Back when Moby Dick was a minnow I did some computer programming in COBOL and FORTRAN. I know little about computers today except that they do as they are instructed. Even artificial intelligence is a programmed discipline. WikiLeaks and other leaks don’t just appear, they are contrived and manipulated. Computers do not present a threat; those who manipulate computers for illegal purposes certainly do.
I recently read that Putin is being blamed for putting his bear paw into American politics via the computer. How did that happen? Computer security seems to be more wistful than factual.
Enter the Nov. 8 election. Why should I have confidence in security for a nationally distributed highly complex computer system to accurately collect, compile and publish election results from thousands of isolated data input devices? Not only do hackers present a threat, highly positioned people with unlimited resources and an agenda are – to me – a greater concern.
I see two battles emerging. One to secure victory as the president-elect, and one to validate that victory. Hal Lindsey informed me in his Oct. 16 TV broadcast that only 27 of the 50 states require a voter-verified paper audit trail, 23 do not. If this is true, the validation battle could become a bit interesting.
As I see it, odds for a seamless presidential transition range from slim to none, and that dot on the horizon is old Slim heading for the high country. In the game of political poker you don’t get to shuffle the cards, but you can cut the deck. Who is going to deal for the next four years? Have your say – get out and vote.
James E. Robbins