Diebold Says So Long To North Carolina

from the turning-tail dept

Diebold has a long history of resisting sharing the source code for its much-derided electronic voting machines, even if it's with election officials wanting to verify the machines actually work like they're supposed to. North Carolina had passed a law requiring e-voting machine vendors to make their source code available for scrutiny by officials and experts, and Diebold managed to get itself exempted from the law, drawing a suit from the EFF. Last week, a judge ruled against Diebold, saying if they wanted to sell their machines in North Carolina, they'd have to follow the law. Diebold's response is pretty predictable: they'd rather not do business in the state than expose their code. The company just doesn't seem to get it: elections, and the equipment used in them, need to be transparent and open to public scrutiny. Running away rather than opening their code won't engender much trust in their equipment, in North Carolina, or anywhere.

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  1. identicon
    boroshan, 22 Jan 2006 @ 4:03am

    Hacking isn't good enough

    If the officials want to determine if the machine is secure, they can try to hack it. Opening up the source code is total bull crap.

    Yep, that might work for unintentional insecurities.

    On the other hand, if diebold put in an intentional backdoor, they could code one that only respnded to a specific IP, or used port knocking, or a malformed ping packet, or probably a dozen other secure gateways that the hackers'd never even see.

    So, given that political control of the most powerful nation on the planet is a valuable commodity in some circles, given that the history books are full of election fixing scams, and given that diebold have done such a laughable job of securing their software so far, how are we to trust that software?

    In fact, how are we to trust any software that we cannot inspect?

    This does mean that diebold should be forced to open their source. It does mean any machine used for electoral purposes should have its codebase publically audited, discussed and approved before use.

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