Re: Local interview

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Fri Mar 26 2004 - 13:10:26 CST

On Mar 26, 2004, at 1:41 PM, Eron Lloyd wrote:
> I'm being interviewed this evening by our local paper for the Sunday
> News
> political section on the verifiable voting issue. One thing she'll
> want to
> talk about is how we stand on the bills before Congress right now.
> None are
> perfect, and some are better than others in different areas. For
> instance, S.
> 2045 requires background checks on programmers, which could certainly
> impede
> our efforts.

Congratulations, Eron. I'm sure you'll do a great job conveying OVCs
concerns.

I had not known about that terrible background check requirement--is
that the bill Sen. Clinton sponsored, or a different one?

I'm sure you already have thought of as much, but one observation to
make is that the background check solves a problem that ONLY exists in
proprietary development. It's simply not germane to Free Software. If
one of our (agent provocateur) developers wanted to smuggle in
malicious code, our methodology would prevent it. Not only because her
code would be open to validation by the rest of our team, but because
it would be open for inspection by the voting public as a whole--a
certain percentage of whom can understand source code (and the rest can
hire programmers if they have sufficient concern). The very worst a
malicious developer could do to OVC is slow down the process a bit, in
stark contrast to malice among the proprietary vendors, where the worst
case is a backdoor or other cheat.

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---[ Gnosis Software ("We know stuff") <mertz@gnosis.cx>
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Received on Wed Mar 31 23:17:09 2004

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