Diebold Tries To Charge County For Showing Its Machines Have Serious Problems
from the them-again? dept
It was just two days ago that we wrote about the actions of Diebold and other electronic voting machine companies in Florida, where they're effectively boycotting an elections official who had the gall to have their machines tested in a way that shows they have serious security issues. That article noted that Diebold was negotiating to sell new machines to the county, but only on the condition that the elections officials not run more security tests -- other than "authorized" security tests (because, of course, those with malicious intent would only hack the machines in an "authorized" way). Turns out that Florida isn't the only county where Diebold is using such tactics... and it may have cost one election official in Utah his job. Phil Windley has the disturbing story, which has many similarities to the Florida story. The county ordered a bunch of Diebold machines and noticed a bunch of problems with the machines as they unpacked them. So, sensing a problem that should be investigated, the official had a couple machines security tested -- which turned up all sorts of additional security issues. Diebold's response? They told the county that the tests broke the warranty on the machines and demanded $40,000 to "recertify" the machines. This resulted in a meeting between the county official and state election officials -- and in the heat of the moment (with state officials apparently siding with Diebold), the county official announced his resignation. He now claims he didn't really want to resign, and is trying to retain his job -- but the state doesn't seem interested any more. In fact, it sounds like state officials are positively furious with the guy for daring to test the machines. Combined with the story in Florida and (of course) story after story after story of questions related to the security of Diebold's e-voting machines (and their responses to such questions), it certainly gives off the impression that Diebold is putting a lot of pressure on elections officials not to run security tests on their machines. Again, this makes no sense. A company that is building secure machines should be proud to have it tested -- and should be willing to respond to and fix any security tests that show problems with the machine. Bullying those who demonstrate the problems just seems to raise more questions.