With all the noise recently in the news about Russian hacking of the US elections, it has me thinking again on how advances in technology provide new potential for abuse and manipulation of data and information. As a reminder, I recently visited the “Voting in California” exhibit at the California Museum in Sacramento. One of the most fascinating items was the lever voting machine used in San Francisco County from 1911 until the 1976 election. The levers were moved over the candidates name and a lever pulled to punch the voting card. Back then, voting irregularities were primarily focused on the voting cards (ballot stuffing or intentional loss of cards). These days irregularities involve cyber hacking, network intrusion, and manipulation of electronic data.
This all reminds me of two movies I enjoy. While over the top, the movie Enemy of the State provides a glimpse of the vulnerability of electronic data as we move onward with technology. Theft and use of electronic medical data is already here with hospitals being held for ransom on patient data held hostage. Nefarious use of patient data against individuals probably is not far behind. Interestingly enough, Enemy is a bit of a continuation movie for a 1976 movie called The Conversation, with Gene Hackman essentially playing his same character 25+ years later. That movie was about surveillance at an analog audio level of a conversation in Union Square in San Francisco. And it stars Harrison Ford in one of his early small roles.
Yep, I started with a voting machine from San Francisco last used in mid-1970s and ended with a movie set in San Francisco that was released in mid-1970s.
EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO400, 35mm (prime lens), f/2.5, 1/4 sec
Sacramento (CA), Voting Machine Counter and Tag, Shallow DOF. California Museum, Sacramento, CA. November 06, 2016. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.