Hi everybody, I'm J. Alex Halderman, Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan. I couldn't be more excited about teaching this course. Voting is an essential feature of democracy, but electoral fraud unfortunately is as old as the voting process itself. Increasingly, however, the way we cast and count our votes completely depends on computer systems. Those systems need to work correctly and securely or the outcome of elections might be in jeopardy. All of this creates new opportunities for fraud, new ways that things could go wrong in running elections. Alarmingly, many jurisdictions don't have in place the kinds of safeguards they need to ensure that the computers don't cheat. And then, there are questions like, "What about internet voting?" "When will we be able to cast our votes online?" In this course we'll examine questions like these. And my goal is to make sure each of you comes away with an understanding of how computer security is critical to the election process. And a knowledge of what we need to do to keep our elections secure. My own research focuses on computer security in broadly applicable sense. I like to work on problems that have large social impact. But one of the problems that I just keep coming back to again and again is the use of computers in voting. Throughout this course, I am going to include stories that come out of my own work and get to tell you about the some of the adventures I had along the way. For instance, I was part of the first academic team that got to examine one of the touchscreen electronic voting machines used in the US. And at the time the company that made these machines was extremely secretive. They didn't want anyone to be able to independently examine them. However, my research team was contacted by an anonymous source who offered to give us one of these machines to study. Now some of the stories that come out of this are, are like something from the spy novel; you just can't make this up. And I was the member of the team who got to pick up the voting machine from the anonymous source. I drove up to New York City and double parked outside of a Time Square hotel. And then went into the alley way behind the hotel where a man in a leather trench coat handed be a leather briefcase containing the voting machine. You'll get to hear what we found after we got to open the machine and see how it worked. Later in the course I'll tell you how my students at Michigan and I Hacked into an internet voting system that Washington DC was going to use with real voters and changed all the votes. I'll also tell you how I got to be part of the first independent security review of the electronic voting system used in India. An adventure that almost got me deported from the country. So, now let's talk about our goals for the course. First, I want each of you to come away with an understanding of how your individual vote gets counted. And to be able to answer the question of whether you should rationally have confidence in that process or, or maybe not. Second, I want to teach you to apply something called the Security Mindset which is a way of looking at, at systems with a skeptical view of the world that allows you to reason about attacks and defenses. This is going to be useful both in the context of elections and in other technologies you encounter. Third, I want you to be able to critically examine the role of technology in elections, rather than just taking the word of election officials I want you to be able to reason about whether there going to be problems and to think for yourself about how trustworthy you [inaudible] are. Finally, I want everyone to find out what you can do individually to make elections where you are more fair and more accurate. Now let's talk about the format of the course. There are going to be two lectures a week, a bit less than two hours of video for five weeks. At the end of each week, we will have a quiz and at the end of the course, there will be some brief written response questions. Also, each week I'm going to post something I call an Engagement Activity. This is something you can do individually and where you live to learn more about the electoral process and get involved. I hope everyone will report back about what they learned in those engagements in the course forums. We'll be monitoring the forums, and if there are questions that come up that are especially popular or highly rated, I'll try to answer those in a weekly office hours video segment. Let's take a brief look at the course syllabus. I'm going to start by introducing the security mindset and explaining how we can look at electronic voting as a computer security problem. Let me step back a little bit, and examine the history of voting technology and how successive systems were introduced again and again promising to solve security problems, but often introducing new ones in the process. Then we'll get to see how computers came to be widely used in polling places, and what some of the negative implications of this might be. We'll get to hear about cases where some of these voting machines have been shown to be vulnerable to attack. Then we'll take a wider view of the electoral process and see how some of the procedures involved as well as the technology contribute to it's security. Although some of our discussion is going to focus on elections in the U.S., we're going to use lecture six to take a wider look at the security of electronic voting in, in very different systems used in other places around the world. Then in lecture seven, we're going to examine some of the human factors issues involved in voting, like accessibility and usability, which can have a huge impact on people's ability to participate. Then in lecture eight, we'll talk about internet voting. And I'll answer the question of whether internet voting is something that's going to be available and secure any time soon. Finally, in the last week of the course we'll examine some new technologies that are just emerging from research that have the possibility of someday making elections much more secure. And we'll end by talking about some of the public policy implications of election security. And I'll make recommendations for ways that we can make elections better and more secure for everybody. We also have a recommended textbook for this course Broken Ballots by Doug Jones and Barbara Simons. This is absolutely the best scholarly treatment of modern electronic voting security issues. I'm going to post a series of chapters for you to read along with each week's lectures. I hope you'll all go out and get a copy and read along. You'll learn a lot more from the course if you do. Finally, on a very serious note I need to talk to you all about ethics. I am going to teach this class like a security course. And in security you need to learn about how real attackers operate in order to understand how to defend against them. Unfortunately some election systems are so insecure that what I'm going to teach you could be dangerous, if it's used inappropriately. So, you are legally and ethically obligated to use the information I'm going to teach you for good, and not to do harm. Tampering with real elections, even to prove a point is a very serious crime. And it's also a betrayal of the fundamental principles of democracy. That said, I hope everyone stays involved in the course has fun, learn a lot. It's going to be an excellent experience for me as well and I look forward to interacting with all of you.