We're seeing a ton of stories about how California has hired a hacker to try to break into a randomly selected (previously used in an election) Diebold e-voting machine. Diebold, of course, has a long and troubling history concerning their e-voting machines, that have no way to create a backup paper trail. However, while many of those who are against these types of e-voting machines are happy about this week's hack-a-thon, it actually sets a very bad precedent. By opening up the machine to a single hacker, it puts the burden of proof on the hacker, rather than the company. The company making the voting machines needs to prove that they're safe and that there's a way to get back from any problem. By handing it off to a single hacker, suddenly the assumption is that the e-voting machines are safe unless the hacker breaks into them. So, should he not find a particular security hole, the company will start promoting that as proof that the machines are secure, when all it really means is this one particular hacker was unable to find a vulnerability.
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