December 3, 2003

Diebold: Don't Ask, Don't Tell

AgentOrange writes "There have been some unsettling rumors (and facts) about the Diebold Election Systems Voting Machines going around the Internet, and a lot of these are directly the result of the equipment manufacturers heavy-handed tactics and apparent desire to silence critics. The Equipment manufacturers internal email communications have made it out onto the Internet, and they are indeed, somewhat disturbing to say the very least. They are even being picked up by the mainstream media (you have to sign up for a free New York Times account to read the articles).

Fortunately, the EFF has taken a stand, and reportedly the manufacturer has decided to drop their suit. This is a victory for American Democracy, but it has been reported that company officials were far angrier about documents not being password-protected than any dispute over their content.

This once again points out the need for equipment and software that directly affect the American republic to be open to public scrutiny and development. In the rush to create voting machines to resolve the problems of the Florida elections of 2000, we may have created a far worse problem than that which existed before. Pen and paper has always worked before, and if we do not feel confident enough in our development system to open the process up for inspection, then we have a very serious and contentious issue that must be addressed."



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