By David Edwards on 6/29/2006, 4:04pm PT  

Guest Blogged by David Edwards

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Brad appeared on this evening's edition of CNN Lou Dobbs Tonight. He explained some of the dangers of having wireless connections built-in to e-voting machines.

UPDATE FROM BRAD: Thanks for getting this up quickly, David! Was a quick piece tonight (made it back from a frantic trip back from San Diego just two minutes after my appointed time), but I'm pleased to be in the good company of Avi Rubin and Rep. Rush Holt in the Lou Dobbs report. I'm told they'll be using more of me tomorrow. We'll see. Ironically, I live about 3 blocks from the CNN building in Los Angeles and they've never called me in before...until I was several hours away in San Diego. No rest for the weary.

Full text transcript follows...


Aired June 29, 2006 - 18:00 ET

Coming up next, hackers could erase your vote, they could change your vote, they could swing the next election. Electronic voting machines less secure than video games. Our special report on democracy at risk, next.

Stay with us.


DOBBS: Tonight, further evidence of the extraordinary threat to our democracy from electronic voting machines. Many Americans now cast their ballots on electronic voting machines, but security on many machines is, at best, lax. So lax, in fact, that a hacker can change the outcome of an election without even touching the voting machines.

Kitty Pilgrim reports.


KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In an election, wireless voting machines are at the biggest risk for voter fraud. According to the recently released Brennan report, someone with a hand-held device like a Palm Pilot or other personal digital device could alter a vote in a computer on Election Day.

Voter activists are concerned.

BRAD FRIEDMAN, BRADBLOG.COM: You can change the software, you can infect the system with a virus. There's all sorts of ways that you can affect these machines using these infrared ports and other wireless devices.

PILGRIM: Some e-voting machines use commercially available computer components that have a wireless feature included. Experts say if that feature is dormant, it could theoretically be activated by a hacker.

AVI RUBIN, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY: The minute you introduce the capability to communicate over wireless networks, now you don't even require the attacker to physically be there. They could be sitting in a car across the street from the polling station and changing the software on the voting machine, possibly.

PILGRIM: The Brennan report, compiled by a panel of computer and election experts, plainly states, "The threat analysis shows that machines with wireless components are particularly vulnerable to software attack programs and other attacks." And adds, "Despite that, vendors continue to manufacture and sell machines with wireless components."

Two states, New York and Minnesota, have banned voting machines with wireless technology.

Representative Rush Holt and 190 other members of the House of Representatives have signed on to legislation to ban wireless connections for all electronic voting machines.

REP. RUSH HOLT (D), NEW JERSEY: All of the kinds of voting systems out there can be tampered with. Votes could be lost or stolen.

Secondly, that there --- that it is an urgent problem. This is not some sort of theoretical problem that might happen some day in the future, but that it is urgent.

PILGRIM: Holt says it is not too late to intervene for the November elections, but time is running out.


PILGRIM: The Federal Oversight Committee on Elections allows wireless voting technology, but not all members of that panel were convinced it was safe. Some members of that panel expressed concerns, but still federal guidelines currently allow it --- Lou.

DOBBS: Amazing. Thank you very much, Kitty.

Kitty Pilgrim.

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