The trustworthiness of electronic voting machines has once again come under scrutiny after a touch screen in North Carolina flipped a man’s vote from Democrat to Republican in a key Senate race. “Percy Bostick, 69, of Greensboro said he tried casting a vote for Democrat Kay Hagan at the Old Guilford County Courthouse, only to have the machine register Republican Thom Tillis as his choice,” reports the News-Record. Bostick was forced to vote four times before the machine accurately recorded his choice.
Cybersecurity experts have warned that a highly flawed and vulnerable electronic voting system in Alaska could, by itself, swing the entire outcome of the mid-term elections and decide whether Democrats remain in control of the Senate. A report from The Intercept highlights how easy hackers could intercept and change electronic ballots before they are counted by county elections departments in the Last Frontier State. The report notes that thousands of voters will register electronically to receive a PDF ballot on their computer.
An unmanned commercial rocket headed for the International Space Station to deliver supplies exploded just after launching Tuesday, filling the sky with a massive fireball. The Antares rocket supplied by contractor Orbital Sciences blew up moments after liftoff at NASA’s space launch facility on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, the space agency said. The explosion destroyed the rocket and spacecraft and immediately raised questions about the future of NASA’s reliance on private commercial ventures to carry vital payloads into space to supply and support the orbiting space station.
In a surprise move late Friday, a key Democrat on the Federal Election Commission called for burdensome new rules on Internet-based campaigning, prompting the Republican chairman to warn that Democrats want to regulate online political sites and even news media like the Drudge Report. Democratic FEC Vice Chair Ann M. Ravel announced plans to begin the process to win regulations on Internet-based campaigns and videos, currently free from most of the FEC’s rules.
Months after the Federal Communications Commission was forced to withdraw a newsroom study many viewed as an attempt to censor the media, the government is making a second attempt by studying “social pollution” on Twitter, and engaging in a free-speech analysis one FCC commissioner described as “straight out of a George Orwell novel.” The National Science Foundation — the federal agency charged with promoting science, advancing welfare and securing national defense — is funding said study by researchers at Indiana University, who will mine Twitter data and categorize users’ politically related tweets into convenient government definitions of “social pollution,” “social epidemics” and “misinformation.” Two of those same researchers, Filippo Menczer and Alessandro Flammini, co-authored a paper in 2012 examining social media use during the 2010 midterm election, which focused on “right-leaning Twitter users” who exhibited “greater levels of political activity, a more tightly interconnected social structure, and a communication network topology that facilitates the rapid and broad dissemination of political information.
The folks at NewDealDesign, the San Francisco-based design company behind the Fitbit Force wellness watch, drafted a mock-up of the tattoo for Fast Company’s Wearables Week. They called it ‘Project Underskin.’ The foundation of Underskin would be a visible tattoo implanted in the knuckle of the thumb and a larger, invisible tattoo implanted in the palm, according to Fast Company.
This morning Wikileaks published a second leaked draft of the Intellectual Property chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The draft confirms people’s worst fears about Internet censorship. That’s according to community-based organization OpenMedia, which is leading a large international Fair Deal Coalition aimed at securing balanced copyright rules for the 21st Century.
Cyber-criminals will trigger the next global financial crisis by making a major bank “disappear”, one of the UK’s leading finance chiefs has claimed. Mark Boleat, head of policy for the City of London, said cyber-criminals would go about “destroying bank records and changing the amounts people have in their accounts”, sending shockwaves through the financial system like a “neutron bomb”. People would find that their savings have been wiped out, their records deleted, and they would come up against “denials of service”, stopping them from accessing funds, Mr Boleat told The Sunday Telegraph.
What is our society going to look like when our faces are being tracked literally everywhere that we go? As part of the FBI’s new Next Generation Identification System, a facial recognition database known as the Interstate Photo System will have collected 52 million of our faces by the end of 2015. But that is only a small part of the story.
The number of websites has burst above one billion and is growing apace, according to figures updated in real time by online tracker Internet Live Stats. Tim Berners-Lee, considered the father of the World Wide Web, touted the milestone on Twitter — one of the most prominent websites in the mushrooming but sometimes murky Internet world. It comes as the agency responsible for managing addresses on the Internet expands choices far beyond “.