Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Backdoor flaws found in Diebold e-voting machines

Umm...can you say "not good"? Not one, not two, but *three* security backdoors were found in two of Diebold's voting-machine models' software.

"What they're proposing as a vulnerability is actually a functionality of the system. 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."

I know it's silly to hope that he's joking, but that's just plain stupid. A voting machine is supposed to enable people to record their vote in an election and provide a degree of certainty that the ballots have not been tampered with.

I fail to understand how publicly unknown backdoors to the software controlling these systems...systems that do not maintain an auditable hard-copy paper trail...can be called "functionality of the system". If there is a mechanism (or, say, three of them) by which someone may gain access to the operation of the voting machines other than by normal user or administrative controls, that's a *break* in the functionality of the system.

I suppose you can still request an absentee ballot, if your county insists on using either of these flawed models, but I agree with the author of the article...the machines should be recalled and never used again.


John Karns said...

I fail to understand how publicly unknown backdoors ... can be called "functionality of the system".

Simple - the functionality is a planned feature that enables those with access to use it for the intended purpose: maintain an illusion of a democratic republic in the puclic mind while facilitating something quite the contrary in reality.

drakaan said...

Sad and possibly true...better phrased, my comment would be:

I fail to understand how publicly unknown backdoors ... can legitimately be called "functionality of the system"