after all, American politics is as much a contest of who votes and who doesn't as it about whom they vote for).

The same people who say this often have other iron laws of Democratic policy, like "Democrats can't support Medicare for All" and "Democrats can't support a Green New Deal" and "Democrats shouldn't try to tax the rich." When they say this, they really mean "Establishment Democrats' big-money millionaire/billionaire donors won't back Democrats who support these policies," and so, despite the enormous popularity of these policies, the Democrats shouldn't run on them.

Sanders favors all of these policies, and more, and so it's no surprise that his critics are grasping at (evidence-free) straws to neg him in the public sphere, but of course, reality has a well-known left-wing bias, so it's no surprise that they're (very, very) wrong.

For example, Sanders is beating Kamala Harris 2-to-1 in polls of African American voters (possibly because Harris supported the preservation of forced prison labor, joked about her actions to jail parents whose kids were truant, and let Steve Mnuchin walk away from grotesque financial crimes that victimized poor people and stole their homes).

And 18- and 19-year-old first-time voters are big on Sanders because his policies matter more to them than his age, especially his support for immediate, meaningful action on climate change -- even though Sanders will be dead before climate change makes most of the USA uninhabitable, these kids won't be, and they know it. Read the rest


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Elizabeth Warren reveals her plan to break up Big Tech

Суббота, 09 Марта 2019 г. 15:53 (ссылка)

Would-be Democratic Presidential nominee Elizabeth Warren (I've donated to her campaign, as well as Bernie Sanders') has published her latest policy prescription: a plan to break up Big Tech monopolists to protect the public's privacy and the interests of small-business competitors.

Under Warren's plan, large tech companies (with more than $25b in global revenues) would be designated "platform utilities" and would be required to give all commercial users "fair, reasonable and nondiscrimatory" access to their services, and the owners of these utilities would be prohibited from participating in their marketplaces -- that would mean, for example, that Amazon would have to accept all sellers on the same terms, and would not be allowed to sell its own products to compete with them.

Companies with annual global revenues of $99m-$25b would also be platform utilities, but would be permitted to sell on their own platforms.

Enforcement would come through a right for state Attorneys General and private parties to sue platforms for violating the deal, "to enjoin any conduct that violates these requirements, to disgorge any ill-gotten gains, and to be paid for losses and damages." Violators will face statutory damages of 5% of global revenues.

Next, Warren will force tech giants to divest themselves of former competitors that they acquired: Amazon would have to sell off Zappos and Whole Foods; Facebook would have to sell of Instagram and Whatsapp; and Google would have to sell off Waze, Doubleclick and Nest.

Then there's a bunch more squishy stuff, like "we must ensure that Russia — or any other foreign power — can’t use Facebook or any other form of social media to influence our elections" and "We must help America’s content creators — from local newspapers and national magazines to comedians and musicians — keep more of the value their content generates, rather than seeing it scooped up by companies like Google and Facebook" (this rhetoric is scarily similar to the notional basis for Europe's terrible Article 13 proposal, but there are some ways to imagine it going well, if we keep in mind that enriching media companies has little relationship to enriching creators). Read the rest


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Europeans! Tell your MEPs that your vote depends on their rejection of #Article13!

Среда, 27 Февраля 2019 г. 11:01 (ссылка)

At the end of March, the European Parliament will sit down to vote on the new Copyright Directive, an unparalleled disaster in the history of internet regulation with the power to wipe out the EU's tech sector, handing permanent control of the internet over to US Big Tech, all in the name of protecting copyright (while simultaneously gutting protection for artists).

Right after that key vote, MEPs will fan out across Europe, returning to their home countries to start campaigning for the May elections. This timing is crucial, because it means that MEPs are really interested in whether their actions will cost them support from voters.

Voters hate the Copyright Directive and its internet-destroying Article 13. The petition to kill Article 13 has drawn more signatures than any other in EU history, and at this rate, a few days from now this petition will become the most popular petition in the history of the human race.

If you live in Europe, you can let your MEP know that your vote depends on their vote: the 2019 Pledge, brought to you by Epicenter Works, calls on MEPs to publicly pledge to reject Article 13. 44 MEPs have signed it so far, and work has just begun.

The pledge's website lets you enter your country and your phone number and it will connect you with MEPs who have not yet taken the pledge and let you talk to them about why it's important that they do.

This is a key juncture, a moment when the fate of the internet itself hangs in the balance (and not just in Europe). Read the rest


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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is preparing for New York's establishment Dems to eliminate her district

Суббота, 09 Февраля 2019 г. 16:51 (ссылка)

After the 2020 census, the nation's electoral districts will be redrawn and it's a widely accepted fact that New York City will lose a seat, despite its growth since the 2010 census.

Ocasio-Cortez's district is a thoroughly gerrymandered Democratic safe seat, which is why her primary challenge was effectively an early election: whomever holds the Democratic nomination in New York's 14th automatically goes to Congress (which is how her predecessor Joe Crowley was "elected" ten times in a row).

New York's districting is controlled by a powerful, secretive Democratic machine, the kind of Democratic establishment figures whom Ocasio-Cortez has been criticizing, and whose candidates Ocasio-Cortez has been helping to oust through primary challenges, with the threat of more on the horizon for the 2020 elections.

Combine these three facts -- an NYC seat being eliminated, a gerrymandered district, and the burning hatred of the Democratic establishment who control the district boundaries -- and Ocasio-Cortez is right to be worried that her seat will be eliminated in two years.

Even though NY Dems would claim that this is just business as usual and nothing personal, the decision to eliminate Ocasio-Cortez's seat would be intensely personal, and political. She has been a thorn in the side of the establishment since she got on the scene, and her short Congressional career has marked her out as someone who shouts the unutterable truths that no one was willing to mention in polite society, and that the tactic works. Ocasio-Cortez has shown herself to be willing to upend the "natural order" of politics and cost some very powerful people a lot of money, even turning them into pariahs for having accumulated that money in the first place, and she's shown that she has a very good chance of succeeding. Read the rest


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Cambridge Analytica pleads guilty, faces the first in a probable series of criminal convictions

Среда, 10 Января 2019 г. 00:13 (ссылка)

EU privacy rules force European companies to surrender data they hold on anyone, anywhere; and that includes SCL Elections, which owned Cambridge Analytica, the notorious Facebook data-miner and election-manipulator that extravagantly claimed to have won the election for Donald Trump.

Back in 2017, Parsons School of Design prof David Carroll teamed up with PersonalData.io to request data from Facebook and Cambridge Analytica that they hope will reveal the way the targeted ads worked; but Cambridge Analytica and SCL stonewalled the UK regulators when they were told to produce Carroll's data. The UK regulator sued, and now, the bankrupt remains of SCL/Cambridge Analytica have entered a guilty plea and will have to pay about $26,000 in fines and fees.

The settlement comes the day before the trial was to begin, and follows SCL's claim that Carroll had no more right to see the data they held on him "than a member of the Taliban sitting in a cave in the remotest corner of Afghanistan."

The UK Information Commission has seized Cambridge Analytica's computers and 700TB of data. SCL/Cambridge Analytica had refused to provide the decryption keys to the data, but their former employees have now done so.

There was no suggestion the administrators will now grant Carroll’s request for access to the full data on him. That information is held on computers seized from Cambridge Analytica by the ICO, and stores around 700 terabytes of data, which the court was told equated to around 81 billion pages of information.

Ben Summers, for the prosecution, admitted that finding the information on Carroll was like searching for a needle in a haystack.

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The DNC will require presidential nominees' funding to come primarily from small-money, grassroots donors

Четверг, 27 Декабря 2018 г. 18:58 (ссылка)

Generally, the DNC is a fucking pro-establishment dumpster fire (which may explain why it's foundering), but things are (finally) looking up.

The DNC has announced a new rule for participating in the primary debates for the 2020 presidential nomination: candidates must raise the majority of their money from "grassroots" donors who make small-money donation.

They have yet to define what this will mean, and there's a lot of potential ways this could go wrong, but as Bernie Sanders' 2016 digital fundraising manager writes in a detailed analysis in The Intercept, some of the most obvious problems (billionaires gladly losing money in fundraising appeals, spending $2 in advertising to raise $1 in small-money donation) don't seem to work. There's also a lot of potential Super PAC shenanigans that would need to be headed off.

Based on the 2016 and 2018 cycles, here are the candidates that could qualify: Reps Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and John Lewis; and Senators Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Jeff Merkley.

Not only is this a hopeful sign that the Dems are going to reduce their reliance on the big-money donor class, it's also pretty exciting to learn that "being popular amongst lots of ordinary voters" is going to be a criteria for nomination.

It may seem like this is a meaningless distinction; money is money, and money (for better or worse) helps win elections. But focusing on this aspect of 2020 Democrats’ finances is important, because they’re going against the only president of the modern era to ever win the White House by relying mostly on small-dollar donations.

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Trump spent $200,000,000 on the election stunt of sending 6,000 troops to the border, then withdrew them before the caravan arrived

Вторник, 20 Ноября 2018 г. 20:27 (ссылка)

Trump's "Operation Faithful Patriot" was a $200,000,000 exercise in which 6,000 US troops were deployed within the USA, to the US/Mexico border, nominally to repel the migrant caravan of desperate, poor, terrified asylum seekers.

At the time, many accused Trump of staging an election stunt to terrorize his base, part of the lies about Middle Eastern terrorists and MS13 gang-members amongst the refugee caravan. Trump supporters insisted that the president was merely fulfilling his duty to ensure the safety of America and Americans.

However, Trump has now announced that the troops will be home by Christmas, right around the time the caravan is expected to arrive. The American people are $200 million poorer for it -- that's money we can ill afford, given the record-beating deficit the Trump administration is set to run, thanks to all the corporate welfare and one percenter tax-breaks he's handed out.

In other words, the president spent millions in taxpayer dollars on a stunt that failed completely. Despite the withdrawal, Trump insisted on Sunday that the U.S. is basically under siege, tweeting “the U.S. is ill-prepared for this invasion, and will not stand for it,” saying that the caravan “causing crime and big problems in Mexico” and directing the migrants, who we’re sure are checking social media right now to “Go home!”

Administration Admits Border Deployment Was a $200 Million Election Stunt [Bess Levin/Vanity Fair]

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Concealed Carry scammers spent $2m on gunhumper scare-ads on Facebook during the 2018 midterms

Понедельник, 19 Ноября 2018 г. 22:12 (ссылка)


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Voting machines in Wisconsin and Kentucky are running FTP. Seriously.

Понедельник, 05 Ноября 2018 г. 10:52 (ссылка)

FTP -- the "file transfer protocol" -- is a long-supplanted Unix tool for transferring files between computers, once standard but now considered to be too insecure to use; so it's alarming that it's running on the voting machines that will be used in elections in Wisconsin and Kentucky tomorrow.

The FBI has warned that "criminal actors" use FTP in targeting US voting machines. The Wisconsin Elections Commission and DHS have reported hacker attacks on Wisconsin voting machines in the 2016 elections.

Propublica portscanned the voting machines in Kentucky and Wisconsin, which are connected to the fucking internet, and found FTP services being advertised by servers on the machines.

Kentucky's voting machines did not require a password to access their FTP servers.

As of late Wednesday, Kentucky’s voter-registration server still allowed users to browse a list of files without a password. Even the names of the files contained clues that could conceivably help an intruder. For example, they indicated that Kentucky may use driver’s licenses on file in its motor vehicle software to verify voters’ identities.

Bradford Queen, a spokesman for Kentucky’s secretary of state, declined to say if running an FTP server was problematic. “We are constantly guarding against foreign and domestic bad actors and have confidence in the security measures deployed to protect our infrastructure,” he said.

“ProPublica’s claims regarding Kentucky’s website lack a complete understanding of the commonwealth’s full approach to security, which is multi-layered. Defenses exist within each layer to determine and block offending traffic.”

File-Sharing Software on State Election Servers Could Expose Them to Intruders [Jack Gillum and Jeff Kao/Propublica]

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Candidate/election-runner Brian Kemp's hacking accusation is a new, absurd low

Понедельник, 05 Ноября 2018 г. 10:27 (ссылка)

Brian Kemp is the Secretary of State for Georgia, where is he also running for governor, meaning that he is overseeing his own election -- and in that capacity, he has purged thousands of Black voters from the rolls (the total purge runs to the millions) and distinguished himself as one of the last holdouts for replacing his state's worst-of-breed insecure voting machines with ones that produce a paper audit trail that can be consulted if they are suspected of malfunction.

Kemp, who is running against Stacey Abrams (a Black woman with an "unapologetic progressive" platform) has a long history of voting machine shenanigans (one set of machines was wiped right after Georgia voters filed a lawsuit involving them) and his campaign has been a mix of (semi)coded racism and performative tough-guy stunts.

His latest eleventh-hour salvo has reached a new low for absurdist tragicomedy: Kemp has accused the Democratic Party of hacking into the state's voter registration system in order to steal its records (these records are sold to anyone who asks, by the State of Georgia, for $250!).

Besides the "the Demmycrats hacked us to save $250" weirdness, there's plenty more surrealism in Kemp's accusation: Kemp has accused the Democrats of two separate, mutually exclusive offenses: hacking into the voter registration system to steal its data, and hacking into it to expose its vulnerabilities (vulnerabilities, mind, which have been lavishly documented and demonstrated by independent security researchers).

Kemp is a serial offender when it comes to false accusations of hacking voting systems: in 2016, he accused the Department of Homeland Security of hacking Georgia's vote (in reality, someone at the DHS had visited Kemp's Secretary of State website. Read the rest


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Most Americans are not confident election systems are secure from hacking: Pew Research

Понедельник, 30 Октября 2018 г. 02:57 (ссылка)

Americans are confident local poll workers will run elections smoothly and that votes will be counted accurately, but they are less sure about nationwide elections and worry about foreign hacking.


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Chicagoans can actually play "Machine Learning President," the election RPG

Пятница, 26 Октября 2018 г. 19:23 (ссылка)

After the 2016 elections, Scout.ai and a group of technology activists created Machine Learning President, designed for "scenario planning to game out how tech might impact future elections, as a way to think through the potential challenges and pitfalls that might eat away at democracy."

The game -- which sounds really fun! -- enjoyed a brief splash of notoriety last June when rumors emerged that Trump backer and Cambridge-Analytica-affiliated heiress Rebekah Mercer and a group of her plutocratic friends had played Machine-Learning President, allegedly as a victory lap (victory larp?) to celebrate the ascendancy of their chosen authoritarian bigot to the presidency.

Now Chicagoans can play a regular match of Machine Learning President in the runup to the 2018 midterms, hosted by Max Temkin of Cards Against Humanity and Peter Sagal of NPR's Wait Wait Don't Tell Me. Polygon's Charlie Hall sat in on a session and it sounds amazing.

To begin the evening, a group of 40 players showed up at Temkin’s brightly colored coworking space. The participants were a rogues’ gallery of local and state political figures and activists, tabletop game designers, actors, and comedians. Everyone was randomly divided into teams of two to four players. Groups were a presidential candidate or a political faction.

The goal for the candidates was to get elected, while the goal for each faction was to get their political talking points onto the winning ticket.

Candidate teams included Nikki Haley and Mike Pence on the right, and Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren on the left.

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McSweeney's doesn't want you to forget Trump's atrocities

Понедельник, 22 Октября 2018 г. 16:00 (ссылка)

With midterms around the corner, McSweeney's has gathered 112 of Donald Trump's "worst cruelties, collusions, corruptions, and crimes." The list is the first in a series. It begins in 2011, well before he got into office, and ends with his February 2017 atrocities. Next week they will share "Atrocities 113-192."

It's a drag to see, honestly, but I'm glad someone is keeping track.

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Undetectably bypass voting machines' anti-tamper mechanism with a bit of a soda-can

Вторник, 16 Октября 2018 г. 20:37 (ссылка)

When security researchers report on the ghastly defects in voting machines, the officials who bought these machines say dismiss their concerns by saying that the tamper-evident seals they put around the machines prevent bad guys from gaining access to their internals.

But University of Michigan grad student Matt Bernhard has demonstrated that he can bypass the tamper-evident seals in seconds, using a shim made from a slice of a soda can. The bypass is undetectable and doesn't damage the seal, which can be resecured after an attacker gains access to the system.

Fred Woodhams from the Michigan Secretary of State's office dismissed Bernhard's warning: "the seal that is shown in the video was not affixed to anything, and the video does not represent a real-world scenario of how seals are used and affixed."

"The seal that is shown in the video was not affixed to anything, and the video does not represent a real-world scenario of how seals are used and affixed," spokesman Fred Woodhams said in an email to Motherboard. "The video also provides no context about the sum total of security measures for tabulators and sealed ballot containers, which are stored in locked area within a clerk’s office, among other security measures that help prevent election tampering. I would note that the sealed ballot containers store ballots that already have been counted."

Bernhard, however, said that although voting machines may be locked when they are stored in the county clerk's building, they are left unattended for days at polling places—high school gyms, churches, and community centers—prior to elections.

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Today is your last day to register to vote in some states; confirm your registration in 30 seconds

Вторник, 09 Октября 2018 г. 21:20 (ссылка)

Fill in this form and Vote Save America will tell you whether you are (still) registered to vote, a vital step in an age of rampant, illegal voter suppression.

The process takes 30 seconds. Here's instructions on registering to vote in every US state and territory.

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