Dohiyi Mir
    In Which NTodd Says His Peace

Saturday, November 15, 2003
Go to the new DM blog.


Diebold


Received this alert from the Electronic Frontier Foundation today:

Two student activists and an Internet Service Provider (ISP) will ask a federal district court judge on Monday to stop the ongoing legal harassment of them and others in a case involving disclosure of flaws in electronic voting machines. The nonprofit ISP Online Policy Group (OPG) and two Swarthmore college students seek to prevent electronic voting machine manufacturer Diebold Systems, Inc., from issuing further legal threats against ISPs in an attempt to squelch publication of the embarrassing information.

Date: Monday, November 17, 2003
Time: 9:00am PST (press conference in front of courthouse after hearing)
Location: Federal Courthouse, 280 South 1st Street, San Jose, CA 95113 (near W. San Carlos St.)
Courtroom: Judge Jeremy Fogel, Courtroom 3, 5th Floor
Case: Online Policy Group v. Diebold (Case Number C-03-04913JF)

I've been avoiding this story here because there's been such good coverage elsewhere in the blogworld. However, as 2004 approaches, I'm getting more and more concerned. And I have to tell you that as a security professional, I am really amazed by the situation.

As I understand it, there is no mechanism for a paper trail to backup these electronic voting machines. Now think about the business world for a moment. Talk to any CEO and they'll tell you that their mission-critical data absolutely has to be backed up. Data is the lifeblood of their companies. What could more mission-critical in a democracy than the votes people cast?

Let's face it: computers are not 100% reliable. We must have a way to verify or reconstruct a voter's intention, and if the ballot somehow "disappears" into the abyss of computer memory, we cannot go back unless there is a mechanism to print out the ballot upon voting. I think it's unconscionable that Diebold is being allowed to distribute machines without this most fundamental disaster recovery mechanism.

As always, you can go to Black Box Voting for the latest scoop on the evil secrets Diebold doesn't want you to know. The site also has information about activism and how we can work to make sure next November we don't get Diebolded.

ntodd 
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A non-violent, counter-dominant, left-liberal, possibly charismatic, quasi anarcho-libertarian Quaker's take on politics, volleyball, and other esoterica.

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