Category: crypto

  • Election Season is Over… It’s time to design the next Voting System

    You can’t design a voting system in the few months that precede an election. That’s why the year in between elections should be the most productive in designing new voting technology: no one from the press is paying attention, no one is rushing to merely patch their existing system, and opportunity abounds! And so, if […]

  • 2007: Controlled End-User Web APIs for Private-Data Mashups

    As far as technology goes, 2007 will be about web security. With everyone storing more and more personal data on various web sites, and with the continuing innovation of mash-ups, it’s inevitable. And it won’t be the web security issues of the last few years, either, it will all be about how to do private-data […]

  • Felten on Voting

    Ed Felten, who’s done some fantastic work on DRM and steganography, is writing more and more about voting systems. It’s great to see the community growing, but it’s also important to keep the academic debate alive. In that spirit, here goes some (hopefully constructive) criticism of Felten’s posts. In Paper Trail Standard Advances, Felten writes: […]

  • Presentations Galore!

    I spent a good chunk of November in Northern California, where I gave four talks on voting with different levels of cryptographic depth based on audience interest: SRI, Google, Berkeley, and Stanford. Thanks to my respective hosts at all of these places! I’ve posted all of my slides, as always under a Creative Commons license […]

  • The Punchscan FAQ Revisited

    David Chaum and his team have just released Punchscan v1, the first open-source implementation of a truly verifiable voting system. Like other voting systems in its class (there aren’t that many), it allows for truly open auditing and voter verification. And it’s extremely misunderstood. The Slashdot thread is way off the mark, so I thought […]

  • Slides from My Voting Review Talk

    Well, I had far too much material for my talk today… it’s not easy giving an overview of the works of Benaloh, Chaum, Neff, and other greats in the field! But I tried, and it was fun. I’ve posted the slides, though I never did get to the paper-based crypto systems. (There are 160 pages […]

  • Fixing Bugs and Breaking Certification

    During the primaries, voting machines in Maryland broke down. As a result, the manufacturer, Diebold, has been hard at work on a fix. Today, they claim to have fixed the problem, though the Maryland Election Commissioner is cautiously waiting until further tests are conducted ext week before breathing a sigh of relief. Clearly, this fix […]

  • A Talk on the History of Cryptographic Voting

    I’m giving a talk at Harvard CRCS, my new home, about the history of secure voting using cryptography. Here’s the full announcement: CRCS Privacy & Security Lunch Seminar Speaker: Ben Adida, Harvard CRCS Date: Wednesday, 27 September Time: 12-1:30 (lunch provided) Place: Maxwell Dworkin 119 (one floor above ground level) Title: A Brief History of […]

  • The Secret Ballot is not Optional

    Over on Scott Aaronson’s blog, I read an interesting post about voting, and one comment from Bram Cohen regarding a new voting proposal called VoiceVote. A few minutes into reading the proposal, I find the following: Why VOICE Permits Voters to Retain a Paper Copy of Their Ballot Giving the voter a paper record of […]

  • Princeton, Diebold, and the elephant in the room.

    Feldman, Halderman, and Felten (from Princeton) have just released an in-depth review of an actual Diebold Touchscreen voting machine. There isn’t anything surprising about their results, but it is a very good thing that it was done with this level of care, detail, and access. I particularly like the “Vote Stealing Control Panel,” which really […]

  • Scratch & Vote in the Press

    MIT Technology Review just published a description of Scratch & Vote, the simple paper-based cryptographic voting scheme that Ron Rivest and I devised. It’s great to see growing interest in cryptographic voting from the scientific press, especially since the debate has focused far too much on “paper or no paper,” when the real question should […]

  • DRM: failure by presumption of guilt

    Since the launch of the Apple Music Store, I have used filesharing software maybe twice. I simply haven’t found the need, and when I want a song, I’m happy to pay $1 for it. I was never super happy about the DRM, but Apple’s DRM didn’t ever prevent me from going about my usual dealings. […]

  • Viva la Defense

    My thesis defense, aka “viva voce”, aka “soutenance” is next Thursday, 9am. It’s open to the public, so if you’re really interested in cryptographic voting systems, you can come on over to the Stata Center. Now back to my slides….

  • So, I lied….

    It turns out, I’m giving another presentation before my defense… well, sort of, I’m on a panel at the Harvard Berkman Center’s Identity Mashup Conference in 10 days. Lots of very interesting folks getting together to discuss online identity. It should be quite interesting.

  • Talks Galore!

    I’ve given far too many talks over the last 2 months. You’d think I wasn’t defending my PhD thesis next month. All of my slides are available under a Creative Commons license, of course: Introduction to Cryptographic Voting, a lecture I gave in Kevin Fu‘s Applied Cryptography class at UMass Amherst. (Kevin was a classmate […]

  • Secure, scalable storage of personal genomic data

    Woohoo, I’m now a published genomics scientist. My work from last summer with Zak Kohane of the Harvard Medical School is now available as a preliminary abstract at BMC Genomics. We built the GenePING software, which extends the existing PING system to provide secure storage of large genomic data sets. So now you can get […]

  • WOTE 2006

    Peter Ryan, Ronald Rivest, and David Chaum are organizing the Workshop On Trustworthy Elections – 2006. I’m on the program committee. Send in your research! There’s much exciting work left to do in the voting field, and as the press begins to understand that neither touch-screens nor paper-trail machines are panaceas, there will emerge an […]

  • Cryptography and American Idol

    The Fox TV show American Idol receives in excess of 30 million votes per week. Every Tuesday night, contestants sing, then people vote, then every Wednesday night, the results are announced. No doubt that tens of millions of people watch on Wednesday night just to hear the results, announced with great dramatic emphasis by the […]

  • My First Podcast – on Digital Identity

    A few weeks ago, I attended Berkman’s Digital Identity gathering where we discussed the technical, legal, and business aspects of the Identity Metasystem, this new, meta approach to online identity promoted by Kim Cameron of Microsoft. I need to write up my thoughts in greater detail, but in the meantime, Aldo Castaneda interviewed me and […]

  • DRM stands for Incompatibility

    Ben Laurie finds that the disc shipped by Amazon does not conform to the audio CD standard. Why? Because the music publisher, EMI, is trying to prevent copying by shipping a disc that doesn’t quite behave like an audio CD, so that, for example, perfectly compliant audio CD players in computers aren’t able to read […]

  • Meeting of the Bens

    A couple of days ago, I had lunch with Ben Laurie and Ben Hyde. Great discussion about identity infrastructures and standards bodies. So I just read BenL’s post about the BenL+BenH idea of load-balancing a distributed hash table using logarithmic load hand-off… fantastic. The only downside I see is that this inherently increases the number […]