Diebold Out of North Carolina

Diebold has stopped selling electronic voting machines in North Carolina because the state wants it to release its source code (probably a very bad idea).

If I remember right, we use the same machines in Georgia.

7 comments

  1. zra says:

    It’s a very bad idea for Diebold but a very good idea for democracy. It should not be a secret how whoever or whatever is counting the votes gets the job done.

  2. Haha if I recall as if that’s just a small insignificant detail and not the scourge company #1 of the left.

    RSA security is publicly documented and nearly impossible to crack. I don’t see why voting machine operating language couldn’t be the same way.

  3. rickday says:

    heck, we* bought it, we ought to be able to check it out! And Mrs Cox did break a few rules (or perhaps laws), by signing a secret public -public secret contract, banning inspection of afore mentioned public bought secret to the public code.

    Follow that?

    * GA Taxpayers, which means those of us who still pay taxes.

  4. Ben King says:

    As Chris points out, public code does note equal hacking. Linux code is all open source, and gets virtually no viruses. Proprietary Windows code, however… Of course, it is worth recognizing that many more people use windows, so virus makers have more reason to hack windows machines. but still, a flaw on an open source code is often fixed faster than on proprietary code because more people are able to view it, call attention to it, and fix it collectively, rather than waiting for someone to exploit it, and then having the central guys fix it.

  5. Chris says:

    Rick, people by Windows XP, that doesn’t give them a legal right to look at Microsoft’s source code. It is all dependent on the licensing.

    Diebold’s excuse for not escrowing the source to NC is that they use Microsoft products and that they do not have the right to release Microsoft’s source to the state of North Carolina. That said, they could release the diebold source code – and that they haven’t done that is telling.

    With modern computers I could put code to give every 100th Democrat vote to the Natural Law party in hunderds of places (firmware, microprocessor, display drivers, operating system, etc). With the amount of money governments toss around to special interests the financial incentive is there to put that code in every Intel chip sold on the off chance a few are put into voting machines.

    The Only way to verify vote accuracy is with a physical tally of votes (paper receipt) and statistically rigorous verification of the electronic tally with the physical one. Smarter voters would help too, but I’m not sure we can legally kick Florida out of the union.

  6. Chris says:

    Linux and Mac are more secure because they are less common (and somewhat better architected). I agree Open Source Software makes it easier for experienced users to be more secure, because the security vulnerability is fixed faster.

    But fixing the problem is only step one. Users and administrations have to apply the fix to their systems. Most Linux boxes on the net are not running the latest versions of software, and thus would be susceptable to a worm or virus should one be released.

    That is a problem that exists for both Linux and Windows.

  7. Ben King says:

    I think it would be within somebody’s pay grade to monitor changes for voting code and update every morning.

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