Re: [OVC-discuss] Bowen opposes legislative proposal

From: Nathan Adams <nadams_at_ieee_dot_org>
Date: Tue Jan 27 2009 - 23:00:15 CST


This statement is fatally flawed: "[Open source] companies cannot recoup
millions of dollars in certification costs with license fees..." There are
many legitimate ways for a manufacturer to recover the costs of
certification besides the licensing fees you mention. Are you even sure
Premier, Sequoyah, actually make money by simple licensing? Or do
they sell a (poor) voting solution with the related (dis)services and use
licensing as a legal shield against prying eyes? Providing open source
technology doesn't prohibit anyone making a handsome (and well deserved)

Paragraph e) seems to be a "poor man's" certification criteria, but I
wouldn't dare characterize it as being the basis for "an exemplary state
process." As others have rightly pointed out, certification (done right)
isn't easy, and in my opinion this proposal is woefully inadequate. You're
basically asking the SoS to throw out a known quantity (as bad as it may be)
for a wink and a nod from a bunch of voting activists. Oh, and give our
system (which is currently in demo form) special treatment while you're at
it, thanks!

Paragraphs f) through h) give the SoS so much leeway and room for
interpretation as to completely nullify the entire proposal anyway. The
implied assumption is that the SoS is a benevolent (and competent) voting
technologist whose sole purpose is providing a fair election. My gut says
that the vast majority of SoS's are just politicians who seek re-election
first and formost and would rather just be told "GO BUY THIS BOX" than
actually delve into the details. Even if Bowen is the exception, she may not
be in office a few short years down the road. Legislation should be written
with the assumption that politicians and bureaucrats are lying crooks
hell-bent on robbing citizens of their liberties.

So no, you're not very convincing; my original opinion is un-changed. :) I
think the proposed legislation misses the mark at best and gives the *
impression* that OVC/Open Source solutions are *incapable* of meeting
certification at worst. If I were a SoS, I wouldn't support it.


On Tue, Jan 27, 2009 at 11:16 PM, Alan Dechert <> wrote:

> Nathan,
> We should be reforming the certification process,
>> not trying to avoid it.
>> This is overly simplistic. We want to set up an exemplary state process.
> This will help improve the federal process. "trying to avoid it" is
> nonsense.
> Alan

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Received on Thu Jan 7 00:09:55 2010

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