The threats against cyber-voting are real by: Ken Tuckey

By  | April 18, 2018 | 18 Comments | Filed under: uncategorized
Opinion12:31 PMCambridge Times

Re: “Fears about city website ‘hack’ overblown” letter to the editor by Mayor Doug Craig in April 12 Cambridge Times

For the facts on cybersecurity and online voting, I encourage the residents of Cambridge to view a short presentation by Dr. Aleksander Essex, a Western University cybersecurity expert specializing in trustworthy elections, who patiently waited over two hours for an invitation to present.

The public record of the presentation is contained in the March 27 council meeting and starts at the 2:14 mark in the video: (or search: Cambridge Council March 27, 2018).

The segment starts with Mayor Craig attempting to prevent Dr. Essex from addressing “open session” of council offering instead a meeting “outside of council” with himself and the city clerk. After a number of councillors insisted on hearing the presentation in open session, Mayor Craig had no choice but to move forward with a recorded vote on the motion. The mayor was defeated by a margin of 7-2, muttering to city manager Dyke, “I can’t believe it,” as Coun. Reid was his only follower.

It was reassuring to see that good governance had prevailed.

In his presentation, Dr. Essex, PhD computer science, was clear in stating the facts:

Fact: The required technology for cybersecure online voting does not exist.

Fact: A vote “cast into cyberspace” could be “hacked” prior to reaching the server destination.

Fact: There is no way to confirm an online vote was actually cast, received or counted.

Fact: Servers and vendors often reside in other countries which is a jurisdictional concern.

Fact: The only safe and secure voting method is in person and on a paper ballot.

I was impressed in hearing seven of our eight councillors participate with thoughtful questions engaging Dr. Essex in a constructive dialogue on their own security concerns of online voting. In contrast, I found Mayor Craig’s defensive retorts and reprimand of Dr. Essex both odd and distracting. When presented with the facts, the mayor seemed to be living in denial of the cybersecurity risks that surround online voting.

Residents of Cambridge, the facts on cybersecurity using the above link are only a few clicks away for all of us to evaluate. Also included is a good example of our council in session for reference when you cast your vote in the Oct. 22 municipal election, hopefully, using a secure paper ballot.

Ken Tuckey





18 Responses to The threats against cyber-voting are real by: Ken Tuckey

    Maggie April 18, 2018 at 6:53 pm

    As usual Mr. Tuckey has the facts. Dr. A. Essex also had professional facts.
    The City Staff member that spoke last night at the Council meeting didn’t have a clue what he was talking about. He did not do a good presentation and definitely had trouble answering questions.
    Of course we know that the 2014 Election was a farce – voting stations removed from Sr. Homes, people did not get their voting slips, people out-of-country got their voting slips, underage kids got voting slips – so this internet voting is just plain stupid & the City does not have a clue who voted legally on internet!
    Thank goodness all councillors but one, Donna Reid & the Mayor, voted to listen to Dr. Essex who knew what he was talking about.
    Cambridge residents – view this video by Dr. Essex & make an educated decision & demand your Councillor renew the paper ballots only for Oct. 2018.

  2. Cautious April 19, 2018 at 7:43 am

    Funny how the Mayor felt that the ‘hack’ was overblown. Overblown?? Any breach to a website is never something that is overblown.
    I think it was deplorable the way the Mayor treated Aleksander Essex. This man is a professional in cybersecurity and knows what he is talking about.
    That little rant the Mayor did was totally uncalled for. Then his comment after the recorded voted. You could tell by that he was irate by this time.
    Seems the Mayor and the City Manager did not want to hear what he had to say and it truly was unnerving.
    This poor fellow waited so long to speak.
    And it seems the City Manager does not think Mr. Essex is a professional..hmmm…let me see he was at a convention in San Francisco this week at the RSA conference where there are 30,000 people and its the largest cybersecurity conference in the world. Hmmm… I think professionals would be attending that conference don’t you think Mr. Dyke? I also think the speakers would know a lot about cybersecurity as well.
    Enough of that now back to the letter here and the Council Meeting.
    Sure sounded like Mayor Craig wanted a meeting ‘outside of council’ so that the spin on this whole thing would be what they want the public to hear and believe.
    Hmmm…why does this Mayor think that he can ‘bulldoze’ situations that concerned Citizens want to hear. The truth needs to come out…No more of this keeping us in the dark…

    Cautious April 19, 2018 at 11:55 am

    Very well written Letter to the Editor. I would encourage everyone to view the Council Meeting as well.

    Been There April 19, 2018 at 11:59 am

    I was at the Council Meeting that Mr. Tuckey is writing about. Aleksander is a professional by all standards in regard to cybersecurity no matter what City Officials may think. This man speaks all over the world about cybersecurity and how it relates to internet voting.
    Mr. Essex says that there are no measures in place to reassure the voting public that online voting is a safe and secure method exercise your Democratic right.
    Ken is not trying to put any kind of fear into the residents of the City, he is nearly pointing out that if you want your vote to count at the polls, you should vote with a paper ballot

    Tom Vann April 19, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    Over the time I have know Ken I can with good conscience state he is honest and focused. What he has written here is the truth and our mayor is not happy with the facts. Surprise, Donna was his only follower that evening at council. I think even Pam realizes Mr. Essex was telling the truth. Ken is a man that minces few words and wants what is best for our city. Hard for Doug to argue with the facts. Doug needs online voting and it shows.

    Been There April 19, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    Everyone needs to view the Council meeting and see just exactly what transpired so they can understand this Letter to the Editor

    Maggie April 19, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    Excellent letter Ken – in the Times tonight. Facts are all there.

    The presentation made Tues.17th, by the Staff member, George G. was uninformed, unprofessional & just nothing to the Presentation at all.

    He also had difficulty in answering questions from the Councillors.

    Therefore, it seems he really did not have a clue what he was talking about.

    One Councillor, M.Mann, also questioned the delay in them getting notice of the Hacking of City computers. The paper seemed to know it first.
    People – view Mar. 27th & then read Ken’s letter again. he knows the truth.
    Why the Mayor & D.Reid are fighting paper ballots so strongly is puzzling.

    But there are rumours that that is how Craig got in last election – from all the Polling stations that were cut, un-mailed voting cards, seniors could not get out to vote & do not have Internet – it was not a fair honest proper Election!!

    Cambridge voters – read – study – know what is going on in Cambridge!!!

    Watching April 19, 2018 at 10:30 pm

    Well written Mr. Tuckey. Facts & truth.
    We hope the Councillors wake up & put the Mayor & Reid straight on Internet voting.
    Thanks for taking a stand for voters.
    George G. didn’t have a clue what he was talking about. And dumb answers.

    Been There April 20, 2018 at 6:30 am

    Had an email in my inbox this morning telling me that the ‘My Waste App’ that notifies e-mail subscribers about the waste and recycle weeks was ‘hacked’

    Just one more example of why the internet is not safe…Not even for online voting…

    Les April 29, 2018 at 9:04 am

    Thanks Ken for the summary and it is bang on. Cutting out polling booths by the dozen which then does not allow seniors in residences to vote was not the right solution. Not everyone has online access either.
    One has to ask. If both the Province and the Feds consider online voting unsafe and do not offer it, why would a municipality do so ?
    The other question is where is Elections Canada ( Ontario ) on this issue? Are there no rules or guidelines to ensure both voter access ( which is impaired by cutting polling booths ) as well as a guarantee of voter security ? Is it only me wondering if something is missing here from this department of our government with respect to oversight ?

  11. Debbie Duff Vitez May 1, 2018 at 9:08 am

    110% that something is missing at this level of Government.. and that has to change..!!!!!

    and YES.. they can do whatever the hell they want, and our crooked Mayor ( my personal opinion here) knows it all too well.. How do you think he has remained Mayor for the past what is it..18 YEARS.

    Alan Marshall May 2, 2018 at 7:26 am

    At least you guys are making it clear that electronic voting (telephone/computer?) is problematic. Up here in dogpatch (Elmira) we are slated to use it in the fall municipal election and it’s not even an issue. People don’t know and don’t care. Very sad.

  13. Debbie Duff Vitez May 2, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    Hi Al..
    It is sad, not enough of us trying to expose the CORRUPTION.
    Is you council also crippling people from actually using a paper ballot?
    CLOSING POLLS AND LOCATIONS ETC.. to guarantee themselves a win??

    Alan Marshall May 3, 2018 at 7:50 am

    Debbie: Good question. As it’s not been a front and centre issue there have been very few details released. The Woolwich Township style is likely not to mention the specifics until the last minute, if at all. If they do close polls and locations then people will likely complain when it’s too late.

  15. Debbie Duff Vitez May 3, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    Been there done that

    Tom Vann May 3, 2018 at 8:20 pm

    Doug can’t risk losing if paper ballots are used. The city will make sure online voting gets used. Notice Mann is getting ink before the election using the Preston Spring Gardens old place. Swaying the people before the cop sex case come up must be on his mind. We know Reid won’t be running if her word is any good. 2 terms and out is in my files. Soon baby kissing on page 1 will be happening.

    Tom Vann May 4, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    A certain person will do anything to get re-elected. Ward 6 is where I know everyone. Ward 1 is where I live. Where is my coin. Cambridge has been sold down the river with most funds going to Galt. Rally people of Preston and Hespeler, vote. Mike Mann is trying to make noise before the election about the Preston Springs. Word around town is people know it’s an election year ploy. Smoke and mirrors. Where the heck was he on this 3 years ago? June court date is coming up for the Cops dept.

  18. Debbie Duff Vitez September 13, 2018 at 10:33 am

    The problem still exists.. CRAIG CONTINUES TO CUT POLLING LOCATIONS..
    Making it hard for you to cast a ballot.. He continues to play with our democratic rights.. and this is ILLEGAL

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