Re: SB 1376 passes senate...

From: David Jefferson <d_jefferson_at_yahoo_dot_com>
Date: Wed Aug 18 2004 - 12:14:16 CDT

> I'm with you, Dave... however, you can imagine that if this
> law said,
> "the SoS gets full access to all source code to do what he/she
> wants"
> there would have been considerable opposition... and the
> escrow part
> of this law is not much different than the (soon-to-be) old
> escrow
> provisions from the Elections Code (19103:
>
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=elec&group=19001-20000&file=19100-19103
> ).

I understand what you are saying. But remember that the SoS
already has authority (in my opinion) to demand any kind of
testing he wishes, including source code review, BEFORE
certification, and as a condition of certification. It is
authority that no SoS has ever used, but they could have.

But when the SoS decides he wants to make full and permanent
source code access a condition of certification, then vendors
can point to this law and rightly say that the legislature has
made clear the extent of SoS authority in the matter, and twice
passed laws with an escrow provision, rather than full access to
the code. The vendors will then claim that the SoS is
overstepping his authority to ask for more access than that (or
for any access at all to the souce code of the "firmware"), and
I suggest a court might agree.

I honestly think the SoS authority and leverage is likely
stronger without this law.

David

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Received on Tue Aug 31 23:17:15 2004

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