May 10, 2007

New Case Studies Released

Five new case studies released including Amtrak, SITA CUSS, ISI Gaming, Army Internet Gaming, and Vanguard Car Rental check-in.

Case studies published by KIOSK in Colorado and links are here:

Posted by staff at 12:41 PM

November 30, 2006

Airline Security -- new kiosk unveiled by GE

VerifiedSRTKiosk-90.jpg The much anticipated Registered Traveler program just moved a little further along. The program, which allows travelers to pay extra money to go through screening faster than other travelers by pre-registering themselves with a DHS background check and biometric and identity information on file, has been in a pilot process as technology and policy for its management was created.
Information, Assessment and Community

Updated: November 30th, 2006 10:16 AM EDT
A New Kiosk for Air Security, as Registered Traveler Moves Forward
GE kiosk gets 'Cleared' as Regist and GE demonstrate new identification and sensor kiosk

GE Security unveiled its full-featured kiosk for the TSA Registered Traveler program. The GE kiosk is being used with Verified's Clear program (the TSA Registered Traveler program is managed at the individual level by private companies, but overseen by the TSA).

GE Security unveiled its full-featured kiosk for the TSA Registered Traveler program. The GE kiosk is being used with Verified's Clear program (the TSA Registered Traveler program is managed at the individual level by private companies, but overseen by the TSA).

The much anticipated Registered Traveler program just moved a little further along. The program, which allows travelers to pay extra money to go through screening faster than other travelers by pre-registering themselves with a DHS background check and biometric and identity information on file, has been in a pilot process as technology and policy for its management was created.

On Friday it was clear that progress had indeed been made, as the Transportation Security Administration announced that it is setting an annual fee of $28 to handle background checks for Registered Traveler participants.
As if that wasn't progress enough for the program, GE Security today unveiled a new technology kiosk that could be used as part of the program.

The company's technology launch was that of its Secure Registered Traveler (SRT) kiosk, which it was unveiling at the National Safe Skies Alliance Symposium in Washington, D.C. The kiosk had been tested as part of the Verified's Clear program, one of a few private businesses that provide the Registered Traveler services. Clear, the only one currently TSA approved -- though many others are close behind in the process to become TSA approved -- currently has 32,000 customers registered who pay roughly $100 per year for the privilege to move more quickly through security.

Read rest of story

Note: this is the "verification" iteration of kiosk. There is also the "enrollment" version of this kiosk as well.

Posted by staff at 12:49 PM

August 17, 2006

US-VISIT deploys biometric entry procedures at additional locations

U.S.-VISIT biometric entry procedures for most travelers entering the country have been expanded to three more locations, one in Canada. The digital, inkless finger scans and digital photograph are a part of the routine inspection process at airports, seaports and land border crossings and at U.S. consulates around the world.

Entry Procedures to Begin in Fresno, Calif., New Orleans, La., and Halifax, N.S., Canada

WASHINGTON-- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today the expansion of the US-VISIT program's biometric entry procedures to additional locations in Fresno, Calif., New Orleans, La., and Halifax, N.S., Canada, as follows:

-- Due to a significant increase in international arrivals, Fresno-Yosemite International Airport in Fresno, Calif., will begin biometric screening on August 15, 2006.
-- The recently constructed Erato Street Cruise Terminal in New Orleans, La., will begin biometric screening on October 15, 2006.
-- The new pre-flight inspection location at Halifax International Airport in Halifax, N.S., Canada, will become the eighth pre-flight location in Canada to use US-VISIT biometric screening. The start date will be posted on the DHS Web site (

US-VISIT's biometric entry procedures -- digital, inkless finger scans and digital photograph -- are a part of the routine primary inspection process at airports and seaports with international arrivals, in the secondary inspection areas of U.S. land border ports of entry and at U.S. consulates around the world -- through the State Department's complementary program called BioVisa.

No changes will be made to the US-VISIT process or to the classifications of travelers subject to US-VISIT as the result of this expansion. US-VISIT currently applies to most visitors (with limited exemptions) entering the United States, regardless of country of origin or whether they are traveling with or without a visa or by air, sea or land. US-VISIT does not apply to most Canadian travelers.

Since the program launched in 2004, more than 62 million people have been processed through US-VISIT at U.S. ports of entry. With the help of US-VISIT biometric procedures, more than 1,200 criminals or immigration violators have been denied entry to the United States.

Experience has shown that the US-VISIT process is simple, fast and clean for travelers. In fact, at many land border ports of entry, the introduction of US-VISIT procedures has led to reduced processing times in secondary inspection.

For more information, visit the US-VISIT Web site at

Posted by keefner at 06:57 AM

October 14, 2004


E-coupons now accepted by US military stores

Monday October 11, 2004

The US Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA), which provides groceries for military personnel, retirees, and their families, has recently announced that all 273 commissaries around the world are to accept computer-generated internet coupons (e-coupons) containing a barcode that can be scanned at store checkouts.

However, as a security measure and in keeping with recommendations from CoolSavings and other industry experts, DeCA will not accept internet coupons for free products, or coupons that have been photocopied or otherwise reproduced. This article is copyright 2004

Other grocery retailers in the USA that have recently started accepting e-coupons include Harris Teeter, Albertsons, and Giant Eagle. According to CoolSavings, Meijer, Food Lion and many other major retailers have been long-time supporters of internet coupon acceptance. Matthew Moog, president and CEO for CoolSavings, welcomed the expansion of consumer-printable coupon acceptance.

Redemption doubled
Despite previous non-acceptance by some grocery retailers, consumer use of Internet coupons has flourished. According to a recent report by coupon clearinghouse CMS, internet coupon redemption rose by 133.9% in the year 2003. In addition, well-known and respected manufacturers such as General Mills, Kellogg's, Land-O-Lakes, 3M, PepsiCo, Hormel, Glaxo SmithKline and Bristol-Myers Squibb are employing printable internet coupons as a part of their marketing mix.

"Internet coupon acceptance among grocery retailers is currently at an all-time high," said Moog. "More and more retailers are coming to understand that legitimate internet coupons are of great value to their customers - who are interested in saving time and money. We believe in the very near future we will see universal internet coupon acceptance in the grocery retail industry."

Free product ban
CoolSavings, having assisted in the development of new coupon standards, has also pushed the industry to stop the acceptance of free product coupons, which are the most likely category to be fraudulently reproduced and distributed. A major breakthrough in the industry's effort to improve coupon practices was seen when the online auction site eBay announced in December 2003 that it would ban the sale of coupons.
"Internet coupons are here to stay because consumers want them, and because trusted brands offer them," said Moog. "According to Forrester Research, 38% of US households have tried printing coupons from the internet. Since 1997, CoolSavings has worked with more than 100 consumer packaged goods manufacturers to deliver promotions to more than 34 million consumers for redemption online and in stores around the US."

More Info:

Source: CoolSavings, Inc.

News: E-coupons now accepted by US military stores - Customer loyalty, customer retention, and customer relationship marketing daily news and information - free, unbiased news for the marketing executive or researcher.

Posted by Craig at 03:12 PM

April 22, 2004

Government Kiosks

Potter took the opportunity to boast about the USPS' increased productivity, lower headcount because of attrition, endeavors with and 2,500 new self-service kiosks modeled on ATMs.

Direct Mail Is Here to Stay,' Potter Tells CADM Crowd
April 22, 2004

By: Mickey Alam Khan
Senior Editor
[email protected]

CHICAGO -- Postmaster general John Potter left no doubt of his bias for direct mail in a keynote speech to attendees yesterday at the Chicago Association of Direct Marketing's DM Days & Expo show here.

Despite fax, e-mail and the growth of other technologies, he told direct marketers that direct mail has a strong future.

"I'm here to tell you that direct mail is here to stay," Potter said.

Mail last year generated $423 billion in business-to-consumer sales. The industry segment, Potter said, is growing 8 percent yearly.

He praised Chicago's pioneering role in direct marketing, citing Montgomery Ward and the development of the catalog. Of course, it helped that the city was the nation's railroad center.

Potter bolstered his case for direct mail with new research on mail-led purchases. The U.S. Postal Service found that 74 percent of mail is read by customers. Only 6 percent considered advertising mail objectionable. Twenty-one percent of those surveyed took mail to stores.

Also, 13 percent of prospects made purchases online after receiving a catalog, 2 1/2 times the response of those who did not get a catalog.

Potter referred to the controversy stirred by Google's intent to enter e-mail with its Gmail service, which would serve ads based on content in e-mail messages. A recent article in The New York Times titled "In Google We Trust" was brought up.

"The issue for most Americans is privacy," Potter said. "We in the postal service are all about privacy. I believe the consumer prefers to receive direct mail because it's not intrusive."

He defended users of mail against pro-environment critics. Many mailers now use recycled paper and environment-friendly inks.

Potter took the opportunity to boast about the USPS' increased productivity, lower headcount because of attrition, endeavors with and 2,500 new self-service kiosks modeled on ATMs. The Chicago area has 24 of these kiosks.

Of course, he also brought up the woes ailing the postal service: unbending unions, crippling obligations to the employees' retirement system and much-needed legislative reform in favor of annual rate reviews instead of every three years, which leads to rate shock.

Another issue that troubled Potter was unnecessary post offices -- 2,500 each serving fewer than 200 people and 4,500 post offices with fewer than 200 deliveries.

"Now who in their right mind would open a [retail] store to serve 200 people?" Potter said. | News | Article

Posted by Craig at 02:44 PM

March 30, 2004

Government Services

Kiosk speeds help to domestic abuse victims

Pierce County, Wash., recently opened a kiosk service for filing temporary protection orders against domestic abusers or potential abusers.

The kiosk PC—at city hall in Gig Harbor, Wash., across Puget Sound from Tacoma—runs Microsoft Windows XP and has a keyboard and printer, said Larry Gezelius, the safety and judicial software development team lead.

The county developed the Web application using the Justice Department’s data dictionary for the Extensible Markup Language, Gezelius said. The application generates Adobe Portable Document Format files for the attached printer and sends them electronically to Superior Court, using Secure Sockets Layer encryption.

The app is an extension of the Legal Information Network Exchange (LINX), which the county developed in the 1990s to track and share records among courts, jails and prosecutors.

“Over the years, the trend has been to combine county services in one location,” said Craig Roberts, the county’s domestic violence coordinator. “But this gets the services back out to the community, to somebody living in relative isolation.” The 1,676-square-mile county encompasses Mount Rainier and Puget Sound. “It could be a two-hour commute from some areas to get to downtown Tacoma to file a protection order,” Roberts said.

Saving time

A victims’ advocate from the Gig Harbor municipal court is usually on hand to monitor the kiosk, Roberts said. Petitioners must swear an oath and provide identification just as they would in court.

The online forms take about half an hour to fill out, far less than for paper forms, Gezelius said. The paper forms ask for the same information several times. The electronic forms accept that information once and automatically supply it on all pertinent forms.

The forms go to the Office of the Clerk for review and signing by a judge. Staff members scan the signed copies and return them to the petitioners. The whole process can take as little as an hour from submission to judge’s signature, Gezelius said.

Posted by Craig at 03:23 PM

March 25, 2004

Government Kiosks

Kiosks go to war to dispense spare parts

By Susan M. Menke
GCN Staff

Copying the hotel minibar model, Dell Inc. has fielded a half-dozen parts kiosks that are traveling with military units in and around the Persian Gulf.

The military "has found that the dusty environment causes mechanical problems" with computer components such as mice and floppy disks, said Thomas S. Buchsbaum, Dell's federal vice president. "There are tens of thousands of notebook PCs fielded. They can use optical mice and USB key-chain storage," but Dell decided to build the parts kiosks instead for units on the move, out of reach of the supply chain.

The refrigerator-sized kiosk automatically tracks its inventory of spare parts ranging from replacement notebooks to storage area network drives. After a bar-coded part is taken out, the kiosk alerts Dell, the customer command or both whenever the kiosk next senses "any kind of Internet connection," Buchsbaum said. Replacements can be expressed to meet a ship at the next port if necessary, he said.

The kiosk program started with the Navy but has expanded to other military units, he said.

All the kiosks report to Dell's enterprise command center in Austin, Texas, where their status is visible on screen.

"We built the kiosks in large and small sizes for specific equipment requirements," Buchsbaum said. "But 80 percent of problems are related to software, and we can remotely resolve most of those over the phone.”

Dell also has packaged full SANs in deployable cases with uninterruptible power supplies for units "that need to pick up and move extremely quickly," he said.

Government Computer News (GCN) daily news -- federal, state and local government technology; Kiosks go to war to dispense spare parts

Posted by Craig at 03:33 PM

March 18, 2004

Goverment Trade Show

Kiosk Information Systems to Present HR Applications With Dynatouch at Government Trade Show

LOUISVILLE, Colo., March 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Kiosk Information Systems,
Inc. (KIS) will showcase its human resource (HR) kiosk applications
March 23-25 at FOSE 2004, the U.S. government's largest gathering of
information technology professionals, in Washington, DC.

This is the first time KIS will participate in this conference and trade
show which attracts 20,000 federal high tech buyers, 5000 industry professionals and more than 450 exhibitors. KIS currently provides kiosk
solutions directly to the United States Postal Service and the Department of
Homeland Security's US-VISIT program.

"This event provides us with an exceptional opportunity to demonstrate the application of KIS kiosk technology to the whole family of U.S. government agencies," said company President Rick Malone.

At FOSE, KIS will display models KT 125 and KC 590 which employ Department of Defense human resource and personnel applications developed in partnership with touchscreen pioneer and developer, DynaTouch Corporation.

The KIS Model KT-125 "Thinman" is a standalone, small footprint, walk-up kiosk with a light box in the top front area designed to display a logo or advertising. The KC-590 offers a countertop and/or wall mounted kiosk design incorporating a monitor, optional touch screen overlay, speakers, keyboard,
trackball and PC.

DynaTouch chose the KIS KC-590 as one of two preferred models offered through its OneStop product line. The OneStop is a comprehensive, ready-to-run self-service application for federal government employees and customers. It provides a one stop source of services and information related to payroll, personnel, housing, health and wellness, deployment, family support and relocation assistance.

"We continue to focus on helping federal government agencies empower their customers and employees to help themselves," states Terri McClelland, DynaTouch CEO.

"Our OneStop application and partnership with KIS seem to be a perfect match."

Olea Kiosks designs and manufactures touch screen,self-service kiosk solutions for retail, human resources, employee benefits,
CRM, Wi-Fi, loyalty, gaming and many more self-service applications. With more than 28 standard kiosk models, custom models, turnkey vending units such as public internet terminals and photo kiosks, KIS has the largest self-service product and services line from which to choose.

Founded in 1993, Kiosk Information Systems has more than 100 years of combined experience and is ISO 9001 and UL-listed certified. Retail kiosks, human resource and self-service solutions are a core competency. Major
clients include Wal-Mart, U.S. Postal Service, McDonalds, Pepsi, the U.S. Government and Disney. For information about KIS products and services please visit, call KIS at 303-466-5471 or email [email protected]

DynaTouch Corporation is renowned as an industry leader and pioneer that's been providing custom touchscreen information kiosks since 1988. With systems at nearly 80% of all U.S. military installations worldwide, DynaTouch has long been the leading supplier of point-of-information kiosks to the Department of Defense. Other government clients include the Department of Veterans Affairs, Internal Revenue Service, Indian Health Services, Bureau of Customs &
Immigration and National Archives & Records Administration. DynaTouch's
versatile Windows-based TIPS multimedia kiosks and software satisfy a wide range of information kiosk applications for government, commercial and medical customers. For information about DynaTouch visit or call 210-828-8343.

Story Link PR Newswire

Posted by Craig at 02:47 PM

February 19, 2004

Biometric Passports

Finnish technology group Setec said Tuesday it won the first order for passports with new biometric technology required by international aviation authorities and the U.S. government.

Finnish Co. to Make Biometric Passports

Published: February 17, 2004

Filed at 9:03 a.m. ET

HELSINKI, Finland (AP) -- Finnish technology group Setec said Tuesday it won the first order for passports with new biometric technology required by international aviation authorities and the U.S. government.

Denmark ordered 3 million passports to be made in Finland and personalized by the Setec's Danish subsidiary near Copenhagen, the company said. Deliveries will begin in late 2004.

Since the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington, governments worldwide have increased security at airports, including the introduction of biometric technology that enables officials to match a person's face to information digitally coded in their travel documents.

U.S. legislation requires 27 countries, mostly in Europe, to add biometrics to passports they issue after Oct. 26, 2004, or have their citizens apply for visas.

Last year, the Danish government decided to adopt biometric passports starting in 2004, but passport holders won't have to switch until their current documents expire. Similar plans are being adopted by other Nordic countries.

The Danish order is the first for identification documents that meet specifications of the International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO, and U.S. visa waiver requirements, Setec said.

Germany last week began a six-month pilot project that allows some travelers to pass through an automated passport control system at Frankfurt airport using iris-recognition technology.

Finnish Co. to Make Biometric Passports

Posted by Craig at 03:57 PM

December 08, 2003

Recruiting an Army of One to One

Nice article on Army recruiters and datamining recruits.

Recruiting an Army of One to One

Uncle Sam has been busy lately. A renewed sense of patriotism, along with a $200,000 multimedia-advertising budget, resulted in more than 730,000 enlistment leads for the U.S. Army in 2002. This is great news for the armed forces, but created a challenge in how to turn those leads into actual soldiers.

The U.S. Army Recruiting Command (USAREC) recruits about 120,000 soldiers annually into the Army and the Army Reserve. It staffs approximately 6,400 recruiters in about 1,600 offices in the U.S. and overseas. Recruiters are assigned leads based on their geographic proximity to a candidate. They didn't know who would be most likely to enlist, however, so they had to sift through all leads with the same amount of effort. With such a large lead list, they ran the risk of not contacting those more likely to enlist. To streamline time and resources, the recruiting office prioritized its list by mining its database to determine the quality of each lead. The staff could then contact the most valuable leads first.

According to Major Tom Liuzzo, who spearheaded the project, when prospects respond to Army advertising, the information they provide is stored in a central database. This data includes a candidate's age, gender and the form of media that led him or her to respond (television ad, Internet, etc.). Using data mining tools from SPSS (which competes with SAS and Oracle), the USAREC analyzes the lead data to discern who are the best prospects, and contacts them first. A combination of certain attributes will make a person more likely to enlist, says Captain Tom Bartow, who also worked on the project.

Uncovering key selling points
While data mining assists in streamlining the recruitment process, the USAREC is also examining how these candidates become recruiting prospects in the first place. The group analyzes the media that drive prospects to its Web site as well as where they navigate once they arrive. It also studies which Web pages are most popular and how long users visit each page. "Armed with that information, we can focus our efforts on certain pages we know people are going to frequent more than others and have key advertising there," says Bartow. "Ultimately what we want to have them do is fill out a business reply card, become leads and ultimately contract [to enlist]."

So far, Liuzzo says the program has drastically improved operations. "For every 100 leads we used to get, we would have to work all 100 to get four [enlistment] contracts," he says. "Now we have to work 20 to get three." In addition, operational efficiency is improved. "We have significantly reduced the workload of the recruiter," adds Bartow. "He still has a responsibility to contact all the leads, but now he can prioritize based on the information he has: Which ones are most likely to contract and he can shift his effort accordingly."

Because of the success of the most valuable recruit program, USAREC is planning to expand its focus to direct mail campaigns to communicate more effectively with most valuable prospects. This is especially important since the department receives most recruitment leads through direct mail efforts.

Enterprise-wide improvements
Improved efficiencies also help the Army in other facets of operation, such as combat. "We're always looking for ways to gain efficiencies and send recruiters back to the field," says Liuzzo. "Every soldier or officer we take out to be a recruiter is somebody we don't have available to defend on the front lines if called for."

Recruiting an Army of One to One

Posted by Craig at 07:00 PM

More Fallout on E-Voting

Last-minute worries about the technology and the political motivations of vendors may set back a US attempt to introduce electronic voting for upcoming presidential primary elections

Monday December 8, 12:05 PM

Belated objections may scupper US e-voting
By Paul Festa, CNET

Last-minute worries about the technology and the political motivations of vendors may set back a US attempt to introduce electronic voting for upcoming presidential primary elections

Some states are raising last-minute security concerns over e-voting technology, as much of the country prepares to switch over from mechanical to electronic ballots in time for the upcoming US presidential election.

After antiquated punch-card ballots led to a contested vote count in Florida during the 2000 race, Congress passed, in 2002, the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), which offers federal assistance to states that replace mechanical voting machines by 2004.

Now, with the presidential primaries approaching, some critics are calling for a second look at the leading e-voting vendors' products -- a move that could make some states fall behind schedule. At least one, Ohio, has indicated it will petition the government for an extension, probably delaying e-voting in that state until August, at the earliest.

"This is a storm that we've been waiting for," Nevada Secretary of State Dean Heller said. Heller, whose state has been using electronic ballot boxes for 10 years in its largest county, advised US senators on HAVA. "I think it's to be expected that, because there's change, there's going to be some uneasiness in this process."

Ongoing concerns over the security and reporting features of e-voting machines have cast a cloud of uncertainty over the upcoming election season, forcing ballot machine vendors to address a host of complaints over their products amid signs of an escalating voter backlash.

The affected companies say the weaknesses that have been identified to date aren't insurmountable, and most said they expect to fix them on time to meet the HAVA deadlines. But the biggest problem facing e-voting machine vendors may turn out to be political rather than technical, as belated resistance to e-voting systems mounts.

Individual counties in the United States have used electronic voting machines for years, but many voters have only learned about the potential hazards of e-voting recently, through the missteps of one company: Diebold Election Systems of Ohio. The company has become a lightning rod for criticism following partisan political statements by its chief executive and revelations of security flaws within its flagship product.

"I think it's been a year of widespread awakening among the American public about the risks of computerised voting," said Kim Alexander, founder and president of the California Voter Foundation. "A huge movement has developed across the nation, with citizen activists joining computer scientists, academics, lawyers, and nonprofits to demand verifiable voting systems."

Get it on paper
Renewed uneasiness over e-voting technology is manifesting itself in new security audits and demands for paper-based recount safeguards. In recent weeks, four states representing nearly a fifth of the US population -- California, Maryland, Nevada and Ohio -- have taken official steps to re-evaluate the systems or require paper trails.

California enacted a rule that will require the use of a voter-verified paper copy. Ohio commissioned reports detailing security risks of major e-voting machine vendors.

Maryland ordered new reviews of voting machines scheduled for use in its March primary as state senators called for the implementation of paper verification systems. And Nevada awaits the analysis by its gambling auditors of e-voting machines while the secretary of state brings the e-vote debate to the voters in the form of town-hall meetings.

This week, Ohio's secretary of state demanded security fixes from electronic voting machine vendors, and released two reports that detail their shortcomings.

Diebold Election Systems representative David Bear said the surge in scrutiny of e-voting issues was the result of HAVA.

"I would say I think there's heightened awareness as a result of HAVA," Bear said. "All the states are addressing the issue of how they're going to come into HAVA compliance and, doing the right thing, they're involving the general public in that process. Most people did not think about elections except for the dedicated folks who work on election day or day in and day out as elections officers. But the Florida (2000) vote and the subsequent HAVA act put a spotlight on this as an issue."

But others, including Alexander, said the current hand-wringing may have as much to do with high-profile gaffes by Diebold as it does with deadline jitters.

Diebold, which has deployed 33,000 touch-screen voting machines in the United States, first gained notoriety after its chief executive wrote in an August fund-raising letter that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to (President Bush) next year."

Asked about the August fund-raising letter, Bear referred a reporter to a news report posted to the company's Web site, in which Diebold chief executive Walden O'Dell pledged to curtail his political activities as a result of the controversy.

"I'm not doing anything wrong or complicated, but it obviously did leave me open to the criticism I've received," O'Dell told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "I've taken it personally; it's very painful, it may have injured our company, and I feel really badly about that."

A month earlier, university researchers failed Diebold machines in a security audit. And last month California launched an investigation after it was alleged that state-uncertified software had been inserted into Diebold machines in Alameda County -- a violation, if true, of California election law.

The company earned another sustained round of bad press after it threatened copyright infringement lawsuits against Internet service providers whose subscribers had posted damaging internal email correspondence that called into question the company's security practices.

Faced with a lawsuit by an ISP and subscribers it had threatened, along with a barrage of news reports that further publicised the emails' internal gripes about Diebold security, the company backed off the copyright threats -- but not before Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who is seeking the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, called for a congressional investigation of Diebold.

Assessing the risks
Diebold is not alone in fending off criticism of e-voting's alleged shortfalls in advance of the HAVA deadlines.

Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell on Tuesday published two previously confidential reports: the DRE (direct recording electronic) Security Assessment report commissioned from InfoSentry, and a Technical Security Assessment Report the state commissioned from Compuware.

The Compuware report identified 57 potential security risks of varying severity in four different systems.

Blackwell said he would request a deadline extension to comply with the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) so that vendors would have time to fix problems with their machines.

"I will not place these voting devices before Ohio's voters until identified risks are corrected and system security is bolstered," Blackwell said in a statement. "Fortunately, all of the documented risks will be expeditiously corrected by each of our voting machine manufacturers."

Ohio had intended to start using electronic voting machines in March, but Blackwell now wants to wait until August special elections.

Meanwhile, the four vendors surveyed in both reports will have to prepare for another round of inspections by the consultants. In some cases, the secretary of state said, changes in the software will require new certification by the state and federal governments.

The Ohio studies examined three voting systems in addition to Diebold's AccuVote-TS: Election Systems and Software's iVotronic, Hart InterCivic's eSlate 3000, and Sequoia Voting Systems' AVC Edge. All four passed a summer evaluation process by the state that examined the companies and their products, with the caveat that they would have to undergo subsequent security evaluations.

Provided that the system vendors pass another security audit, Ohio counties will be able to consider them.

In response to the publication of Ohio's reports, Diebold said it had already fixed the problems in response to similar complaints by the state of Maryland.

"The areas identified by the secretary of state are the same types of items that were identified and addressed by Diebold Election Systems in Maryland," Mark Radke, director of voting industry for Diebold, said in a statement. "We are confident that the mitigation actions we will take -- which have already been used in municipal Maryland elections -- will achieve the secretary of state's goals and provide accurate and reliable election results."

Sequoia also said it was well on its way to satisfying Ohio's demands.

"We've already made a number of the recommended changes," Sequoia spokesman Alfie Charles said in an interview. "And we'll be making the balance of them and welcome the secretary's leadership in conducting that type of review so that the entire industry can give voters the confidence they need in their voting technology."

ES&S issued a statement that said it was still analyzing the reports but was confident it could resolve the problems they identified before Ohio's special elections in August 2004. A representative of Hart InterCivic said the company was "pleased to address" risks identified in the reports, while noting that the bulk of problems reported about its systems were deemed "low risk."

"We're working on plans to address them, and it's our intention to be substantially more aggressive in this area than the reports would require," company representative Bill Stotesbery said.

In Nevada, Secretary of State Heller was preparing on Thursday to conduct a Washoe County town hall meeting with elections officials to address voters' concerns about the machines. In the coming week the state will choose between Sequoia and Diebold machines. Counties that prefer Diebold are wrangling with Clark County -- home to Las Vegas and 70 percent of Nevada's population -- which has been using Sequoia machines for 10 years.

To help sort through the security analysis, Heller has asked the state's Gaming Control Board to offer its opinion of the machines and expects to get the results of that survey in the next few days.

"There's not a whole lot of people smarter at stopping hacking than in the gaming industry," observed Steve George, a representative for the secretary of state.

In California, Secretary of State Kevin Shelley set a July 2006 deadline for all counties and cities to provide touch-screen voting systems that provide what is known as a voter verified paper audit trail. The paper receipt is meant as a safeguard in case questions are raised about the validity of an electronic vote. Under the policy, counties and cities will be prohibited from buying systems without the paper audit trail starting on 1 July, 2005.

Paper verification has become a rallying cry for technology watchdog groups and voting rights advocates, who cheered Shelley's decision.

"The recent decision by our secretary of state to require voter-verified paper trails no later than 2006 is a sign we've turned a corner," said CalVoter's Alexander. "And I think and hope that other states will look at California's decision as a sign of where the technology is going, and will follow our lead."

Posted by Craig at 06:03 PM

October 30, 2003

Homeland Security demonstrates U.S. Visit

The Homeland Security Department today displayed the first iteration of technologies that it is fielding for the U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator System.


Homeland Security demonstrates U.S. Visit

By Wilson P. Dizard III
GCN Staff

The Homeland Security Department today displayed the first iteration of technologies that it is fielding for the U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator System.

Undersecretary for border and transportation security Asa Hutchinson pledged that the department is on track to bring the first components of the entry-exit system online at 115 airports and 14 seaports early next year and have U.S. Visit running at the 50 busiest border crossings by next fall.

According to department officials, the equipment has been delivered and is being installed now.

DHS had planned to activate U.S. Visit at airports on Jan. 1. But after consulting with airport and airline officials, the department has pushed the start date to Jan. 5 to avoid peak travel during the holiday season, Hutchinson said.

The initial version of the system will capture digital images and fingerprints of travelers arriving in the country with visas, which account about 23 million entries annually.

In a mock demonstration, U.S. Visit program manager Jim Williams explained that the additional procedures of capturing a digital image and an inkless fingerprint from each traveler would add only a few moments to the current admissions process.

Officials also showed how security officials will view information about visitors on a monitor and run checks against the government’s terrorist watch lists.

As to exit data, DHS officials demonstrated a prototype touch-screen kiosk that travelers will use to record their exit from the country. DHS next month will begin a training pilot of the system at Atlanta’s Hartsfield airport, Williams said. The department will then fully activate the kiosks at Hartsfield in December for a test phase before going ahead with plans to install it at 10 airports and one seaport early next year.

The department expects a false positive response from U.S. Visit for than less than 1 percent of all travelers, Williams said.

For the first deployment stage, DHS will use services available under existing contracts with Barton & Associates of Norristown, Pa., Computer Sciences Corp., Lockheed Martin Corp. and Science Applications International Corp. of San Diego.

Posted by Craig at 02:55 PM

October 29, 2003

Immigration and Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security announced plans for a high-tech system - Soon, new rules for foreigners

Soon, new rules for foreigners
By Mimi Hall, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — Millions of foreign visitors to the United States, already under strict scrutiny since the 2001 terrorist attacks, soon will have to be fingerprinted and photographed to get through the nation's airports and seaports.
The electronic fingerprint scanner will allow inspectors to check identities of visitors against those on terrorist watch lists.
By Stephen J. Boitano, AP

On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security announced plans for a high-tech system that will help track the 24 million foreigners who enter the country with work, student or travel visas each year.

Congress ordered the system after the Sept. 11 attacks, when officials learned that two of the 19 hijackers had violated the terms of their visas. The program's goal is to prevent potential terrorists from entering the country and to register foreigners who are allowed in. It also requires foreigners to check out when they leave so officials can look for people who stay after their visas expire.

The program replaces a controversial measure that required people in the United States from 25 mostly Muslim countries to register with the government.

Asa Hutchinson, head of border security at the department, called it a "dramatic step forward" in tightening security.

But airport managers and travel industry officials say they're concerned that the program will cause delays and discourage tourism. Civil libertarians worry that the information collected won't stay private.

The first part of the new entry-exit system will be launched at 115 airports and 14 major seaports on Jan. 5. Border agents will use a digital camera on a desktop tripod and an electronic fingerprint machine not much bigger than a pack of cigarettes to collect biometric information. The data will be compared with lists of known and suspected terrorists and other lawbreakers. Within seconds, the agent's computer will indicate whether there was a "hit."

Foreigners from 27 countries deemed low-risk will not have to be photographed or fingerprinted. But they will have biometric information put in chips in their passports by late 2004.

The exit part of the new system will require visitors to go to a self-service kiosk, swipe their passports and provide their fingerprints. The kiosks will operate at only about 30 airports in January. Officials said the technology for that part of the program is still being developed.

The most difficult part of the program — setting up the system at border crossings — must be done by 2005. It will be complicated and expensive because there are no lanes or booths for agents to check people on their way out of the country. Studies show that adding an exit system could add hours of waiting time.

Congress, concerned about how the program was being managed, cut its funding this year. President Bush requested $480 million for 2004; Congress approved $330 million.

Rick Webster of the Travel Industry Association said his group supports the idea of registering foreign visitors. But he expressed concern that there may not be "enough equipment, personnel and training to support expeditious processing."

If people face three or four-hour waits at airports, he said, "it only adds another disincentive for people to come here."

Note: KIS has qualified products in Travel and Transportation.

If you are interested please contact
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Posted by Craig at 04:09 PM

September 29, 2003

Postal Kiosks Serve up HR Services

The Netkey - KIS solution for the U.S. Postal Service is featured in the following article in Government Computer News, the largest publication covering government technology issues, with a circulation of over 87,000. The article provides a great example of how businesses with large numbers of unconnected workers can benefit by extending human resources applications to employees through self-service kiosks, PC and Netkey software.

09/22/03 By William Jackson, GCN Staff

If your agency has 500,000 employees without computers, how do you offer them administrative services electronically?

That's the exact predicament the Postal Service faces. To overcome it, the service is installing more than 300 computer kiosks to give employees online access to human resources applications.

The Personnel Central Kiosk initiative expands on the earlier PostalEase program for benefits changes via intranet and interactive voice response.

"The IVR system has been around for some time, but IVR was never mandatory so it didn't get a lot of use," USPS information systems coordinator Dixie Wiles said. For example, employees have been able to apply by IVR for jobs since 1993.

The postal intranet serves up the HR apps to the 200,000 employees with desktop computers, "but we have a half-million employees who don't have access to a computer," such as mail carriers and most workers at distribution centers, USPS chief technology officer Robert Otto said.

"We wanted to open another channel for those who didn't want to use the phone," he said. Each single-purpose station from Kiosk Information Systems Inc. of Louisville, Colo., has a keyboard, a trackball, speakers, a thermal printer and a 17-inch LCD touch screen with a privacy filter.

"You can't shoulder-surf," said Peter Snyder, the vendor's senior enterprise manager. "Anybody who is 2 degrees off center will see a blank screen."

Kiosk Information Systems initially will produce and support 310 kiosks under a $4.1 million contract, and USPS has an option for another 300. The installation isn't large, Snyder said, but it is being done in a hurry.

"We had to bring them out very quickly," he said. "The first 310 we cranked out in about three weeks."

Larger sites

By early September, more than 200 were online, Wiles said. They went first to the 197 processing facilities and bulk mail centers with the most employees. Most large sites will have two kiosks. The first 310 will serve 350,000 to 400,000 employees.

Not all 38,000 postal sites will get a kiosk, however. "It wouldn't make sense to put one in a one-person post office," said Tim Patterson, program manager for IT business systems. Each kiosk incorporates a Hewlett-Packard Co. thin-client computer acquired under USPS' Advanced Computing Environment program.

"It has nothing on it but a browser," Otto said.

A user interface developed by Netkey Inc. of Branford, Conn., overlays the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser, hiding buttons and controlling keystrokes to limit users' activities, said Bob Ventresca, Netkey's marketing director.

The Netkey server software manages the kiosks remotely from a USPS data center in Minneapolis. Each kiosk has a 100-Mbps connection to the USPS intranet over WorldCom Inc.'s MCI network.

The kiosk program is too new to have produced many statistics, but within days of the first installations, 8,700 log-ins were recorded. Heaviest usage is during the second and third shifts, starting at 3:30 p.m.

"Those folks use it a lot because they don't have access to personnel offices" during their shifts, Wiles said.

The feedback so far has been positive, which Otto said he takes as a good sign. "Our employees are not shy," he said. "If they aren't happy with something, they'll tell us."

Posted by Craig at 08:07 PM

September 23, 2003

KIS preferred vendor for DynaTouch military kiosks

LOUISVILLE, Colo. -- Kiosk Information Systems (KIS) announced its strategic marketing partnership with DynaTouch Corp., a leading kiosk software developer and content designer for the Department of Defense.

LOUISVILLE, Colo. -- Kiosk Information Systems (KIS) announced its strategic marketing partnership with DynaTouch Corp., a leading kiosk software developer and content designer for the Department of Defense.

Under the agreement, KIS is now the preferred kiosk enclosure provider for DynaTouch's DoD product lines. Since 1988, DynaTouch has installed kiosks at more than 75 percent of all U.S. military installations worldwide.

KIS and DynaTouch will work together to offer the DoD self-service information kiosks with a consistent unit enclosure that is easily recognized by the military's transient work force. The partnership makes it possible for the companies to develop kiosks with a variety of applications under a branded look that fits the DoD's image and budget parameters, according to a news release.

"We were looking for a stable company with proven experience that could deliver a high-quality kiosk enclosure quickly and at a competitive price point," said Terri McClelland, DynaTouch CEO. "KIS was a match on all levels."

"DynaTouch's track record with the DoD opens up a great opportunity for KIS," said KIS president Rick Malone. "We are developing a distinctive DoD kiosk design with a sleek, high-tech look that is durable and requires little maintenance. The unit will complement any DoD application DynaTouch develops."

Posted by Craig at 11:52 PM