Tuesday, March 07, 2017

The Price of Elections: Cyber Landscapes - Who Counts The Votes

INK BOTTLE“Hain’t we got all the fools in town on our side? And ain’t that a big enough majority in any town?”
~ Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

One of them shouted down a warning, but it was too late. The leaves brushed him down almost delicately. The small branches encaged him. And then the tree and the whole hill crushed him together...

Economist Dorothy Rice passes away

Western Australia's Web votes have security worries, say 'white hat' mathematicians

For Imrich Millionaire Immigrants, a Global Welcome Mat The New York Times

New York Times – F.B.I. Chief Urges Justice Dept. to Reject Wiretap Claim – “The F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, asked the Justice Department this weekend to publicly reject President Trump’s assertion that President Barack Obama ordered the tapping of Mr. Trump’s phones, senior American officials said on Sunday. Mr. Comey has argued that the highly charged claim is false and must be corrected, they said, but the department has not released any such statement. Mr. Comey, who made the request on Saturday after Mr. Trump leveled his allegation on Twitter, has been working to get the Justice Department to knock down the claim because it falsely insinuates that the F.B.I. broke the law, the officials said

D.C. Circuit cites My Cousin Vinny while ruling protesters can be charged under a law banning “Harangues or Orations.” Uhh… everything the D.C. Circuit just said is bullsh*t… Thank you. [Election Law Blog]

Czech (sic) out the texts of the three bills that every law reformer in the world is eyeing:
·         The Cybersecurity Responsibility Act
·         The Interagency Cybersecurity Cooperation Act
·         The Securing IoT Act 
Russia’s meddling in US election could be ‘act of war’, says Nato commander Independent. Unproven to at best thin and overhyped insinuations that the NSA, which had the best view of things, won’t endorse, may be an act of war. Help me. Martha r: “I’m just noting continuing push to expand definition of ‘act of war’. So is it an act of war to call certain things acts of war that aren’t?
do TPTB want war now so they can declare martial law? I wouldn’t be surprised.” So what happens if Marine Le Pen unexpectedly wins? Will that be declared to be impossible ex Russian meddling and hence an act of war?

How to get a nice, highly paid job in a bank 

In the last week or so, two former state premiers, Anna Bligh and Mike Baird have been appointed to highly paid jobs in the banking sector. In both cases there was some peripheral controversy. In Bligh’s case, some Liberals, including Scott Morrison, apparently felt that such jobs should be reserved for their side of politics. In Baird’s case, it was the fact that he took the bogus claim to be “spending more time with his family” to new extremes, giving lots of details on family problems and then deciding that six weeks was quite enough time to spend dealing with them.
These controversies obscured the key qualification held by Bligh and Baird for their new jobs; both had greatly enriched the banking sector by pushing through unpopular privatisations. Others enjoying similar rewards include Paul Keating (advisor to Lazard Freres), Alan Stockdale (Macquarie Bank) and Nick Greiner (too many to lost). By contrast, opponents of privatisation rarely find cushy jobs like this flowing their way. Of course, there’s no direct quid pro quo here. The banks and organizations offering the jobs aren’t, in general, the ones that collected fees from the particular privatisations in question. It’s rather that, politicians who are nice to the banking sector are well regarded, and eventually well rewarded, by that sector.
With such an incentive structure in place, it’s hardly surprising that privatisation is never far from the top of the political agenda, despite its extreme unpopularity with Australian voters.

There are plenty of limitations to how humans process facts. But headlines like "Fact-checking doesn't change people's minds" and "Why facts don't change our minds" portray an unnaturally bleak reality. A study published yesterday concludes that fact-checking may be an effective medicine against misinformation. However, it doesn't seem likely to move people at the ballot box. (More studies on the effects of fact-checking here: 1, 2, 3).

All major EU countries have at least one continuous, dedicated political fact-checking project. Germany's outfits have been on-again, off-again. Libération explores whether this is a question of journalistic exceptionalism or political culture.

Despite her quite logical protests, a Virginia college student was the target of viral fakery on social media. “It takes a little bit of digital literacy to not make a mistake and accuse the wrong people. Innocent people can get caught up in this,” a college professor lamented.