‘Red flag laws’ strip gun owners of their constitutional rights

“Red flag laws let police confiscate guns without due process. Suspending the Constitution in a secret hearing is a Rubicon from which there is no return.”

A silhouette of a hunter in a field aiming their gun.
(Photo: Getty Images)

Six states have enacted these laws. At their core, they allow the police to convene a Kafkaesque secret proceeding, in which an American can be stripped of his or her gun rights and Fourth Amendment rights, even though gun owners are barred from participating in the hearings or arguing their side of the dispute.

The first thing gun owners learn is when police knock on the door — ready to ransack their house and, if they resist, to arrest or even shoot them and their family…

Far from being a “consensus proposal”, the suspension of the Constitution in a secret hearing is a constitutional Rubicon from which there is no return.

Continue reading: ‘Red flag laws’ strip gun owners of their constitutional rights (USA Today)

Fake News and Bots May Be Worrisome, but Their Political Power Is Overblown

“It’s very hard to change people’s minds, especially when so many are already committed partisans.”

A book about “Fake News” was displayed last November by a supporter of Roy Moore, who unsuccessfully ran for Senate in Alabama.

“How easy is it to change people’s votes in an election?

The answer, a growing number of studies conclude, is that most forms of political persuasion seem to have little effect at all…

…Those who want to combat online misinformation should take steps based on evidence and data, not hype or speculation.”

Continued: Fake News and Bots May Be Worrisome, but Their Political Power Is Overblown

Ranked-choice voting worked in Maine. Now we should use it in presidential races.

Lawrence Lessig: “When voters rank their first, second and third-choice candidates, the winner is broadly acceptable.”

Voters were lined up outside of the Vigo County Annex in Terre Haute, Ind.,. on Nov. 5, 2018, to take advantage of the final day of early voting.
(Photo: Austen Leake, Tribune-Star via AP)

“Maine is not the only jurisdiction in America to use ranked-choice voting. It is just the first where it has mattered in a federal election. We should follow its example. There is plenty of time to carry its idea to the 2020 election and give all of us a system less prone to the vicious attacks, and more guaranteed to select candidates supported by at least a majority in every state…”

Source: Ranked-choice voting worked in Maine. Now we should use it in presidential races.

“Take back control—it’s time for IREXIT” | New Irish party calls for Ireland to leave EU

A new Irish political party will campaign for the Republic of Ireland to leave the EU, inspired by the successful Brexit movement.

The Irexit Freedom party, which is set to be launched in Dublin next Saturday, wants Ireland to ‘take back control’ from Brussels.

Nigel Farage speaks to journalists in Brussels

The party, which plans to run candidates in next year’s European Parliament elections and the 2021 Irish general election…

Continued: ‘Take back control – it’s time for IREXIT’ New Irish party calls for Ireland to leave EU

Hackers break into voting machines within 2 hours at Defcon

After nearly an hour and a half, Carsten Schürmann, an associate professor with IT-University of Copenhagen, successfully cracked into a voting machine at Las Vegas’ Defcon convention on Friday night, CNET reports.

Schürmann penetrated Advanced Voting Solutions’ 2000 WinVote machine through its Wi-Fi system. Using a Windows XP exploit from 2003, he was able to remotely access the machine, CNET reports.

The convention purchased more than 30 voting machines for the event, although, organizers didn’t specify how many models those units represented.

“The exposure of those devices to the people who do bug bounties or actually look at these kind of devices has been fairly limited”, Brian Knopf, director of security researcher for Neustar, told CNET. “And so Defcon is a great opportunity for those of us who hack hardware and firmware to look to these kind of devices and really answer that question, ‘Are they hackable?’”

A hacker tries to access and alter data from an electronic poll book in a Voting Machine Hacking Village during the Defcon hacker convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. on July 29, 2017.  REUTERS
 A hacker tries to access and alter data from an electronic poll book in a Voting Machine Hacking Village during the Defcon hacker convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. on July 29, 2017.  REUTERS

Synack, a San Francisco security platform, discovered serious flaws with the WinVote machine months ahead of this weekend’s convention. The team simply plugged in a mouse and keyboard and bypassed the voting software by clicking “ctrl-alt-del”.

“It’s really just a matter of plugging your USB drive in for five seconds and the thing’s completely compromised at that point”, Synack co-founder Jay Kaplan told CNET. “To the point where you can get remote access. It’s very simple.”

A hacker, who only identified himself as “Oyster,” tried to crack a Diebold voting machine after another team had compromised it.

Anne-Marie Hwang, a Synack intern, told CNET that changing votes can be as simple as updating a Microsoft Excel document…

Source: Hackers break into voting machines within 2 hours at Defcon (CBS News)