Benlog

crypto and public policy

Boston Magazine

Filed under: Publications & Press November 3, 2004 @ 12:30 pm

Boston Magazine‘s Jake Halpern wrote an article about my work in this month’s Boston Magazine.

Overall, as a high-level overview, it’s a decent article. Of course, there are a number of exaggerations I’d like to correct:

  • I’m not a star PhD student. I’m just a normal PhD student.
  • I’m not sure about the supposed “nodding somberly”, “heavy sigh”, and “mischievious smile”… as if somehow I have this enormous burden on my shoulders. I’m just one researcher looking at voting machines.
  • the scenario about rigged voting machines that use a specific time slot as a covert channel is not new. Nor is it incredibly likely. It’s just a quick scenario used to explain why simple arguments like “but the voting machine doesn’t know the candidates ahead of time, how can it be rigged?” are not sufficient to make me feel safe about DRE voting machines.

The difficulty in talking about this voting stuff (certainly the same issue that many other scientists deal with) is that people expect a black-and-white outcome. Machines are totally safe. Or, the world is going to crumble because these machines are the work of Satan. The truth is somewhere in the middle, of course. And the only way we can ensure safety is by having some people (like me) remain paranoid.

3 Comments

  1. Oliver Roup:

    I’d say he’s a super-star graduate student, but I suppose I’m a little biased.

  2. Wendy:

    You so cannot deny the mischievous smile.

  3. Mike Ananny:

    Yah, I don’t think I’ve heard too many sighs or seen too many somber nods but the smile, the smile I’ve seen. Totally mischievious … in a good way.

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