Princeton Weekly Bulletin   May 19, 2008, Vol. 97, No. 27   prev   next   current

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Center for Information Technology Policy

Princeton NJ — The University’s Center for Information Technology Policy helps policy leaders anticipate and react to new developments in digital technology. Founded in 2006 and directed by Edward Felten, professor of computer science and public affairs, the center has taken a leading role in research at the frontier of information technology and public life.

• The center’s researchers have exposed multiple vulnerabilities in electronic voting machines. A video demonstrating several of these problems has been viewed on YouTube more than 465,000 times. Felten has testified before Congress and other bodies on the policy implications of voting technologies.

• Researchers at the center recently published a paper proposing a reliable way to combine automation and selective hand counting for recounting close elections. Using the extraordinarily close 2006 U.S. Senate race in Virginia as an example, the researchers showed their method would require hand counting 1,179 ballots, compared to conventional methods, which would require a hand count of 1,141,900 ballots.

• The center’s researchers currently are studying the results of the New Jersey presidential primaries in February. They have found inconsistencies on the printed tapes produced by at least 59 electronic voting machines in the state.

• In January, researchers at the center showed that encrypted data could easily be stolen from laptop computers without a password. A video demonstrating the problem has been viewed on YouTube more than 367,000 times. In light of this discovery, the center’s researchers are examining state laws that exempt businesses from disclosing leaks of encrypted data, which researchers now recognize may be vulnerable.

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