Eighth Movie-Plot Threat Contest Winner
On April 1, I announced the Eighth Movie-Plot Threat Contest:
I want a movie-plot threat that shows the evils of encryption. (For those who don’t know, a movie-plot threat is a scary-threat story that would make a great movie, but is much too specific to build security policies around. Contest history here.) We’ve long heard about the evils of the Four Horsemen of the Internet Apocalypse—terrorists, drug dealers, kidnappers, and child pornographers. (Or maybe they’re terrorists, pedophiles, drug dealers, and money launderers; I can never remember.) Try to be more original than that. And nothing too science fictional; today’s technology or presumed technology only.
November 6 2020, the morning of the presidential election. This will be the first election where votes can be cast from smart phones and laptops. A record turnout is expected.
There is much excitement as live results are being displayed all over the place. Twitter, television, apps and websites are all displaying the vote counts. It is a close race between the leading candidates until about 9 am when a third candidate starts to rapidly close the gap. He was an unknown independent that had suspected ties to multiple terrorist organizations. There was outrage when he got on to the ballot, but it had quickly died down when he put forth no campaign effort.
By 11 am the independent was predicted to win, and the software called it for him at 3:22 pm.
At 4 the CEO of the software maker was being interviewed on CNN. There were accusations of everything from bribery to bugs to hackers being responsible for the results. Demands were made for audits and recounts. Some were even asking for the data to be made publicly available. The CEO calmly explained that there could be no audit or recount. The system was encrypted end to end and all the votes were cryptographically anonymized.
The interviewer was stunned and sat there in silence. When he eventually spoke, he said “We just elected a terrorist as the President of the United States.”
For the record, Nick P was a close runner-up.
Congratulations, TonyK. Contact me by e-mail, and I’ll send you your fabulous prizes.
EDITED TO ADD (6/14): Slashdot thread.