Saturday, October 21, 2006

Will Electronic Voting Become Open System?

The computer program that runs Diebold's voting machines can now be assessed by experts. It's about time.

Former delegate gets purported Diebold code - baltimoresun.com

Soon the graduate computer science students of the world will examine it.

When 10,000 techies can't find a hole in something, that is better proof that it's secure than if nobody can see inside. Linux is visible like that. Everyone can read and re-compile Linux system programs. It doesn't need virus protection like the Windows system. It is stable. And now 10,000 people can pick and pry and discover flaws in the Diebold system. It is visible.

If they do find holes, that may be legal cause to suspend the use of these machines until they can be proven secure. If they don't, then Diebold will be a step ahead of their competition in getting the machines certified as accurate and fool-proof.

Implication for today: one less way to secretly tweak the vote.

Implication for tomorrow: 10,000 graduate students will compete to make the most secure program possible for the Diebold box. It will be open-system.

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