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Re: [Membership] [Comment-Mac] privacy and voting

Kent and all,

Kent Crispin wrote:

> The MAC is to be commended on an excellent set of proposals.  I have
> only one comment, concerning the following point:
>   "8.  Privacy concerns should be foremost in the collection,
>   safeguarding and use of a Member's data.  Except as may be required
>   by applicable law, no Director, officer or Member of ICANN shall be
>   permitted to use such personal data for commercial or other private
>   purpose nor shall any Member's individual vote be made public."

  It is our [INEGroup] that this provision is THE strongest and best
provision that the MAC has recommended and is in keeping with
basic globally recognized privacy standards as they apply to
voting procedures.  We and I commend the MAC in particular
on this specific provision.

> There is an unavoidable trade-off between privacy and public trust,
> and I think the concern about privacy here, though understandable,
> is overblown.

  This is an interesting comment to be sure, however given it's
source it is not surprising.  There is no reasonable tradeoff for
personal privacy.  And this is especially true when it comes to

> Consider one extreme: you say nothing at all about the members; you
> post candidate information, announce the vote, collect ballots, and
> then announce the results.  It is difficult for the public to tell if
> the votes were even counted, or if there was even a membership who
> voted.

  This contention is based on whether or not a viable and trusted
mechanism in in place.  I am quite sure that the UN would be happy
to oversee and validate a well planned mechanism that the vast majority
of the potential members could and would trust.

> It is also very difficult for a member to verify that the
> vote was counted correctly, or that their vote was recorded
> correctly.  Under such circumstances conspiracy theories will
> flourish.

  This is not difficult at all as Kent contends.  Such methods have been
used for online voting for over two years now, and have worked quite well

as has been posted on several occasions on this list.  Providing
restricted access to the voting database would be all that is required.
The restriction would be on the identity of any individual voter by name
or E-Mail address.

> In order for a vote to be trusted, there has to be trust in the
> mechanism.  Given the international character of the membership, the
> already existing widespread miasma of distrust, and the different
> cultural/political expectations, it will be very hard to come up with
> a secret ballot system that everybody thinks is fair and trustworthy.

  SUch a mechanism already exists, and as Kent already knows very well
is in use today within many structures of the internet as well as
organizations that Kent himself belongs to such as the ISOC.  Similar
mechanisms can be use in this instance.  The US military and several
states within the US use secret online voting for instance that enjoys
a strong amount of trust.  This information has been posted to this list
on several occasions as well.

> It is a hard problem, an acceptable solution will involve significant
> expense, and even then people won't trust it.

  SUch solutions do not require much expense at all, and in fact can be
borrowed from already existing on-line voting systems that existing
organizations and governments use today with little modification.  Again
this contention from Kent is a canard that has no basis in fact.

> OTOH, if you give up some of the privacy, you get in return a very
> much more robust, open, and trustworthy system:

  Acctually you get the very oppisite.  Without the privacy of a persons
or members vote you take the risk of that individual(s) of being harassed

in many different ways and thereby influence future votes.  Aa very bad
idea to be sure.

> - snip other invalid arguments -
> --
> Kent Crispin                               "Do good, and you'll be
> kent@songbird.com                           lonesome." -- Mark Twain


Jeffrey A. Williams
CEO/DIR. Internet Network Eng/SR. Java/CORBA Development Eng.
Information Network Eng. Group. INEG. INC.
E-Mail jwkckid1@ix.netcom.com
Contact Number:  972-447-1894
Address: 5 East Kirkwood Blvd. Grapevine Texas 75208