Re: confused about COTS vs open hardware

From: Alan Dechert <dechert_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Wed Feb 07 2007 - 11:41:40 CST

I'm not sure where you got "COTS in the software stack but not closed

Open Voting Solution's (OVS) optical scan precinct-based system, for
example, utilizes an off-the-shelf Kodak scanner. I think this is okay as
long as we can verify that the COTS hardware and software that make up the
Kodak scanner are unmodified.

The Holt bill would prohibit the use of this scanner because it has
nondisclosed software.

I don't think Kodak will be interested in disclosing their stuff to sell a
few scanners. The average county has less than 100 poll sites. So, if OVS
sold an average sized county on using their system, they'd have to convince
Kodak it's worthwhile to disclose all the software in their system in order
to sell 100 scanners. I don't think this is practical.


> Hi all,
> I've been reading with interest the latest discussions, and I'm a bit
> confused about a topic that I was hoping folks on the list might clear
> up for me.
> It seems that OVC wants to allow COTS in the software stack, but not
> closed hardware (as per Alan's latest response to the Holt bill). How
> are those two different, from a security/audit standpoint? More
> importantly, it seems the value of open-source voting is radically
> diminished if we allow COTS.
> So I'm just trying to understand the reasoning behind these two points.
> Maybe I misunderstood the points themselves, so correct me if I'm wrong!
> -Ben
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Received on Wed Feb 28 23:17:09 2007

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