Please try the URL privacy information feature enabled by clicking the flashlight icon above. This will reveal two icons after each link the body of the digest. The shield takes you to a breakdown of Terms of Service for the site - however only a small number of sites are covered at the moment. The flashlight take you to an analysis of the various trackers etc. that the linked site delivers. Please let the website maintainer know if you find this useful or not. As a RISKS reader, you will probably not be surprised by what is revealed…
One of the main goals for the conduct of elections should be to provide sufficient assurance throughout the entire process such that every loser can justifiably believe that he or she actually was not the winner—that is, that there were no events, circumstances, or externalities, accountable or otherwise, that might have altered the results. From the perspective of RISKS and our long-standing discussions of factors relating to election integrity, one of the most interesting aspects in last week's election was that the results of the Presidential race were definitive enough that they did not depend on the outcomes in larger states such as Ohio and Florida (where the results were apparently not known officially until yesterday). If the results for Obama vs Romney had been very close, I suspect that we would have seen prolonged law suits from both parties leading to the Supreme Court—irrespective of the perceived initial outcome. Overall for the election for the President and other offices and ballot issues as well, numerous issues arose during the campaigning and the voting process—for example, relating to voter registration, voter disenfranchisement, voter authentication, restrictions on early voting, shortages of voting machines and trained election officials that resulted in huge lines in certain precincts, unsanctioned and unsupervised last-minute changes to proprietary election software, reported cases of vote flipping on touch screens, inconsistent party affiliations with unclear implications for straight-party voting, irregularities in issuing, validating, and counting provisional ballots, cases in which more votes were reported counted than ballots issued, disappearing ballots, inconsistencies in announcements of policies, deceptive practices, poorly defined policies for reviewing and recounting close races, last-minute attempts to create opportunities for Internet and e-mail voting in response to the disruptions of Hurricane Sandy (typically without adequate appreciation for the wide range of potential problems with which RISKS readers are familiar), along with many other factors such as the perception of even less visibility, accountability, and oversight for other than top races. As I began to note in RISKS-27.06, much greater accountability, contingency planning, and objective oversight are needed—along with considerably greater even-handedness—to ensure that future elections will be able to avoid these problems and others. [Some examples of these problems are included in subsequent reportage in this issue. PGN]
I spent election day 2012 monitoring incident reports from polling places around the country. In doing this, I observed a number of patterns that seem worthy of note: In Florida, the root cause of many of the problem reports lies squarely in the lap of the state legislature. It was the legislature that created the laws that led to ballots that were 10 pages long. There were several distinct issues that combined to force such long ballots—the sheer number of constitutional amendments and referenda on the ballot, the decision to print bilingual and trilingual ballots instead of limiting the number of languages on each piece of paper, and the printing of the entire text of each measure on the ballot. The net result was that some ballot pages contained just one yes-no choice, and on the Miami sample ballot I tried to read, page 7 was solid text with no choices at all. These long ballots slowed down the voting process. In many precincts, I saw reports of inadequate numbers of voting booths. No change to voting technology could cure this. Gigantic ballots simply take a long time to read, regardless of the technology. These long ballots choked the tabulating machines. Today's precinct-count tabulators are easily able to handle a few thousand sheets of paper on election day, but each page scanned is likely to deposit a few paper fibers on the scan head, and by the end of an election, the machine needs the dust blown out of the paper path to prevent misreads and paper jams. Give each voter a 10-page ballot instead of the usual one or two page ballot, and the machine really will need preventative maintenance several times during election day. It is no surprise, therefore, that Florida suffered many scanner failures. All ballot boxes for precinct-count scanners that I've examined contain multiple compartments, one of which is an "emergency compartment" for use when the scanner fails. In Florida, when scanners failed, the sheer volume of paper was enough to fill these emergency compartments to capacity, forcing pollworkers to improvise. And finally, most precinct-count scanners move the paper fairly slowly, at speeds comparable to the paper-feed speed of a typical FAX machine. When feeding one-page ballots, this does not cause significant problems, but hand feeding successive pages of a 10-page ballot can take a substantial fraction of a minute, especially if the scanner is programmed to warn voters of any blank pages in the ballot in order to protect against inadvertent undervotes. In polling places with enough voting booths, the speed at which ballots could be fed into the machine was reported to be a bottleneck. In my opinion, Florida's legislature can make several changes to address these problems: They ought to require that each ballot measure have a long form and a short form, with only the short form printed on the ballot. The short form should be required to be composed by those proposing the ballot measure, so that all debate about the measure can be informed by both the full text and the short text from the start. They should also consider capping the number of ballot measures in any election. A second cause for long lines was apparent in Virginia, where I saw numerous reports of equipment failures. When the polls opened, significant numbers of polling places had problems getting things working. In some cases, polling places were unable to open on time, and in other cases, polling places open= ed with only a few functional voting machines. I can only speculate about the cause of the machine failures, but I note that in many cases, the machines involved appear to have been purchased close to a decade ago and appear to have been built using laptop computer technology. Election officials are used to voting machines that last decades. Mechanical voting machines certainly lasted that long, and many of the first generation of precinct-count scanners and direct-recording electronic voting machines have proven to be almost as durable (I have seen numerous documented cases of lifetimes over 20 years). Unfortunately, the technology we use in laptop computers is not generally that durable. Liquid crystal displays and touch screens appear to have a useful lifetime measured in years, not decades. A second problem has to do with polling place procedures in the event of failure. I saw too many reports of voters being turned away or made to wait for hours until voting equipment could be repaired. In many states, it is illegal to turn away a legal voter on election day merely because the voting machines are broken. Voters must be allowed to vote, and the mere fact that the machines are broken is no excuse. The typical procedure for meeting this requirement requires the pollworkers to issue emergency paper ballots in the event that the machines fail. Any paper can be used, but the supplies packet for a polling place should include standard generic ballot forms, along with instructions directing the pollworkers to give a blank emergency ballot and a sample ballot to each voter, instructing them to write their choice for each ballot question on the emergency form. At the end of the day, these emergency ballots must be hand counted. Yet a third cause of long lines was directly attributable to the Help America Vote Act of 2002. This act required the use of state-wide voter registration databases. Putting these databases in place was not trivial, and this election was, to a significant extent, the first full-scale test of the new system. In polling places across the country, on-line tools were used for voter check-in. In some cases, these tools included scanners to read ID information off of drivers' licenses, greatly speeding the check-in process. Problem reports with the new voter registration systems fell into several categories: In some cases, the electronic pollbook mechanisms simply failed. As with voting machines, such failures do not justify closing polling places, and there must be a way to allow voters to vote when this occurs. An obvious fallback measure is to equip each polling place with a paper list of all voters registered in that polling place and train the workers how to use that register in the event that their machines (or communication lines) fail. In other cases, there were simply not enough electronic pollbooks. Many election officials appear to have underestimated the time it takes to look up a voter, possibly because they misunderstood the trial and error nature of looking up a person in as database. Am I Doug Jones, Douglas Jones, Douglas W. Jones or Douglas Warren Jones? Do I live at 816 Park, 816 Park Rd. or 816 W. Park Rd.? There are 16 permutations of the above, and if you use any of those permutations on a letter, it will arrive in my mailbox with no problem. Unfortunately, many statewide voter databases do not have search tools that are as intelligent as my postman, and diligent attempts at voter identification by pollworkers can bog down. It does not help that the problem can only be solved using significant local context. E. Park Rd. exists, but has no postal addresses. Park Pl. exists, but has no addresses in the 800 block. There are many people named Douglas Jones in town, and even multiple people named Douglas W. Jones, but only one at 816 Park. And in yet other cases, the combination of database and pollworkers could not correctly match registered voters with their database entry, resulting in consequences identical to striking a legitimate voter from the voter rolls, an illegal act. I cannot tell from the incident reports I saw whether the voters who were effected were struck because the pollworkers were insufficiently diligent dealing with alternative name and address spellings, or whether the fault was in poorly constructed database search tools. Alert readers will already have seen numerous media reports of vote flipping, and I certainly saw many reports of that on election day. Some of them were actually misinterpretations of something else—what election insiders refer to as fleeing voters. With many electronic voting machines, the resulting incident report runs roughly as follows: "When I into the voting booth, a bunch of candidates were pre-selected on the face of the machine." This report is then misinterpreted as evidence of some kind of machine rigging when it is really the result of the previous voter fleeing the machine without taking the final step of casting their ballot. There were also reports that were most likely caused by miscalibrated touch screens, leading to reports such as "when I tried to vote for Obama, Romney lit up" (or visa versa). Touch screen calibration is an annoying necessity on resistive elastomeric membrane touch screens, and it is easy, but pollworkers don't always know how to do it. In just one case, however, I saw a report (in the blogosphere) of a touch screen voting system where the evidence suggests something far more sinister. A voter who was aware of the calibration issue actually went into the machine and noticed the problem, and then set about a careful program of careful diagnosis, repeatedly selecting and deselecting candidates in order to measure the dimensions of the sensitive area of the screen for each candidate. If that report is to be trusted, the machine in question should be impounded for forensic analysis, because the conclusion was that the border of the sensitive area between Obama and Romney had been moved, shrinking one while enlarging the other without changing the dimensions of the sensitive areas for other candidates. That could be evidence of genuine fraud, and it does not fit the symptoms I associate with miscalibration. One category of incident reports was actually comforting. These reports typcally reported a real failure of some kind, for example a broken machine, and then went on to report, with alarm, that the pollworkers had instituted some kind of ad-hoc procedure to deal with the failure. The encouraging thing I saw was that these "ad-hoc procedures" were almost always, in fact, the solutions that were required by the local rules. Many pollworkers did correctly open the emergency ballot compartments on scanners when those scanners broke. They did scan those ballots later, when the scanners were repaired, and they did issue emergency paper ballots when they ran out of official ballots or when the electronic voting machines broke. In short, when done competently, pollworker training does work. The biggest problem with spending election day monitoring incident reports is that all I saw, all day, was evidence of things going wrong. As a result, when I finally got a chance to see the media reporting after the election was largely decided, I was surprised to see people saying that the day went surprisingly smoothly with only occasional reports of trouble. A final comment: Sadly, these incident reports are not fed back into the system. The Democratic and Republican parties each manage their own incident reporting databases, but as far as I know, those databases are routinely destroyed after each election. The Election Protection folks at 866-Our-Vote maintain a public database, but it is largely ignored by officialdom. Sadly, when I have been in a position to look at multiple incident reporting systems, I have rarely noticed the same incident being reported more than once. This makes me suspect that the three databases I've mentioned above contain very little overlap. It would be wonderful if they could all be published, merged and subject to a careful analysis, but I have no idea how to make this happen. [The usual disclaimer: All of the opinions I expressed above are my own and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of any agency or organization, be it public or private. I wish, of course, that they would slavishly follow my lead except when I am wrong.]
I wrote two reports about what I saw from a command center on election day. https://freedom-to-tinker.com/blog/jeremyepstein/voting-technology-issues-in-virginia-on-election-day/ https://freedom-to-tinker.com/blog/jeremyepstein/joisy-on-my-mind/ [I eschew summarizing, and urge you to read Jeremy's experiences. PGN]
In one Virginia locality, the electronic voting machines were programmed to show Obama as Republican, Romney as Democrat. The machines were removed from service and they're now using paper. But this part made me really nervous: "All votes that were cast Tuesday morning will be counted properly." What do they mean by "properly" - was a vote for Obama a vote for the Democratic electors or the Republican electors? Since some people vote by name and others by party, you can't tell what voters intended. I have no idea how I'd count those votes if I were the judge! This is really important if Virginia is a close race. It's not a technical problem - it's a ballot setup problem. http://www.wdbj7.com/news/wdbj7-story-grayson-voting-11612,0,5763810.story
It wasn't voter fraud that delayed the election count in one U.S. town - it was a spider. Rehoboth Town Clerk Kathleen Conti says one of the Massachusetts town's aging voting machines malfunctioned Tuesday. Ms. Conti tells *The Sun Chronicle* of Attleboro that she called a technician, who said a spider web apparently prevented the machine's scanner from counting ballots. The vote count wasn't completed until Wednesday afternoon. Rehoboth voters favoured Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney, who lives in Massachusetts. Ms. Conti says she has been pressing to have the voting machines replaced for several years. [AP item] http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/us-election/a-spider-shuts-down-vote-counting-in-massachusetts-town/article5088982/ [Rob Slade commented on this item as well: Yet *another* reason to distrust voting machines: Arachnophobia PGN]
Interesting conundrum. The political affiliation of the Obama-Biden ticket on voting machines in Covington, VA is listed as Republican on the voting machines. So question: does a vote for Obama-Biden transfer to a vote for an elector chosen by the Republicans or the Democrats? “City of Covington moves to paper ballots after voting machine issue Mistake made while voting machines were set up COVINGTON, Va.'' We're learning more about voting errors in the City of Covington. All voters in Covington will use have to use paper ballots. There was an error Tuesday morning with the voting machines. If you voted for President Obama, the machine would list the Obama-Biden ticket as Republican. All votes that were cast Tuesday morning will be counted properly. However, election officials decided to switch the City of Covington to paper ballots to avoid confusion." http://www.wdbj7.com/news/wdbj7-story-grayson-voting-11612,0,5763810.story
http://j.mp/Q66qw5 (*The New York Times* via NNSquad) "So at a time when we can see video shot by a robot on Mars, when there are cars that can drive themselves, and when we can deposit checks on our smartphones without going to a bank, why do most people still have to go to a polling place to vote?" I understand why people would love to vote online. But when [almost] every recognized expert in the field tells you it would be a disaster, and fundamentals of computer security agree with them, you have to make a choice. Go hi-tech with voting and turn the elections over to hackers, coercion, and worse, or admit that there are still a few things in life that are better done the old-fashioned way—if we care about democracy, that is.
http://j.mp/Z9j913 (*The Washington Post* via NNSquad) "What's more, Estonia has a proportional representation voting system, rather than a winner-take-all system like the United States. According to Hall, research has found that electoral fraud seems to pop up more frequently in winner-take-all systems - since there's more at stake for the candidates." - - - Online Voting: Just Say No!
http://j.mp/VP0GDy (*Forbes* via NNSquad) It took less than 24 hours for Matt Blaze, a computer science professor at the University of Pennsylvania who audited voting systems for California and Ohio in 2007, to start pointing out the problems with that workaround: Unencrypted e-mail can be spoofed or tampered with. The computers used to send the e-mail, many of which will be in public places like libraries or shelters, could be compromised to change or block voters' choices. And the computer that receives the e-mail may be just as vulnerable to sabotage-given that voters will be sending their ballots as attached files, the receiving PC will need to open attachments sent by unknown users, one of the most common practices leading to malware infections.
The UK 'Daily Telegraph' newspaper has a comment article today (6 Nov 2012) about Government proposals to make all of its services "digital by default", partly for easier accessibility, and partly for reduced operating costs; all fine and dandy, but as the article says, there appear to be at least three RISK areas here (please be aware that in the UK, almost everyone has some dealings with the welfare or tax authorities): * The people most in need of welfare, mainly senior citizens, are least likely to be Internet users (as probably remarked before in RISKS). * All of this data needs to be stored yet readily accessible to authorised users in a secure way of course, so lots of RISKS there, plus the proposals include "cloud computing"—this is our personal details... * It's a hotly-contested field, but the UK allegedly has the most Byzantine taxation and welfare systems in the world, and the Government is planning to start this "digital by default" programme with the Universal Credit scheme, a major change to welfare provision, due to start in April 2013, so that's two big changes at once. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/9655931/Whitehall-has-its-head-stuck-in-the-cloud.html [Article by Philip Johnston, 5 Nov 2012, omitted. PGN]
http://j.mp/YSVOjW (*CloudFlare* via NNSquad) “The case today was similar. Someone at Moratel likely `fat-fingered' an Internet route. PCCW, who was Moratel's upstream provider, trusted the routes Moratel was sending to them. And, quickly, the bad routes spread. It is unlikely this was malicious, but rather a misconfiguration or an error evidencing some of the failings in the BGP Trust model."
Ryan Gallagher, 9 Nov 2012 Skype's privacy credentials took a hit in July over a refusal to comment on whether it could eavesdrop on conversations. Now the Internet chat service is facing another privacy-related backlash-after allegedly handing over user data without a warrant to a private security firm investigating pro-WikiLeaks activists. The explosive details were contained in a report by Dutch investigative journalist Brenno de Winter, published on NU.nl earlier this week. Citing an internal police file detailing an investigation called "Operation Talang," Winter wrote that PayPal was attempting to track down activists affiliated with the hacker collective Anonymous. The hackers had attacked the PayPal website following the company's controversial decision to block payments to WikiLeaks in December 2010. ... http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2012/11/09/skype_gave_data_on_a_teen_wikileaks_supporter_to_a_private_company_without.html
John F. McMullen, Sandy—My 37th Column for the Westchester Guardian I'm sitting in a Barnes and Noble in Mohegan Lake, NY—and it is like a refugee camp *because no homes in the surrounding upper Westchester / Putman counties in NY have power* due to Hurricane Sandy and, thus, Internet connection is non-existent in the homes, so people flock to public Wi-Fi sites. Unfortunately, this Barnes and Noble has very few public access electric outlets and seven to fifteen people are gathered around the ones that are available with multiple electric strips "daisy-chained" for laptop and tablet connection. Because of the multi-hundred people here (with at least half trying to connect), at least as many as the bookstore gets in a week, Internet connection is "iffy" and, even once connected, it is commonplace to be dropped and have to roll the dice all over again to try to connect. The Barnes and Noble free connection is based on an AT&T service and is usually fairly reliable but is obviously overwhelmed today. If one is a CableVision customer and is lucky enough to find one of the few seats near the window in the coffee area, the Optimum Wi-Fi service is reachable but those seats are few. As recently as five years ago, hurricanes would have kept us in our house -- but times have changed. It's not even enough now to have just the phone capability and e-mail access that most smartphones provides provide. Now the bookstore is filled with students doing papers and assignments; business people entering orders and checking systems; and other maniacal eccentrics, such as this writer, demanding access as a constitutional God-given right. There are at least 50 people on the line to get coffee and cakes, 10 times the normal line and the jockeying for outlets is getting worse and worse -- how did we reach this stage where we are both so dependent and so vulnerable? --- and what does this mean when we are in an age when we are concerned about `cyberwarfare', which we are told may take out our electrical grid? Obviously, better computer security cannot help deal with havoc caused by hurricanes nor with electrical outages because of downed trees and wires but, when we see through this disaster, just how much more dependent we are now on electric power than ever before, we can only imagine what it would be like if someone were able to knock out the entire grid. The present outage is limited to a small, albeit highly populated, section of the east coast of the United States—and, driving 5 miles over here to our local `refugee center', I saw the large majority of businesses closed, traffic lights out of operation, and gas stations unable to pump gas. In New York City, the entire area south of 34th Street is without electricity with thousands of businesses and hundreds of thousands of individuals without power. One can only imagine what would be the impact of a nationwide electrical shutdown—and, of course, the grid is controlled by computer systems. No matter what our technologists do, hackers, crackers, virus writers, etc. all seem to be able to get around the safeguards which they install. For years, the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT—www.cert.org) has been warning users about security problems in Microsoft products, particularly Internet Explorer and Outlook. One is sure that Microsoft has been addressing these problems as it finds out about them. Yet on Oct 2012 25, it issued a new report, Vulnerability Note VU#948750—Microsoft Outlook Web, explaining a system hole under which an attacker could `execute arbitrary scripting code'. Microsoft is certainly not the only culprit in the security area. We have all heard of infiltration of bank, credit card, on-line services (Yahoo, etc.), and even Federal Government systems—infiltration that leads to identity theft, financial loss, password compromises, and vandalism—and what we have heard is only the tip of the iceberg. 2600: The Hacker Quarterly magazine regularly publishes vulnerabilities of systems which, hopefully, are soon repaired by at-risk firms (A weekly radio show, *Off The Hook*, hosted by the editor of 2600, Emmanuel Goldstein, is heard on WBAI, 99.5 FM and is streamed at www.2600.com). It is obvious that what our virus programs, security systems, and systems administrators have been doing isn't working—at least not 100% of the time, and that is what is really required to protect our cyber infrastructure. So, what to do? Dr. Peter G. Neumann, who has been monitoring computer security for SRI International for forty years ,,, and has edited the Risks Digest since 1985, analyzing the constantly changing technology world -- from the mainframe to the iPad—and the security challenges that the constant innovation brings (for a full profile on Dr. Neumann, see the recent *New York Times* article) is ready for a different approach. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/30/science/rethinking-the-computer-at-80.html [Modesty suggests I truncate the rest of this. John, Many thanks for the plug! I strongly recommend his writings. PGN] Creative Disruption is a continuing series examining the impact of constantly accelerating technology on the world around us. These changes normally happen under our personal radar until we find that the world as we knew it is no more.
(Re: RISKS-27.07) When the Con Ed substation serving a large part of southern Manhattan was flooded out during Hurricane Sandy's storm surge, the hospitals mostly uneventfully went to emergency backup power. The glaring exceptions were NYU Hospital (and Bellevue). It's now starting to look like the problem at NYU was exacerbated by some safety switches. (The usual cautions, of course, about early reports apply) [ny times] At this point, Dr. Grossman said, he could only theorize as to why the generators had shut down. All but one generator is on a high floor, but the fuel tanks are in the basement. The flood, he said, was registered by the liquid sensors on the tanks, which then did what they were supposed to do in the event, for instance, of an oil leak. They shut down the fuel to the generators. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/10/nyregion/damage-from-hurricane-sandy-could-cost-nyu-langone-millions.html
Solomon (RISKS-27.06) mentions Verizon wired service outages. We lost power locally for about 12 hours during Sandy's visit to the area. The FIOS box has a battery backup to deliver telephone service "for up to eight hours" in a power outage. Internet access died after a couple of minutes (the router is on an UPS) and I assume the TV signals did also. Phone service died in less than 8 hours, but when I plugged the FIOS box into another UPS, both the phone line and Internet access came back. Things were stable until the power came back. Whether this would be true with a more general power failure (we could see the lights on further down the hill) will be the subject of a future "natural experiment."
Danny Burstein (and others) made passing reference to the 1965 blackout: I looked into this back in 1996 for an article I was writing at the time. Below is summarized from the notes I made back then... According to the New York Times 1965 Index, p. 323, the November 9th blackout of 1965 resulted in 800,000 people being stranded on the NYC subway; many were evacuated, but 10,000 were stranded past midnight. Governor Rockefeller ordered up 10,000 National Guardsmen to report to armories to help residents and police. Military vehicles carried elderly and the sick to hospitals. All radio stations halted, but many resumed broadcasting within 15 minutes. NY Telephone Col, operating at full capacity on emergency diesel generators, reported a record number of phone calls. The Buffalo area darkened for only 40 minutes, but in New York City the blackout lasted 13 1/2 hours. The 1965 blackout followed a major 1961 blackout of Manhattan, which took place on June 13, a 96 degree day. During the 1961 blackout Manhattan was dark for between 2.5 and 4.5 hours. In 1963 Consolidated Edison assured the government that a recurrence of the 1961 blackout would be unlikely. Niagara Mohawk engineers said that the immediate cause of the 1965 breakdown was a "quarrel" between giant generators in which some got out of phase with others. The generators cut out one-by-one. It was difficult to restart the generators without power. "Once the northward power flow had been cut off through the Ontario hydro plant, the current reversed direction, overloading lines in much of upstate New York and triggering automatic cutoff devices there. Then, New England and New York City power systems automatically tried to fill the power vacuum, which imposed intolerable burden on their generating facilities and these plans in turn cut themselves out. That is how the failure spread." W. Sullivan discussed the blackout in light of speculation that civilization is doomed by its increasingly complex technology. He cited opposing views that such emergencies brought new proof of human ingenuity and adaptability. Computers were seen as tools for preventing future blackouts. *The New York Times* ran an editorial, Aladdin's Lamp Blacks Out. The editorial said, in part, "Short of a nuclear bomb, the most crippling affliction that can befall a modern metropolis is a total power failure. The blackout that crippled New York and most of the Northeast last evening was a dismaying reminder of the vulnerability of any community to a severing of its electric lifeline." On 7 Dec 1965, the Federal Power Commission issued its report on the november 9th power failure. It said that the power failure would not have occurred if the power systems involved had been following more careful operating policies. It said that the immediate cause of the blackout was an automatic shutdown of the power distribution line between the US and Canada. The line had circuit breakers which were set to make the line cease operating if the power load exceeded 375 million watts. That set point was chosen in 1963 and had not been reviewed. "In the time since the setting was determined, the average power load on the line controlled by the relay increased to 356 million watts, and thus ordinary upward fluctuations in power tripped the relay and started the whole blackout." There were many concerns at the time that the increased interconnection of power systems was responsible for the blackout. The Commission stated flatly that more, rather than fewer, interconnections between power systems in different areas were neededto provide reliable electrical service. The report found that emergency vehicles and been rendered unusable during the blackout because NYC gasoline pumps could not be run manually. The Commission charged the petroleum industry with finding some means of operating gasoline pumps at service stations when electric power fails. The Commission further said that elevators in the city should be equipped with manual devices to move them to a landing. The report noted the possibility of a failure of the proportions involved of 9 Nov 2012 had never been considered and said that studies were urgently required based on the more stringent assumptions. The day the report was released, 6 Dec 1965, southeast Texas was blacked out for 25 minutes.
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