Monthly Archives: August 2004

Md.’s Electronic Voting ‘Terribly Vulnerable’ to Fraud

“Maryland’s electronic voting system remains “terribly vulnerable” to fraud despite steps taken by the state to correct security flaws, a consultant who conducted a study of the system last January testified Wednesday. Michael Wertheimer of RABA Technologies said his review of the latest report by the State Board of Elections on what it is doing [...]

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Induce Act Draws Support, Venom

“Until recently, much of the discussion among tech enthusiasts about a controversial anti-piracy bill known as the Induce Act has focused on the proposed law’s improbability. Put forth by Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), the bill has been ridiculed by techies as so poorly written that it could unintentionally ban an infinite [...]

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Md. Machines Seek Vote of Confidence

“Judge to Hear Activists’ Demand For Paper Trail on Electronic Ballots When critics of electronic voting machines warn of Maryland becoming another Florida, with the potential for hundreds if not thousands of lost votes this fall, State Elections Administrator Linda H. Lamone shudders. [...] But today, Lamone finds the touch-screen system she has championed under [...]

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Copyright Bill Needs Big Changes

“In response to a request from a Senate committee, consumer electronics companies and public-interest groups on Tuesday submitted changes to a controversial copyright bill that would hold technology companies liable for encouraging people to infringe copyright. The Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act (SB2560), sponsored by Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), is supported [...]

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Microsoft Quits a U.N. Standards Group

“Microsoft on Monday withdrew from a United Nations software standards group for commerce, citing “business reasons.” Earlier this year, Microsoft’s participation had created controversy within the group, which is attempting to define standards for creating a new generation of Internet services to automate buying and selling through networks of computers.” [...] Two people who participate [...]

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USACM Prepares FY2004 Report of Activities and Achievements

USACM recently prepared a report covering activities and achievements for the fiscal year beginning on July 1, 2003, and concluding on June 31, 2004. During the period, USACM’s achievements included convening a workshop for election officials and technologists to discuss the risks and vulnerabilities of paperless electronic voting systems; educating policymakers and courts regarding the [...]

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Army: JetBlue Data Use Was Legal

“An Army data-mining project that searched through JetBlue’s passenger records and sensitive personal information from a data broker to pinpoint possible terrorists did not violate federal privacy law, according to an investigation by the Army’s inspector general. The inspector general’s findings (PDF) were accepted by some, but critics say the report simply highlights the inability [...]

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The Call Is Cheap. The Wiretap Is Extra.

“At first glance, it might seem like the simple extension of a standard tool in the fight against the bad guys. But in fact, wiretapping Internet phones to monitor criminals and terrorists is costly and complex, and potentially a big burden on new businesses trying to sell the phone service. Earlier this month, the Federal [...]

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Ninth Circuit Declares Grokster, Morpheus Not Liable for Infringement

“California – Today the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals made a crucial decision (PDF) in support of technology innovators by declaring that distributors of the peer-to-peer software Grokster and Morpheus cannot be held liable for the infringing activities of their users. The Electronic Frontier Foundation argued on behalf of Streamcast, the creator of the Morpheus [...]

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Techies Praised for E-Vote Work

“The new national elections chairman this week praised computer scientists for calling attention to security problems with e-voting machines and for helping develop new standards for building machines that will be more secure in the future. “The country owes you a debt of thanks to have taken this challenge of voting systems seriously,” DeForest B. [...]

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Move money to high-end computing, connectivity, administration says

“Federal agencies should move research money into supercomputing and cyber infrastructure in fiscal 2006, the Bush administration says. Supercomputing and cyber infrastructure are two interagency areas to which agencies should reallocate funds from lower-priority research and development efforts, according to an Aug. 12 memo from the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of [...]

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Nevada officials back e-vote systems for primary, general election

“Nevada election officials are confident that an electronic voting system being used for the state’s Sept. 7 primary will perform well, despite a problem that showed up in a demonstration of the technology this month in California. Nevada also plans to use the system for the general election in November [...]” SOURCE: ComputerWorld

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The spyware inferno

“The proliferation of advertising programs on the PC is called by many names–most of which involve unprintable language. To the Slashdot crowd, it’s spyware and its authors should be burned at the stake. Some in Congress call it “cyber trespass” and want to outlaw specific “deceptive practices.” To Claria, the biggest company in the niche, [...]

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Congressional economists tackle copyright issues

“The Congressional Budget Office [CBO] released a new study on digital copyright issues Tuesday, outlining economic problems that Congress should keep in mind as it grapples with making new laws. While stopping short of specific legislative recommendations, the paper offers a set of principles for lawmakers that’s largely focused on avoiding being tied too closely [...]

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Big Business Becoming Big Brother

“The government is increasingly using corporations to do its surveillance work, allowing it to get around restrictions that protect the privacy and civil liberties of Americans, according to a report released Monday by the American Civil Liberties Union, an organization that works to protect civil liberties. Data aggregators — companies that aggregate information from numerous [...]

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House acts on research access

“WASHINGTON, AUG. 4 (UPI) — Anger over limits on access to research results, due largely to high publication prices, has risen to the point a federal backlash is brewing. Congress is moving to force a shift to “open access,” a form of free-to-consumer publishing, for scientific papers. The move angers commercial publishers, who see their [...]

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Passport ID Technology Has High Error Rate

“The State Department is moving ahead with a plan to implant electronic identification chips in U.S. passports that will allow computer matching of facial characteristics, despite warnings that the technology is prone to a high rate of error. Federal researchers, academics, industry experts and some privacy advocates say the government should instead use more-reliable fingerprints [...]

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Homeland research agency is funding advanced systems

“With a $1 billion R&D budget requested for fiscal 2006, the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency is funding advanced systems to detect biological, chemical, nuclear and cyber threats to U.S. citizens and infrastructures [...]” SOURCE: GCN

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Gates calls for more software research

Microsoft chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates on Monday called on the academic community to recruit more students into the software field as the company introduced a $1 million fund for university research. Speaking at a meeting between Microsoft Research and about 400 academics at its Redmond, Wash., headquarters, Gates said attracting the brightest [...]

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USACM Co-Chair Receives ACM SIGCAS 2004 Making a Difference Award

USACM Co-Chair Gene Spafford was recently awarded the ACM Special Interest Group on Computers and Society (SIGCAS) 2004 “Making a Difference Award.” The award is given annually to an individual nationally recognized for work related to the interaction of computers and society. The recipient is a leader in promoting awareness of ethical and social issues [...]

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ACM Washington Update Vol. 8.7 (July 30, 2004)

CONTENTS [1] USACM Voices Reservations About Induce Act (S. 2560) [2] USACM Endorses Congressional Testimony on IT R&D [3] Risks and Vulnerabilities of E-voting Continue to Stir Controversy [4] New Federal Court Decision and Administration Action Affect Privacy [5] CRA Awards Simons and Klawe at Snowbird Conference [6] Computer Science and Telecommunications Board Appoints New [...]

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