Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Diebold backdoor a "feature"

Backdoor Found in Diebold Voting Machines (actually, three backdoors - read the article.) The part I find most eligible for blog fodder is this:
A Diebold spokesman did not dispute Hursti's findings, but said that Black Box Voting was making too much of the matter because the systems are intended to remain in the hands of trusted election officials.

"What they're proposing as a vulnerability is actually a functionality of the system," said spokesman David Bear. "Instead of recognizing the advantages of the technology, we keep ringing up 'what if' scenarios that serve no purpose other than to confuse and in some instances frighten voters."

Okay, here are my favorite flawed assumptions:

1. you can trust voting officials. I think the fact that air marshals have been convicted of smuggling drugs on flights is pretty clear indication that federal security screening of its employees is not an accurate indicator of ethics/morals/trustworthiness.

2. no one with malicious intentions will at any time, in any precinct, ever have access to one of the machines. And if you believe that, you should know that "gullible" is not in the dictionary, immediately join the campaign to Save the Naugas (do you realize how many are slaughtered each year to make Nauga-hide dentist chairs?), and be advised that there really are people in Nigeria legitimately trying to transfer money.

3. to the best of my knowledge, no one has explained yet why the back doors were programmed in, and what legitimate 'functionality' they serve. Did the programmer pass the same 'security' screening and trustworthiness rating scale as the election officials?

Bah, whole thing makes me cranky.


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