The technical problems of onnline voting

From: Geoff Kuenning
Date: April 23, 2016
Re In proof we trust

Over and over we see proposals for various forms of online voting. Everybody who does the proposing seems to think that the technical problem that needs to be solved is ensuring that the vote gets recorded correctly and securely.  And they think that the social problem is to make voting easier.
Secure and correct recording of votes is certainly a precondition. But there is another aspect of reliable elections that is studiously (and I suspect purposely) ignored by every proposer: the problem of vote selling and forced voting.
There is a reason why voting systems require ballots to be cast in a private booth, but in a public venue where monitors can be certain that nobody else can verify how you voted.  Any system that allows another person to determine how you voted, immediately or after the fact, is fundamentally fraudulent.  (And yes, that applies to absentee ballots and the current mania for mail-in voting.)

Geoff Kuenning  http://www.cs.hmc.edu/~geoff/
An undocumented program is as useless as a non-working one.

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College: Sell Side School Ties

We study the impact of social networks on agents’ ability to gather superior information about firms.
Once reliable source of alpha that’s gone post-Reg FD: analysts with ivy league school ties to executives.
Sell Side School Ties: Internet Appendix
The paper “Sell Side School Ties” may be found at http://ssrn.com/abstract=1095808

Lauren Cohen
Harvard Business School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Andrea Frazzini
AQR Capital Management, LLC
Christopher J. Malloy
Harvard Business School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
April 4, 2016
Abstract:
We study the impact of social networks on agents’ ability to gather superior information about firms.
Exploiting novel data on the educational backgrounds of sell side equity analysts and senior officers of firms, we test the hypothesis that analysts’ school ties to senior officers impart comparative information advantages in the production of analyst research. We find evidence that analysts outperform on their stock recommendations when they have an educational link to the company. A simple portfolio strategy of going long the buy recommendations with school ties and going short buy recommendations without ties earns returns of 6.60% per year. We test whether Regulation FD, targeted at impeding selective disclosure, constrained the use of direct access to senior management. We find a large effect: pre-Reg FD the return premium from school ties was 9.36% per year, while post-Reg FD the return premium is nearly zero and insignificant. In contrast, in an environment that did not change selective disclosure regulation (the UK), the analyst school-tie premium has remained large and significant over the entire sample period.

Declassify 28 pages on foreign government ties to 9/11

https://28pages.org/
Declassify 28 pages on foreign government ties to 9/11
Congressman Thomas Massie described the 28 pages as “shocking” and said, “I had to stop every couple pages and…try to rearrange my understanding of history. It challenges you to rethink everything.”
FACT: 28 pages documenting specific indications of foreign government support of the 9/11 hijackers are being hidden from the American people.

Kuwait to DNA test tourists and Citizens

Kuwait will DNA “tag” everybody with the new DNA legislation that will become law this year. Kuwait will have a database including DBA fingerprints of allcitizens, residents and visitors. This law is the first of its kind in the world and Kuwait is the first country worldwide to apply the system.
Citizens and Tourists entering the country will submit.
Tourists and visitors to Kuwait will get their DNA taken through specimens of saliva or a few drops of blood done at a special DNA testing facility at the airport. There will be “consequences of rejecting its procedures” for visitors who refuse the mandatory test.
http://news.kuwaittimes.net/website/kuwait-to-enforce-dna-testing-law-on-citizens-expats-visitors-tests-wont-be-used-to-determine-genealogy-affect-freedoms/
archive

SS7 Hacking Your Phone the dirty little secret of international espionage.

The SS7 breach Signalling System Number Researchers discovered security flaws in SS7 that allow listening to private phone calls and intercepting text messages on a potentially massive scale – even when cellular networks are using the most advanced encryption now available. You could be bugged, tracked and hacked from anywhere in the world. It’s long been the dirty little secret of international espionage, and what you can do about it.

Pot is Kosher for Passover 2016

Pot is Kosher for Passover
“Getting baked on Passover is no longer just for matzah, a leading Orthodox rabbi ruled, after sniffing (but not smoking) some cannabis leaves…”
Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, Israel’s leading Orthodox halachic (Jewish law) authority, ruled that cannabis is kosher for Passover and can be either eaten or smoked over the eight-day festival, during which strict dietary laws apply. Kanievsky issued the ruling in response to a query from the cannabis advocacy group Siach which means both “plant” and “conversation” in Hebrew.
Kanievky stipulated that the plant is still considered a member of the /kitniyot/ group of legumes that are forbidden on Passover among Jews of Ashkenazi (East European) origin. But, he said, if used for medical purposes, cannabis is permitted for Jews from all backgrounds. /Kitniyot/ foods—including rice, corn and beans—have always been permissible for Sephardic (Spanish or Middle Eastern) Jews on Passover but have been banned by Ashkenazic rabbis since the Middle Ages.
The account says that after examining a handful of cannabis leaves, Rabbi Kanievsky and Rabbi Yitzchok Zilberstein, another leading Orthodox authority, declared that the plant had a “healing smell” and made the traditional blessing for fragrant herbs.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEJjSuqcwtU]

FBI paid hackers to crack iPhone

FBI paid professional hackers one-time fee to crack San Bernardino iPhone
By Ellen Nakashima
Apr 12 2016
The FBI cracked a San Bernardino terrorist’s phone with the help of professional hackers who discovered and brought to the bureau at least one previously unknown software flaw, according to people familiar with the matter.
The new information was then used to create a piece of hardware that helped the FBI to crack the iPhone’s four-digit personal identification number without triggering a security feature that would have erased all the data, the individuals said.
The researchers, who typically keep a low profile, specialize in hunting for vulnerabilities in software and then in some cases selling them to the U.S. government. They were paid a one-time flat fee for the solution.
Cracking the four-digit PIN, which the FBI had estimated would take 26 minutes, was not the hard part for the bureau. The challenge from the beginning was disabling a feature on the phone that wipes data stored on the device after 10 incorrect tries at guessing the code. A second feature also steadily increases the time allowed between attempts.
The bureau in this case did not need the services of the Israeli firm Cellebrite, as some earlier reports had suggested, people familiar with the matter said.
The U.S. government now has to weigh whether to disclose the flaws to Apple, a decision that probably will be made by a White House-led group.
The people who helped the U.S. government come from the sometimes shadowy world of hackers and security researchers who profit from finding flaws in companies’ software or systems.
Some hackers, known as “white hats,” disclose the vulnerabilities to the firms responsible for the software or to the public so they can be fixed and are generally regarded as ethical. Others, called “black hats,” use the information to hack networks and steal people’s personal information.
At least one of the people who helped the FBI in the San Bernardino case falls into a third category, often considered ethically murky: researchers who sell flaws — for instance, to governments or to companies that make surveillance tools.
This last group, dubbed “gray hats,” can be controversial. Critics say they might be helping governments spy on their own citizens. Their tools, however, might also be used to track terrorists or hack an adversary spying on the United States. These researchers do not disclose the flaws to the companies responsible for the software, as the exploits’ value depends on the software remaining vulnerable.
In the case of the San Bernardino iPhone, the solution brought to the bureau has limited shelf life.
[snip]

Thank Your Super Delegate For Supporting Bernie Sanders

Thank Your Super Delegate for supporting Bernie Sanders

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Thank Your Super Delegate
for supporting Bernie Sanders

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Lee Saunders @BernieSanders
Rick Wade @BernieSanders

DELAWARE

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Bob Gilligan @BernieSanders
Gov. Jack Markell @BernieSanders

FLORIDA

Jon M. Ausman @BernieSanders
Bret Berlin @BernieSanders
Stephen Bittel @BernieSanders
Rep. Corinne Brown @BernieSanders
Mitchell Caesar @BernieSanders
Rep. Kathy Castor @BernieSanders
Alan Clendenin @BernieSanders
State Rep. Joyce Cusack @BernieSanders
Rep. Ted Deutch @BernieSanders
Joe Falk @BernieSanders
Rep. Lois Frankel @BernieSanders
Angel Gomez @BernieSanders
Alma Gonzalez @BernieSanders
Rep. Gwen Graham @BernieSanders
Rep. Alcee Hastings @BernieSanders
Tony Hill @BernieSanders
Mayor Cindy Lerner @BernieSanders
Rep. Patrick Murphy @BernieSanders
Sen. Bill Nelson @BernieSanders
Annette Taddeo @BernieSanders
Allison Tant @BernieSanders
Alan Williams @BernieSanders
Rep. Frederica Wilson @BernieSanders

GEORGIA

Dan Halpern @BernieSanders
Rep. Hank Johnson @BernieSanders
Rep. John Lewis @BernieSanders
DuBose Porter @BernieSanders
Mayor Kasim Reed @BernieSanders
Sally Rosser @BernieSanders
Rep. David Scott @BernieSanders
State Rep. Pam Stephenson @BernieSanders
Nikema Williams @BernieSanders
David Worley @BernieSanders

GUAM

Rep. Madeleine Bordallo @BernieSanders
State Sen. Rory Respicio @BernieSanders

HAWAII

Sen. Mazie Hirono @BernieSanders
Jadine Nielson @BernieSanders
Russell Okata @BernieSanders
Sen. Brian Schatz @BernieSanders
Rep. Mark Takai @BernieSanders
Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui @BernieSanders

IOWA

Jan Bauer @BernieSanders
Scott Brennan @BernieSanders
State. Sen. Michael Gronstal @BernieSanders
Danny Homan @BernieSanders
Linda Langston @BernieSanders
Rep. Dave Loebsack @BernieSanders
Sandy Opstvedt @BernieSanders

IDAHO

Carolyn Boyce @BernieSanders

ILLINOIS

Carrie Austin @BernieSanders
Rep. Cheri Bustos @BernieSanders
State Sen. James Clayborne, Jr. @BernieSanders
Rep. Jerry Costello @BernieSanders
State Sen. John Cullerton @BernieSanders
Rep. Danny Davis @BernieSanders
Rep. Tammy Duckworth @BernieSanders
Sen. Dick Durbin @BernieSanders
Rep. Bill Foster @BernieSanders
Rep. Luis Gutiérrez @BernieSanders
John Keller @BernieSanders
Rep. Robin Kelly @BernieSanders
State Sen. Iris Martinez @BernieSanders
Jayne Mazzotti @BernieSanders
Steven Powell @BernieSanders
Rep. Mike Quigley @BernieSanders
Laura Ricketts @BernieSanders
State Sen. Carol Ronen @BernieSanders
Rep. Bobby Rush @BernieSanders
Rep. Jan Schakowsky @BernieSanders
Karen Yarbrough @BernieSanders

INDIANA

Dean Boerste @BernieSanders
Cordelia Burks @BernieSanders
Rep. André Carson @BernieSanders
Sen. Joe Donnelly @BernieSanders
Lacy Johnson @BernieSanders
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KANSAS

Teresa Garcia Krusor @BernieSanders

KENTUCKY

Charlotte Lundergan @BernieSanders

LOUISIANA

State Sen. Karen Carter Peterson @BernieSanders
Gov. John Bel Edwards @BernieSanders
Deborah Langhoff @BernieSanders
State Rep. Arthur Morrell @BernieSanders
Rep. Cedric Richmond @BernieSanders
Shane Riddle @BernieSanders
Arlanda Williams @BernieSanders

MAINE

Maggie Allen @BernieSanders
Rep. Chellie Pingree @BernieSanders
Peggy Schaffer @BernieSanders

MASSACHUSETTS

Gus Bickford @BernieSanders
Rep. Michael Capuano @BernieSanders
Rep. Katherine Clark @BernieSanders
Kate Donaghue @BernieSanders
Steve Grossman @BernieSanders
State Rep. Ray Jordan @BernieSanders
Elaine Kamarck @BernieSanders
Rep. William Keating @BernieSanders
Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III @BernieSanders
Rep. Stephen F. Lynch @BernieSanders
Sen. Ed Markey @BernieSanders
Rep. Jim McGovern @BernieSanders
Rep. Seth Moulton @BernieSanders
Rep. Richard Neal @BernieSanders
David O’Brien @BernieSanders
Rep. Niki Tsongas @BernieSanders

MARYLAND

Sen. Ben Cardin @BernieSanders
Maria Cordone @BernieSanders
Rep. Elijah Cummings @BernieSanders
Rep. John Delaney @BernieSanders
Rep. Donna Edwards @BernieSanders
Rep. Steny Hoyer @BernieSanders
Bel Leong-Hong @BernieSanders
Yvette Lewis @BernieSanders
Sen. Barbara Mikulski @BernieSanders
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Carol Pensky @BernieSanders
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Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger @BernieSanders
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Rep. Chris Van Hollen @BernieSanders

MICHIGAN

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Rep. Brenda Lawrence @BernieSanders
Rep. Sander Levin @BernieSanders
Sen. Gary Peters @BernieSanders
Sen. Debbie Stabenow @BernieSanders

MINNESOTA

Gov. Mark Dayton @BernieSanders
Sen. Al Franken @BernieSanders
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Sen. Amy Klobuchar @BernieSanders
Ken Martin @BernieSanders
Rep. Betty McCollum @BernieSanders
Vice Pres. Walter Mondale @BernieSanders
Javier Morillo-Alicea @BernieSanders
Nancy Schumacher @BernieSanders
Lori Sellner @BernieSanders
Rick Stafford @BernieSanders
Rep. Tim Walz @BernieSanders

MISSISSIPPI

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Rep. Bennie Thompson @BernieSanders

MISSOURI

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Darlene Green @BernieSanders
Mayor Sly James @BernieSanders
Sen. Claire McCaskill @BernieSanders
Gov. Jay Nixon @BernieSanders
Sandy Querry @BernieSanders
Brian Wahby @BernieSanders

NEBRASKA

Rep. Brad Ashford @BernieSanders
Ron Kaminski @BernieSanders
Patricia Zieg @BernieSanders

NEVADA

State Sen. Ruben Kihuen @BernieSanders
Andrew Ramirez @BernieSanders
Sen. Harry Reid @BernieSanders
Rep. Dina Titus @BernieSanders

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Joanne Dowdell @BernieSanders
Gov. Maggie Hassan @BernieSanders
Rep. Annie Kuster @BernieSanders
Billy Shaheen @BernieSanders
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen @BernieSanders
Kathy Sullivan @BernieSanders

NEW JERSEY

Sen. Cory Booker @BernieSanders
Tonio Burgos @BernieSanders
Barbra Casbar Siperstein @BernieSanders
John Currie @BernieSanders
Lizette Delgado Polanco @BernieSanders
Rep. Frank Pallone @BernieSanders
Rep. Bill Pascrell @BernieSanders
Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. @BernieSanders
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman @BernieSanders

NEW MEXICO

Sen. Martin Heinrich @BernieSanders
Rep. Ben R. Luján @BernieSanders
Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham @BernieSanders
Raymond Sanchez @BernieSanders
Sen. Tom Udall @BernieSanders

NEW YORK

Stuart Appelbaum @BernieSanders
Laphonza Butler @BernieSanders
Rep. Yvette Clarke @BernieSanders
 
Maria C. Cole @BernieSanders
Sheila Comar @BernieSanders
Rep. Joseph Crowley @BernieSanders
Jennifer Cunningham @BernieSanders
Gov. Andrew Cuomo @BernieSanders
Ralph Dawson @BernieSanders
Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel @BernieSanders
Rep. Eliot Engel @BernieSanders
Herman Farrell @BernieSanders
Hector Figueroa @BernieSanders
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand @BernieSanders
Emily Giske @BernieSanders
Rep. Brian Higgins @BernieSanders
Rep. Steve Israel @BernieSanders
Jay Jacobs @BernieSanders
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries @BernieSanders
Sarah Kovner @BernieSanders
Rep. Nita Lowey @BernieSanders
Rep. Carolyn Maloney @BernieSanders
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney @BernieSanders
Rep. Gregory W. Meeks @BernieSanders
Rep. Grace Meng @BernieSanders
Stephanie Miner @BernieSanders
Rep. Jerrold Nadler @BernieSanders
Rep. Charles Rangel @BernieSanders
Rep. Kathleen Rice @BernieSanders
Dennis Rivera @BernieSanders
Sen. Chuck Schumer @BernieSanders
Rep. José E. Serrano @BernieSanders
Rep. Louise Slaughter @BernieSanders
Gerry Sweeney @BernieSanders
Rep. Paul Tonko @BernieSanders
Rep. Nydia Velázquez @BernieSanders
Randi Weingarten @BernieSanders
Rob Zimmerman @BernieSanders

NORTH CAROLINA

Rep. Alma Adams @BernieSanders
Rep. G.K. Butterfield @BernieSanders
Jeannette Council @BernieSanders
Janet Cowell @BernieSanders
Jeffrey David Cox @BernieSanders
Olma Echeverri @BernieSanders
Akilah Ensley @BernieSanders
Rep. David Price @BernieSanders

NORTH DAKOTA

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp @BernieSanders

NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS

Rosiky F. Camacho @BernieSanders
Emelia S. Chargualaf @BernieSanders
Thersita B. Pertduo @BernieSanders
Gregorio Sablan @BernieSanders
John Tunela @BernieSanders

OHIO

Rep. Joyce Beatty @BernieSanders
Sen. Sherrod Brown @BernieSanders
Jocelyn Bucaro @BernieSanders
Kathleen Clyde @BernieSanders
Isabel Framer @BernieSanders
Pat Frost Brooks @BernieSanders
Rep. Marcia Fudge @BernieSanders
Mark Mallory @BernieSanders
Ronald Malone @BernieSanders
Joe Rugola @BernieSanders
Rep. Tim Ryan @BernieSanders
Mayor Nan Whaley @BernieSanders
David Wilhelm @BernieSanders

OKLAHOMA

Betty McElderry @BernieSanders

OREGON

Rep. Earl Blumenauer @BernieSanders
Rep. Suzanne Bonamici @BernieSanders
Gov. Kate Brown @BernieSanders
Ellen Rosenblum @BernieSanders
Rep. Kurt Schrader @BernieSanders
Sen. Ron Wyden @BernieSanders

PENNSYLVANIA

Richard Bloomingdale @BernieSanders
Rep. Matt Cartwright @BernieSanders
Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. @BernieSanders
Tony Coelho @BernieSanders
Rep. Chaka Fattah @BernieSanders
Ronald Donatucci @BernieSanders
Penny Gerber @BernieSanders
Amanda Green-Hawkins @BernieSanders
Marcel Groen @BernieSanders
Gerald Lawrence @BernieSanders
Nancy Mills @BernieSanders
Ian Murray @BernieSanders
Mayor Michael Nutter @BernieSanders
Evie Rafalko McNulty @BernieSanders
Gov. Ed Rendell @BernieSanders

REVEALED: Privacy International Releases Trove of Documents That Proves Staggering Reach of Surveillance Agencies

REVEALED: Privacy International Releases Trove of Documents That Proves Staggering Reach of Surveillance Agencies
20 April 2016
Previously confidential documents published today reveal the staggering extent of UK Government surveillance that has been kept secret from the public and Parliament for the last 15 years. Revealed in a case brought by Privacy International about the use of so-called ‘Bulk Personal Datasets’ and a law dating back to 1984, the extracts show that the UK Government’s intelligence services, GCHQ, MI5, and MI6, routinely requisition personal data from potentially thousands of public and private organisations. This includes data held by financial institutions and may also include anything from confidential NHS records to databases of people who have signed electronic petitions.
The term ‘Bulk Personal Datasets’ was first used in March last year in an Intelligence & Security Committee (ISC) Report. Even the ISC, the Parliamentary Committee that oversees the work of the intelligence agencies and has full security clearance, was unaware of the use of BPDs until recently. The papers released today act as proof of, and show the sheer scale of, British intelligence agency surveillance of our personal data. It goes far beyond monitoring our text messages, email messages, and social media posts. The intelligence agencies have secretly given themselves access to potentially any and all recorded information about us.
The documents reveal the potential to requisition medical records and confidential information shared with a doctor (including blood group, physical characteristics (hair/eye colour), biometrics), travel records, financial records, population data, commercial data (details of corporations and individuals involved in commercial activities), regular feeds from internet and phone companies, billing data or subscriber details, content of communications (including with lawyers, MPs, or doctors), and records from government departments.
The Intelligence and Security Committee reported (paras 156, 158) that there are hundreds of millions of records which may be linked together. The datasets are likely to contain significant quantities of information about British citizens. None of the intelligence agencies have been able to provide statistics about the volume of personal information about British citizens included in the datasets.
The extent of abuses of personal sensitive data has also been revealed for the first time. In recent years only three cases of non-compliance or misuse resulted in staff being disciplined. It is not apparent that any victims have been notified.
The documents also describe the intelligence agencies’ use of Section 94 of The Telecommunications Act 1984 to access data in bulk. The Telecommunications Act is pre-internet legislation that was never intended to enable this level of intrusion in a digital age. Until November 2015 that use of Section 94 to require telecommunications companies to provide bulk access to communications data outside the protections of the RIPA (Regulation of Investigatory Powers Bill) regime was unknown…..
< – >
UPDATE
Court asks DOJ for basic info on NITs. DOJ says “no” and all but slaps the court in the face

'three-year-look-back rule' issued by the Treasury

THREE-YEAR RULE
 
The new rule does not allow stock accumulated through a foreign company’s U.S. deals in the last three years to count towards the book value needed to meet the inversion threshold.
This weighed on Allergan heavily because of its significant deals in this timeframe. These include the $66 billion merger of Allergan and Actavis Plc, the $25 billion purchase of Forest Laboratories and the $5 billion takeover of Warner Chilcott.
“The serial acquisition portion of the regulations will cause Pfizer to be treated as an ‘expatriated entity’ (under the terms of its existing deal with Allergan),” Robert Willens, a corporate tax and accounting analyst, wrote in a note.