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Diebold Election Results Released By AZ Judge 134

Posted by Zonk
from the just-a-little-more-oversight dept.
Windrip writes "A judge in the case covering the nature of the database used in Diebold Gems software during Pima County, Arizona elections has ruled the DB is not a computer program (pdf). The result is that the Arizona Democratic party will have the chance to review previous elections for transparency and accuracy. ''The Pima County Democratic Party sued the county this year for the electronic databases from past elections. The party requested the databases and passwords be released according to Arizona public-records law. Pima County denied that part of the request, while turning over other records the party asked for. In closing arguments of the four-day trial that began Dec. 4, Pima County argued the databases meet the definition of a computer program, which is protected by state law, said Deputy County Attorney Thomas Denker."
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Diebold Election Results Released By AZ Judge

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  • It's nice to see some judges can realise that a data set is not a program, I wonder how the previous decision really came about.
    • Re:Good. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Friday December 21, 2007 @10:41AM (#21778634) Homepage
      Presumably the same way that gems like "your RAM is evidence, do not delete" come about.
    • by Jhon (241832)
      Maybe someone asked the judge if a folder with paper in it is also a "wall cabinet", or if a book is also a "book case"?

      Or maybe the judge is one of the rare of his/her breed which actually suffers from an ailment which seems to disqualify most from their profession -- common sense?
    • Re:Good. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CastrTroy (595695) on Friday December 21, 2007 @10:43AM (#21778670) Homepage
      The data set is not a program, but the program required to interpret the dataset is. If the data files are in some binary proprietary format, there may not be an easy way to interpret what's in the data files without also having access to the program.
      • by Kupfernigk (1190345) on Friday December 21, 2007 @10:48AM (#21778720)
        Databases need to be available to be output in a standard format, and describable by a data dictionary. Data stored in a binary proprietary format which cannot be interpreted without reading the code of a program is NOT a database.

        Why do I in any case guess that this database is either MSDE or SQL Express?

        • Why do I in any case guess that this database is either MSDE or SQL Express?

          I thought Diebold used Access.

          • by CastrTroy (595695)
            I am pretty sure that I saw Access on Hacking Democracy. At least it looked a lot like Access. I don't remember seeing the Access Icon or splash screen though.
        • by sm62704 (957197)
          Why do I in any case guess that this database is either MSDE or SQL Express?

          Why do I guess that it's Microsoft Access?
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        I'm sure that it has changed since then, but it was reported a few years ago that they were using MS Access MDBs. No, seriously.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          A little old, but as I was saying: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0309/S00106.htm/ [scoop.co.nz]
          • by Dr_Barnowl (709838) on Friday December 21, 2007 @11:15AM (#21779068)
            The text of the PDF requires them to release "every file .. that ends with the extension 'gbf' or 'mdb', and the password for 'gbf' files." It also mentions that the data has been scrutineered with Access.

            The arguments about an Access database being a "program" are probably related to the ability of MDB to contain queries (aka stored procedures).

            GBF files are encrypted / compressed MDB files. The dockit claims that "a gbf file can only be created and opened by the GEMS program", but I suspect it unpacks them to a temporary file somewhere before it opens them up with the normal library.

            Other little GEMS (sorry, couldn't resist the pun)...

              * "Microsoft has warned against using the mdb format for some critical applications, such as election management software."
              * Each expert witness endorsed a statement that the GEMS software has significant security flaws.
            • by mea37 (1201159)
              An .mdb can contain more than just queries. It can also contain forms, reports, and VBA code to tie it all together into an almost-self-contained database app. (Only "almost-self-contained" because it still depends on the presenece of MS Access at runtime.)

              So, I'd say that an .mdb file could very well contain a computer program in addition to the dataset. In which case whoever is responsible for providing the data is also responsible for separating it from any protected program, such as by exporting the
              • by CastrTroy (595695)
                Does Access let you compile an executable to send out to clients? It seems like it would be the final step to Access being a full application platform. Just make the entire application and self contained in the executable. That way, you could develop everything in access, and the users would just be presented with the interface you give them. Which would make it much easier to limit what they can do with the data, or order to have some level of data integrity. I wouldn't stop a determined hacker, but i
                • by mea37 (1201159)
                  I don't think you can do this with Access; at least not as of the latest version I used.

                  By nature, Access is not secure and doesn't let you control how a 3rd party (to whom you give the mdb file) will use the data. For that you want a real multi-tier database app.
                  • by CastrTroy (595695)
                    I was thinking more along the lines of having the data contained within the exectuable, or at least stored in a separate file that is obfuscated to the degree necessary such that you can't just open it up in access to edit it. I seem to remember FileMaker Pro having a similar feature in when I used it back in highschool. It would be a nice alternative to building a multi-tier database system, when you just want to send a database out to someone to fill in with some data. Usually what we do when we need s
                • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                  by dcavanaugh (248349)
                  From ancient times, I remember there was such a thing as an Access "developer edition". It included the ability to take an .mdb file and create a "compiled" executable that was essentially the original .mdb file bundled with a crippled version of Access -- just enough to distribute a database and embedded VBA application to a computer that had nothing beyond ordinary Windows installed. It was a fragile solution -- many ways to screw it up. Along the same lines, the dev kit also included a freely distr
                  • by HiThere (15173)
                    But do you also remember just how big and fragile that resulting application was? I never found a single worthwhile use for it because of that, even though is *should* have been quite useful. I ended up requiring my clients to buy their own copies of MSAccess (of a specified edition, because only some versions would work). Needless to say I fled MSAccess as quickly as I was able, It was the print reporting capabilities that made this a difficult process. (These days I'd probably just generate HTML, but
                    • Oh yes, I remember. In order to avoid a self-terminating process, every possible error needed to be trapped and gracefully handled. This was not necessary with ordinary Access. After all, it might be OK to let certain errors go untrapped or possibly revert back to the system menu. Not so in Access run-time. By the time you had sandbagged every possible way that the app could self-destruct, it was like writing your own operating system.

                      You are also right about the reporting capabilities. Access is a de
                    • Sorry to quash the conspiracy theory, but if Diebold was trying to throw the election (and leave open the possibility of throwing future elections), they would have made a better choice than Access. After all, there is not much value in hijacking an election if ANYONE can do it. The corrupt choice would be a totally embedded system built from scratch, with a boatload of DRM. Instead they took the Teletubbies approach.

                      Never assume conspiracy when pure stupidity will suffice.
              • Oh, acknowledged, I've seen some real monstrosities written that way too. In this particular case though, the arguments are limited to quibbles about queries (confirmed by reading further down). GEMS is a separate application ; it would be trivial to demonstrate that an election system based on VBA was insecure, because the macros are available as source in the database file.
            • by rickb928 (945187)
              Actually, the court denied the plaintiffs' request for EVERY .mdb and .gbf file, but did not preclude their requesting additional files in future discovery. Just the 2006 election files were required to be disclosed by Pima County.

              You really ought to read through the entire decision, not just to be accurate. It's very nearly both an indictment of the significant security problems with GEMS and Diebold stuff in general, but fairly well-written decision. Plenty of tidbits showing how clueless the election
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          OMFG. You are serious. The Jet database has long been considered deprecated by Microsoft [microsoft.com].
          • by enjerth (892959)
            Access/Jet is still quite a useful tool.... for throwing together a quick prototype/demo application.
    • by sm62704 (957197)
      It's nice to see some judges can realise that a data set is not a program

      Too bad Microsoft can't realise that! Of course, it's hard to impliment Dumb Restrictions on Music (DRM) without making your data file format (wma) also be a program. I can't understand why a plain word processing document should be a program though.

      I'm surprised that they haven't come up with a photo file that your can write a virus in.

      Data should be data and code should be code. The judge gets it, but unfortunately way too many compu
    • by xystren (522982)

      It's nice to see some judges can realise that a data set is not a program, I wonder how the previous decision really came about.

      Perhaps, the way that you refer to "dataset" if it is just that.

      One could easily argue, that any sort of logic that is used within a stored procedure within a database could be considered a "program." Where exactly does the line between database/stored procedure and program lie?

      I would argue, any sort of data integrity checking done within a stored procedure in a database wou

  • Hey now! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Friday December 21, 2007 @10:43AM (#21778660) Homepage Journal

    In closing arguments of the four-day trial that began Dec. 4, Pima County argued the databases meet the definition of a computer program
    In that case, all the filing cabinets in my office meet the definition of filing clerks, and should all be drawing salaries. Just write those checks out in my name, boss, I'll take care of the details...
  • Not again! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by slashname3 (739398) on Friday December 21, 2007 @10:46AM (#21778700)
    Why do they keep demanding recounts! Seems like the better approach would be to set out a platform that solves the basic problems for the majority of people. Instead they (both parties) spend time tearing down each other as well as themselves then run crying to the courts when things don't happen to fall their way.

    Concentrate on solving the problems not trying to figure out some loop hole or proving some conspiracy and blaming others for not doing well at the polls.

    I really wish there was a third party candidate that had a shot at winning.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Because if there was this 3rd part candidate capable of winning, the election could potentially be altered such that they do not win. If the elections aren't fair or aren't accurate, the most voted for candidate won't win. These people are just making an effort to ensure that the votes are counted properly.

      Why does the Elections Office want to protect the data so much? Either they are protecting their own negligence or wrong doing. Either way, neither of those have a place in elections.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by TTURabble (1164837)
      Why do they keep demanding recounts!

      Because of people like you, You can call everything a conspiracy theory and denounce it as crazy, but I'd rather have checks in place to make sure anyway.

      There isn't any reason to go crying over spilled milk, but at the same time we should be working to make sure it won't spill again. This is one of the ways to make sure our next election is fair.
      • by elrous0 (869638) * on Friday December 21, 2007 @11:32AM (#21779278)
        Does it make you a conspiracy theorist to be suspicious and cautious when an election comes down to a few hundred votes in a state whose election commissioner was appointed by the brother of the winning candidate?!?! If it is, then give me my tin-foil hat, brother!
      • There isn't any reason to go crying over spilled milk,


        Rigged elections are "spilled milk"?
        Subverting the people's will is "spilled milk"?
        The results of an election affect our nation's policies, as well as the lives of our civilians and military members for years.
        If democracy has been subverted, it needs to be rectified immediately, and not delayed until the next election cycle.

    • Re:Not again! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Falstius (963333) on Friday December 21, 2007 @11:20AM (#21779130)
      Yeah! And why bother investigating burglary, just buy better locks. No need to investigate embezzlement just have better accountants. Oh, and murder, pshaw. We should focus on inventing better medicine.

      Accountability is important. There is not nearly enough of it in the American government, at any level.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by slashname3 (739398)
        When has a police department every really investigated a burglary? Maybe when it happens to some one in power or famous. In the real world police departments simply file some paper work and then go get some donuts. They don't investigate anything as lowly as a burglary.

        Accountability is important. But after all these recounts and investigations there has not been anyone charged with voter fraud, just accusations and innuendo.

        Politicians have been breed to win elections, not to solve the problems
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by MonsterMasher (518641)
      If the data shows when the vote was done - which I'm sure it does - then
      the data can be evaluated and stats worked up.

      If someone was fooling with the vote count they would have to be very careful
      in how they entered the data. Stats can be run one the distribution pattern and
      non-random sequence of entries can be looked at closely.

      Hell - every election voting database should be accessable on the net for any
      election, so that ANYONE can run the numbers and take a look. look what happened
      2004 election - someone w
      • I agree with a lot of what you say but I must warn you that I've lied in every exit poll I ever participated in for philosophical reasons.

        It's tricky to make the data public. We are trying to balance between a secret ballot and voting fraud. Database analysis makes it increasingly easy to tell exactly how people voted (esp in smaller districts) which puts people under pressure.

        I do not think it is a powerful conservative group. It is a powerful wealthy and corporate group. The conservative is just a sha
        • I agree with virtually everything you've said save for losing on abortion. I don't think that losing on that issue will motivate people as much as you think, and losing that will be a severe blow. Realize that the left's 'base' is very different than it used to be; they didn't grow up without abortion as a right, and don't necessarily understand what it means. Further, there are a lot of cultural issues pushing them away from activism.

          The best for the left - and government in general - will be to have quic

        • by lenski (96498)
          Almost agreed, but...

          I feel the best thing that could happen for the left would be to lose on abortion. That would take the wind out of the conservative sails for a generation and likely massively activate the left's base.

          The "abortion" decision is not only about abortion, despite the fact that Movement Conservatives really really want it to be. Roe V Wade is about *privacy*, as was the previously significant decision, Griswold V Connecticut.

          The "left" is about keeping government the hell out of the most se

          • The left wants to intrude in our lives just as much as the right. Just in different ways.

            There is no freedom under the extreme left or the extreme right.

            We need to get the country back to the extreme middle.

            The conservatives are blinded by the abortion issue (and sort of by the gay marriage issue) and do not see the rest of the republican parties values are antithetical to christian values.

            As an FYI-- I'm not the only quasi-liberal who feels that way on abortion. On my way to a vacation last year, I sat n
    • by sm62704 (957197)
      I really wish there was a third party candidate that had a shot at winning.

      So long as you folks keep thinking that way, the Republicrats will always be this country's only two-winged party. Stop worrying about whether or not your candidate is going to lose.

      No vote is ever wasted just because the candidate it's cast for loses. But if you vote for a candidate that will pass laws against your interests, then you have indeed wasted your vote in the most foolish way possible.

      I split my vote between the Greens an
      • by Black-Man (198831)
        The only confirmed vote stealing was done by the DEMOCRATS in Chicago! I guess they feel since they can't be trusted... no one can.
        • Look, all institutions with significant finances require rigorous auditing. We require it for business - why not for our government? They say that no one wants to see how sausage or laws are made: but it's exactly that opinion that keeps us out of the loop and powerless.

          More controls. More transparency. Fewer single points of failure. It's the only solution.

          • by doom (14564)

            More controls. More transparency. Fewer single points of failure. It's the only solution.

            Well, the death penalty for hired sock-puppets wouldn't hurt, either.

        • by sm62704 (957197)
          The Democrats are one of the two wings of the Republicrat Party. Republicrats (Democrats and Republicans) want marijuana outlawed; I want it legalized. They want gambling outlawed; I think it's none of their damned business. They want prostitution outlawed, I'm a horney single man.

          Both wings voted for the Bono Act, the DMCA, the PATRIOT act, Bankrupcy Reform, all which I was and am vehemently against.

          From my perspective I don't see any damned difference between the Democrats and Republicans. Both are for th
    • by alvinrod (889928)
      I don't do it because I hate the Republicans or any other political party. I push for it in order to establish that these electronic voting machines are easily susceptible to tampering and that they should be replaced with machines that are running open source software so that I can verify myself (if so inclined) that it wouldn't be possible for anyone to tamper with the machine in order to rig an election and leave no method of determining that any damage had been done. I'm not say that this has or hasn't
  • by Anonymous Coward
    CREATE TABLE total_votes (
    democrat_vote_total TINYINT,
    republican_vote_total BIGINT
    );
  • *runs to window, checks sky... hmm... not falling? wtf?*

    A judge who knows the difference between a database and a program. Now, if I can find a heterosexual masseur, I've seen anything I thought could not exist.
    • by thegnu (557446)

      Now, if I can find a heterosexual masseur, I've seen anything I thought could not exist.

      I have two of them in my immediate family, fwiw. Glad I could help.
      Cheers,
      Nathan
    • The way to a man's heart is through his stomach, but the way to a woman's heart is through stress-relieving massage.

      If guys figured this out, there would be many, many more heterosexual masseurs.
    • Now, if I can find a heterosexual masseur, I've seen anything I thought could not exist.
      Don't you watch late-night Cinemax?
  • A simple remark (Score:5, Insightful)

    by VincenzoRomano (881055) on Friday December 21, 2007 @10:52AM (#21778780) Homepage Journal
    How is it possible in the 21st century in the USA that one uses electronic voting machines with one hand while publishing important documents as scanned images with the other one?
  • by TTURabble (1164837) on Friday December 21, 2007 @10:52AM (#21778790)
    "There is a significant risk these systems could be hacked or discredited," Denker said.

    I pretty much think that this is the point; and it is an important point, because without the ability to call "bullshit" then you lose the legitimacy of the votes. Any corporation wouldn't trust an accountant to maintain the books without auditing them periodically, this is basically the same thing.

    also, the systems can already be hacked (quite easily I believe)
  • Because the only way Dennis Kucinich or Cynthia McKinney will ever win an election is when some smelly fat slob in a penguin t-shirt games the machines.

  • by Theovon (109752) on Friday December 21, 2007 @11:10AM (#21779010)
    A database file is just data, to be interpreted by a database program.
    But the database program is just data to be interpreted by the CPU.

    Data vs. document is a spectrum. There is no clear distinction. We tend to think of documents as just information, describing some structured knowledge, which is true. But by contrast, we tend to think of programs as containing primarily step-by-step instructions. But those instructions don't execute themselves. They're input to something. And moreover, not all programs are instructions. Consider Prolog, where the functions are described in terms of logical relationships, and the step-by-step instructions are inferred by the interpreter. Just because the Prolog program doesn't include instructions, per se, doesn't make us say it's not a program. At the same time, the distinction between a Prolog program and an expert system knowledge base (in term of form and function) is not clear.

    Everything is just data. What makes it meaningful is the order and interpretation that we impose on it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by mea37 (1201159)
      Yes and no. Most modern architectures blur the distinction by allowing data and code to reside in the same storage, and even allowing you to treat a section of memory as data at one moment and code at the next (which in theory allows for some neat self-modifying code (but that hasn't proven useful in the consumer market at least) but in practice is the root cause of every email virus ever).

      The principle difference, though, is that code is functional while data is expressive. You can argue that this is a f
      • by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdotNO@SPAMworf.net> on Friday December 21, 2007 @12:43PM (#21780332)

        Most modern architectures blur the distinction by allowing data and code to reside in the same storage, and even allowing you to treat a section of memory as data at one moment and code at the next (which in theory allows for some neat self-modifying code (but that hasn't proven useful in the consumer market at least) but in practice is the root cause of every email virus ever).


        Actually, you're referring to Von Neumann architecture. The other architecture is Harvard. Harvard has separate code and data memory (mostly - you still get the convenience of immediate mode addressing in Harvard). But code can only work on data memory - it cannot work on code memory. However, it's only really useful for speciailized computers running the same code on different data (e.g., signal processing - the data is transformed the same way all the time, so the code can reside in ROM, while the data comes in from whatever source is providing it).

        The Von Neumann architecture (code and data are intermingled, and one and the same) is your standard computer architecture. However, the behavior is used very often. Think every time you call exec() or CreateProcess() - the OS has to allocate memory, copy the code to memory (i.e., to the OS, your executable program is data), then tell the processor to run the code (now the data is code). Or even consider the bootstrap program - it has to find the OS loader program, which it copies off some storage to memory (data), then runs it (code). It's this architecture that makes modern computing possible...
        • by KlomDark (6370)
          It's just like the quantum paradox of particle-waves (Light, etc) - Maybe that's why we see a paradox, it's a wave when processed as data, but a particle when processed as code.

          I don't know if "processed" is the correct word to use, but gets sort of close. Maybe just "when it exists as" would be a better term to use. Which still doesn't make a whole lot of sense either, but these concepts tend to get weird when we try to represent them as text.
    • by sm62704 (957197)
      Data vs. document is a spectrum

      Only if you live in the Microsoft world. A horse is a four legged animal, but having four legs does not make a cat the same as a horse.

      A program is executable data. If you can execute it, it's a program. If you can't, it's data. A WMA file is a program, a n MP3 or OGG file is data.

      If Microsoft would learn that data as data should NOT be executable they wouldn't have so much trouble making their stuff secure.

      To crack a program with pure data (text file, MP3 file, etc) involves
      • by vidarh (309115)

        The problem is that any data can become a program: Just write an interpreter that treats it as one.

        It's not such a straightforward distinction.

        • by sm62704 (957197)
          You can't execute data that is being interpreted unless the interpreter is running. If the OS is the data's interpreter then your OS has a big gaping hole in it.
      • by jfmiller (119037)
        Except that LISP documentation explicitly states that that in a LISP program there is no distinction between code and data. This is the case for any dynamic language, and before anybody goes off about the LISP paradigm being an academic exercise, take a look at Ruby on Rails and tell me where code ends and data begins.
        • by sm62704 (957197)
          Well yes, many BASIC interpreters execute plain text as data as well, but you have to have the interpreter running for the data to be dangerous. You can't rename VIRUS.BAT to VIRUS.TXT and have it execute, nor can you rename VIRUS.BAS to VIRUS.BAT and have it execute.

          You can use WMA's DRM to write a trojan; execute the trojaned WMA file in Windows (won't work in Linux, haven't tried it with Mac) with any media player I've tried including Winamp and you're hosed. But you can't write a virus afaik with an OGG
    • by jhines (82154)
      In this case, voting, the data is the item.

      We (voters) have a need to collect said data, and used (paid for) your (vendor's) machine/program to do so. We still own the raw data, and the information contained in. Dump the table of votes, in comma delimited form, and burn it to a DVD, which is then MD5 (or something) as "official", and can be published.

      No proprietary information needs to be revealed to anybody. Just a list, one line per vote, and answers voted on.
      • How useful is that going to be, really. The vote-table doesn't have any identifying marks, so how do you know that the sequence:

        Candidate choice for office [4 choices]: 1,1,4,1,4,1,3,2,1,2,1,2,1,1,1,2,2,2,3,1...

        is generated from real votes and not just from

        ...
        fprintf('%d,',weight(.5,.3,.1,.1,rand())); /* in loop (make sure coefficients add to unity)*/
        ...
    • by zooblethorpe (686757) on Friday December 21, 2007 @12:43PM (#21780324)

      A database file is just data, to be interpreted by a database program.
      But the database program is just data to be interpreted by the CPU.

      Data vs. document is a spectrum. There is no clear distinction. ...

      Everything is just data. What makes it meaningful is the order and interpretation that we impose on it.

      How very Hinduistically existential of you, actually. Quoting from a recent Natl. Geo. article, Faces of the Divine in the January 2008 issue (which I received earlier this week, thanks apparently to time-traveling magazine editors):

      ... Beauty meant nothing in itself: A work of art, whether a bronze statue of Shiva engaged in his cosmic dance of creating and destroying the universe or a painting of the Buddha attaining enlightenment under the bodhi tree, amounted to no more than base metal or dried pigment until a viewer responded to it. Seeing a painting or sculpture in a temple opened the minds of receptive worshippers to intimate communion with the divine. Seeing was believing.

      Hindus call this intense participatory relationship with art an act of darshan, or "seeing" the deity. "Such seeing does not literally mean merely using one's eyes," according to art historian Vidya Dehejia, "but is a dynamic act of awareness." For the Buddhist monks and their patrons at Ajanta monastery, paintings of the Buddha served the same potent function, providing a key to revelation.

      So I suppose what you describe would be the CPU's darshan of the code. (Though one could probably make a reasonable argument about which is data and which the program on the basis of specifically how dynamic the darshan needs to be to make sense of it.)

      I find it somehow reassuring, and deeply cool, that certain wisdoms of the ancients can be perfectly relevant in wildly different contexts. It's also humbling to find how much our supposedly "primitive" ancestors got right in areas that we have forgotten or set aside. :)

      Cheers,

    • "A database file is just data, to be interpreted by a database program.
      But the database program is just data to be interpreted by the CPU."

      You get points for clever-sounding obfuscation. Good job.

      A set of data is a program if some automatic mechanism is capable of interpreting that data to provide:

      1) Sequencing.
      2) Decisions.
      3) Iteration.

      That is the minimal definition of a program. A collection of semi-random data that is not processable by such an automated mechanism automatically disqualifies that set of
      • by Theovon (109752)
        I'm just painfully curious to know how you were able to interpret "any old data is a program" from what I wrote. Indeed, I was saying the converse.
  • by argent (18001) <peter@slashdot.2 ... m ['nga' in gap]> on Friday December 21, 2007 @11:16AM (#21779074) Homepage Journal
    If the security of the system depends on keeping the implementation secret, then it's not secure. Huckelberry's assertions are themselves an indictment of Diebold's product.
  • Hopefully, this ruling will lead to the removal of all of these "electoral vote control and modification machines" and getting back to a system of legit elections. I still think we need UN election monitors at every polling station in the US.
  • All programs are data.
    All data can be stored in a database.
    Some data are programs.

    If I store my C code in a database that does not make it "not a program."

    Election results are typically not a program.

    However, I could design a machine that takes this data and interprets it as instructions. For example, I could design a plotter that took the candidate's name as a change-of-direction instruction and the number of votes as a draw-a-line-this-long instruction. If I do this then the election data becomes a prog
  • by Windrip (303053) on Friday December 21, 2007 @12:17PM (#21779936) Journal

    Those of you truly interested in this story should read the firehose version [slashdot.org].

    I think the links in the firehose version of the story are more apropos to this post's tags.

    Of particular concern to me is the replacement of one the original post's links with one that references a newspaper I consider to be a parody of press oversight. I would never source that bloated, piss-stained, corporate catamite in any post I write.

    So, when /. writes "Windrip writes", they're lying. I didn't write what was posted on the front page of /. I didn't even provide one of the links in the story.

    Nevertheless, of particular interest to /. readers might be the forensic study conducted on the DB. I found it here. [azag.gov]

    • Or at the very least, read the post and have a look at the links. This is particularly damning of /. editors:

      Of particular concern to me is the replacement of one the original post's links with one that references a newspaper I consider to be a parody of press oversight. I would never source that bloated, piss-stained, corporate catamite in any post I write.

      So, when /. writes "Windrip writes", they're lying. I didn't write what was posted on the front page of /. I didn't even provide one of the links i

  • by PPH (736903) on Friday December 21, 2007 @03:33PM (#21782966)
    ... can we get a peek at the 2008 election results that Diebold is planning?
  • by r_jensen11 (598210) on Friday December 21, 2007 @03:44PM (#21783128)
    Can we get the last 8 years of our lives back? How about the thousands of Americans that've died in combat, and the resulting 100,000+ innocent Iraqi's that've died as a consequence of this bastard?

Wernher von Braun settled for a V-2 when he coulda had a V-8.

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