North Bay Linux Users’ Group

general meeting

Election Incident Reporting System

When: Tue October 12, 2004 07:30 PM to 09:00 PM

Speaker: Jacob Appelbaum

Location: O'Reilly Media

The Election Incident Reporting System (EIRS) is a web-based software application designed to help voter protection organizations identify and respond to situations preventing voters from voting or from having their votes recorded as intended. Taking back our democracy with grass root actions!

This talk will cover the issues at stake, identify the problems that needed to be solved, provide solutions and tips for these issues as well as a live demonstration of the EIRS system.

The technology up for discussion will focus on how we designed, created, and maintain the EIRS back end systems. Including (buzzwords abound!): Distributed Denial of Service/Denial Of Service protection, SSL session key load balancing/distribution, high availability database clustering/replication/load balancing/fail-over, round robin DNS, geographically distinct server locations, centralized monitoring/management, managed firewall policies, hardware RAID, revision controlled/synchronized configuration files, off-site backup systems, custom benchmarking tools, disaster planning, safe semi-automatic system updating, host integrity checking software and discussions of how to compartmentalize security. All of this is achieved with a standard common platform of Debian Gnu/Linux.

Key system elements included: Debian Gnu/Linux with the 2.6 Linux kernel series, Apache2, PHP, MySQL, perl, dist-cache, shorewall, stunnel, sshd, samhain, cvs, djbdns, hardware RAID and many others.

All of these technologies power our EIRS system. It’s built with custom modifications to existing GPL software. Our changes are released back to or by working with each community (of course).

Published Tue 12 October 2004 by August Schwer