While I doubt this would be done, but with carnivore installed on routers through out the country, it leads me to wonder, "Can Carnivore do more than just monitor traffic? Can it actually alter it?" We have a government that has lied to us repeatedly when citing "evidence" on why we should attack Iraq. Pretty much every report they have cite has been a forgery, non-existent, or they just lied about the contents. The CIA and the U.N. both have said that the Whitehouse is distorting facts to meet their own needs. So, now the government has backdoors to most of the routers in most of the isps in America. Would it be unbelievable for them to so a simple text replacement on specific URLs? It's a simple fast one line regular expression search and replace. Given the fact that the current administration has lied to the public, Congress, and everyone else with such ease, is it hard to believe they would doctor polls to make it look like the public supports their agenda? If they did, it would be beautiful, in that the government no long has to present a warrent to the ISP's when they monitor. The ISPs have no way of checking if or what the government is monitoring. And the news agencies would have no reason to doubt the data they are receiving, so when people question it, they could indignently state that they did not alter the polls. I really wish, after I voted, the cgi would repeat what I voted along with current totals.
I also wish to remind people that most polls can be easily scewed by individuals. Most polls don't bother limiting one vote per IP address as many ISP's use dynamic addressing, meaning what address a user has on one session could be very different from the ip they use later. That is why they usually lock the vote using cookies, but it is easy to erase the cookie and vote again. Or write a simple program that would keep revoting, and never storing the cookie (easily done in PERL). So, how do we trust the polls when someone could easily write a script that could do hundreds of votes a minute, and leave their program running all day and night? How are the pollster's verifying the accuracy of their polls, when they are conducted online?