Swarthmore Shutting Down Websites That Link To Protest Site

from the going-waaaaaaaay-overboard dept

If you haven't been following the story of Swarthmore College and its actions to stifle students from protesting against Diebold, it's quite a story, that seems to only be getting worse. As you've probably read recently, there's been a ton of controversy over Diebold, one of the major makers of electronic voting machines. People have discovered huge gaping security holes that call into question certain recent elections. In that original article, we pointed out that Diebold seemed to be making quite a mistake in trying to shut down certain sites that included internal memos that admit the company knew of the security problems, and didn't really care. In claiming copyright ownership over those documents, and saying anyone posting them was in violation, they were admitting that they did own the documents, and therefore they were legitimate. Thus, under whistleblowing laws, it shouldn't be an issue that they were made public. However, Diebold has still been using the DMCA to force many sites offline. A group of students at Swarthmore college decided to start a little civil disobedience campaign to fight back against the cease-and-desist letter they received from Diebold, and will keep moving the documents from machine to machine to make sure they remain available. Now, here's where the story gets even more interesting. Ernest Miller has been following the case since then, and found out that Swarthmore College administrators have been siding entirely with Diebold on this one, and started disconnecting the internet accounts of any student who hosted the files. However, the latest news is the most shocking. Swarthmore is now disconnecting the internet accounts of anyone who dares to link to the site explaining the protest. This goes beyond cutting off internet access to those who host the files, and even those who link to the files. They're actually cutting off those who link to a discussion of why they're hosting the files. This is deeply troubling, both in seeing how a company is stifling information that absolutely should be public and in how a university is doing their best to stifle even the slightest discussion about this.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    dorpus, Oct 24th, 2003 @ 12:33am

    Takes all kinds

    Actually, it's good to see schools side with capitalist forces, instead of a knee-jerk Marxist reflex. It should silence the rabble who complain of leftist police states at schools.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2003 @ 7:11am

    No Subject Given

    11th and falling rapidly

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    LittleW0lf, Oct 24th, 2003 @ 7:51am

    Electronic Voting

    I really hate to say this, but except for a few here and on slashdot, nobody seems to care. After all, the media has poo-pooed the discussion, and has not even sent in an investigator to find out more about the memos or the voting system. It appears to me that we have a government coup in progress, specifically that when these machines are finally in place, it won't be government by the people, for the people, but government by the corporation, for the corporation (Bladerunner anyone?) Once they have control over the voting systems, and silence the critics, what is to keep them from meddling with the elections. Of course, the hackers can always get in there and meddle to, since we all know what the password is for their Access database!!!

    New Diapold ad? "Want to be president? How about a senator or representative? Of course you do, bidding starts at $1.5 million. Please send check for $1.5 million to Diapold Industries, P.O. Box 99910, Oakland, CA, 95200."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2003 @ 8:40am

    Re: Electronic Voting

    It's funny how the U.S. is stuffing it's own constitution down the toilet. Right from the WhiteHouse itself down to MPAA & RIAA and now any priveate company that feels they are above free speech rights.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Director Mitch, Oct 24th, 2003 @ 8:47am

    Re: Electronic Voting

    Sounds to me we should go back to some simple, standard voting method like punch ballots...oh, wait, the 9th district court (originally) ruled them unconstitutional for the CA recall since it disenfranchises minority voters who get "confused" when using punch ballots (this position was pushed by the ACLU and...Diebold!).

    How about we just have everyone raise their hands?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Mariner28, Oct 24th, 2003 @ 10:14am

    Obvious Solution...

    The information leaked regarding Diebold's inept security design and implementation just goes to show you that the only way to bring trusted electronic voting to the electorate is to develop the system in the open - Open Source it. And not only the code, but the acquisition process as well: forbid states from signing away disclosure rights for the systems. The only valid elections are free and open elections

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Moebius Street, Oct 24th, 2003 @ 12:16pm

    Re: Electronic Voting

    when these machines are finally in place, it won't be government by the people, for the people, but government by the corporation, for the corporation

    While what's going on is a sorry state of affairs, I think you're jumping to a conclusion that's not supported (or even suggested) by the facts. Diebold is creating a system that's begging to be abused, but there's no reason to think that they themselves are the ones that will be the ones committing the abuse. In fact, Diebold has been so stupid through this whole affair that it's hard to believe they could do it all on their own.

    What's really scary is to speculate about

    1. This isn't just a lazy company that doesn't care about creating a quality product, and
    2. Who is really clever, subtle, and influential enough to be driving this?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Hide this ad »
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Chat
Hide this ad »
Recent Stories
Advertisement - Amazon Prime Music
Hide this ad »


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.