Re: Potent new evidence completing the Windows CEfraud picture

From: Douglas W. Jones <jones_at_cs_dot_uiowa_dot_edu>
Date: Mon Aug 07 2006 - 14:18:34 CDT

On Aug 4, 2006, at 5:28 PM, Jim March wrote:

> OK, but...there is a very similar evidence trail (as Joe Hall points
> out) for Accubasic having been treated as COTS too. Is this Diebold
> hiding customized code from ITA scrutiny to save money, or is this the
> ITAs garbling things beyond belief?

The first hint I had of this issue was in the 1997 Board of Examiners
meeting in Iowa. At the time, Microsoft was saying, very firmly, to
the Justice Department, that Microsoft Internet Explorer was an integral
part of Windows '95 and could not be stripped out of windows without
breaking it. So, when I discovered that the Global AccuTouch (which
became the Diebold AccuVote TS) was based on Windows '95, I asked
whether
it contained Internet Explorer. Bob Urosevitch said no, they had
stripped
that out. I then asked whether this meant that their version of Windows
was no longer unmodified COTS software, but rather, specifically
modified
for the voting environment. He said, firmly, no, Microsoft is wrong,
you can strip out IE without breaking anything, and this does not
constitute a modification. Sadly, I let this go back then, although
our certification of the Global AccuTouch was conditional and we later
rescended that certification when Global failed to follow through.

(I am not responsible for what happened in the Board of Examiners after
I left it.)

Urosevitch was wrong, and so was Microsoft's antitrust testimony. In
the
case of the AccuTouch and its successors, it is plain and obvious that
the ITA needed to examine the modifications Global and later Diebold
made
to the configurations of COTS software they used. Indeed, this may not
require examination of the source code for the configured components,
but
the nature of the changes to the configuration, which components are
present,
which are absent, and what custom bits of glue were created to hold them
together, absolutely must be examined.

                Doug Jones
                jones@cs.uiowa.edu

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Received on Thu Aug 31 23:17:04 2006

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