Four short links: 29 November 2017
Avoiding State Surveillance, Parallel Algorithms, Smart Tactics, and Voting Security
- The Motherboard Guide to Avoiding State Surveillance — a lot of good advice, even if you’re not at risk from a nation state (e.g., don’t run your own mail server).
- A Library of Parallel Algorithms (CMU) — what it says on the box. See also CMU’s “Algorithm Design: Parallel and Sequential” book.
- EFF’s Clever Tactic (Cory Doctorow) — when you argue about DRM, the pro-DRM side always says that all this stuff is an unfortunate side-effect of the law, and that they’re really only trying to stop pirates, promise and cross my heart. So, here’s what we did at the W3C: we proposed a membership rule that would allow members to use DRM law to sue anyone who infringed their copyrights—but took away their rights to sue people who were breaking DRM for some other reason, like adapting works for people with disabilities, or investigating critical security flaws, or creating legal, innovative new businesses. Needless to say, they didn’t go for that proposal, which revealed their true motives.
- Cybersecurity of Voting Machines (Matt Blaze) — his written testimony before Congress. I offer three specific recommendations: (1) Paperless DRE voting machines should be immediately phased out from U.S. elections in favor of systems, such as precinct-counted optical scan ballots, that leave a direct artifact of the voter’s choice. (2) Statistical “risk limiting audits” should be used after every election to detect software failures and attacks. (3) Additional resources, infrastructure, and training should be made available to state and local voting officials to help them more effectively defend their systems against increasingly sophisticated adversaries.