I got a barrage of enthusiastic responses to my idea, put forth in this news post, of writing a step-by-step how-to manual that shows just how easy it is to rig electronic election. Not only do a lot of people think this is a good idea, but some of them are already taking the idea and running with it. The idea clearly seems to have struck a chord, so I'll commit to making it happen, but only if you'll commit also.
Here's the deal: between a Ph.D. (in early Christian history, no less!), a book that's coming out this summer, Ars, and my rapidly approaching wedding, I don't have a ton of time to devote to any new projects. Furthermore, in the next two years I'd like to make more progress on the Ph.D., which will mean doing fewer things that aren't directly related to my academic work. This being the case, I can contribute to an electronic voting book project, but I can't do it alone. In fact, I can't even do the bulk of the work myself. This will have to be a collaborative effort from the start, with a core of people who own the project and make it happen.
So, with all that out of the way, let's get started.
The consenus among those who either posted in the news forum or emailed me, is that this should be a website and a wiki, with a book to accompany it later. I concur, so wiki + book will be the overall shape of the project.
With this in mind, here's what we'll need:
Site hosting: Anyone who volunteers hosting space should be prepared to handle not just traffic, but legal harrassment. It would probably be best to put the site up somewhere outside the US, but I'm not an expert on how best to fight takedown notices from angry corporations who would rather pay big bucks in legal bills to shoot the messenger than spend a few dollars fixing their faulty products.
Also, the project needs an actual wiki installation, some way of managing content, and all that stuff.
A name, logo, etc.: Someone has already registered stealthiselection.com and plans to put up a site there for this project. I think it's a very good name, being an obvious riff on the counter-culture classic "Steal This Book." But just in case I want to solicit suggestions for other good domain names that we could pick up and possibly use.
A way to coordinate: I just created a Google group called stealthiselection. Right now, membership is invite only, but anyone can read the archives. If you want in on the project, email me with information on who you are and how you plan to contribute, and I'll add you.
Legal advice: I wish I had a lawyer looking over my shoulder as I write this post. Also, see the next item.
An understanding…: that all the text of the book and the wiki will be released under some flavor of the Creative Commons license. It'll probably be one that does not permit commercial exploitation of the work except for with the licensor's permission. What I'm thinking is that the main thing is to get the information out there, but we should retain the option of making money off the project in order to make it all self-sustaining.
On a final note, let's all be clear that nobody here has any intent to engage in or promote election fraud in any way, shape, or form. It's also not anyone's intent to share proprietary information or trade secrets of any type. The project is intended to disseminate information that's already public knowledge, soley for the benefit of improving the security and reliability of the elections process.
So, if you're interested, drop me an email at the group email address, which you can find either by navigating to the link above or by appending the name of the group to @googlegroups.com, and we'll get started.