I sent in my Jury Duty form and noted at the top that I was randomly selected. Turns out that is the requirement written into the law.
But it did not seem random to me and I noted that on the form.
I went in to talk to the administrative staff and asked about this. Is this random? Two things stand out.
- It has to be random, that’s the law
- It is done on a computer
Ok, that seems fairly obvious, if it is done on the computer and it’s not random, then ipso facto, it does not comport to the law. But is it good enough?
Is the administrative branch of the court that does this not aware of what “random” means on a computer?
It has a precise definition and is defined by NIST as part of the standards for cryptography.
So I asked to speak to the IT guy. Because what does it mean in fact if it is not random? Not pseudo random, but random. Did their software vendor use the right RNG? Does the software have a backdoor in it to favor selection of certain jurors? And whether it does or does not, did they ever test it to make sure it did not, or did they just buy it off the shelf and start using it? Is there an audit report?
The fact that NIST recalled a random number generator, which was the default in B-SAFE which the deterministic random number generator has generally thought to be back-doored as well as broken since 2006 gives one pause that the selection process might not be random.
They are going to check on it and call me back.