Friday, May 17, 2013

How to win an election in the Philippines? Manipulate transmissions, says experts

Several reports are coming in, in what others term as "ghostly transmissions". Imagine, there were at least 3,000 instances where the Comelec Transparency servers received transmissions from areas where PCOS machines were reportedly "out of commission". Where did those servers get those transmissions from? Are all sources legitimate or real, as in, these transmissions really emanated from the areas named?

That's why Smartmatic, according to some, is not really worried because they have this IT audit logs which reflect the source, time, and date of these transmissions to the server. The question some people are asking--how fool-proof are these transmissions? Were these servers fed the right information?

Experts in the IT world are familiar with the term "mirror sites". A hacker can actually mimick, say, a Yahoo site and make it appear legitimate. IN this case, some of those whom I talked to, say that these servers can be pre-programmed to accept transmissions from "mirror sites", by inputting a different IP address instead of those addresses by the PCOS machines. I ask---what happens to transmissions sent by the legitimate PCOS machines? Another said that these could be re-directed to another server. Meaning, real results can actually be housed or kept in a separate place, and not in the Comelec transparency servers.

Comelec chair Sixto Brillantes says the reason why transmissions slowed was because of the tiered or ladderized system, wherein data from the precincts will go to the municipality, and the municipality will go to the provincial, and then to region and Comelec. Since we are talking about 78,000 precincts, the possibility of a "jam" exists.

Fact is, manipulation of these results can happen, according to IT experts from AMA and STI schools, from intervention, signals coming from another source, replacing those from legitimate sources. Meaning, the "cheating" happens not in the precincts or optical scanners---it happens during transmission. You don't need jammers to rig an election. You only need to redirect transmission to another server and fed the legitimate servers with information you desire. Intervention may be made in a few hundreds in clustered precincts. Translate those manipulations to

This explains why most transmissions happen in the dead of the night, where vigilance is at its lowest.

NOw, so that explains why Comelec right now is in a rush to proclaim because people are slowly learning the process of this elections. This also shows that there is a small group of people manipulating these results, for the sake of the people? Nah.

What do we really want? A faster yet unreliable count? Or a truthful yet slower count?