Re: Local interview

From: Eron Lloyd <elloyd_at_lancaster_dot_lib_dot_pa_dot_us>
Date: Fri Mar 26 2004 - 14:14:41 CST

On Friday 26 March 2004 2:10 pm, David Mertz wrote:
> I had not known about that terrible background check requirement--is
> that the bill Sen. Clinton sponsored, or a different one?

This is Barbara Boxer's bill. Of all three, Clinton's bill IMHO is the worst.
A good comparison is located at
http://www.verifiedvoting.org/senate_bill_comparison.asp

> 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.

Good points, which would be especially important to emphasize when doing
demonstrations. There are some other provisions in the proposed legislation
that cause some concern, such as in this also in Boxer's bill:

7(a)(2)(B)(iii): The manufacturer shall ensure that any software used in
connection with the voting system is not transferred over the Internet.

Do we want to support legislation that ends up preventing us from achieving
our goal? Open-source software is not possible without the Internet.

I think we need to be a bit more active in this whole process, including
lobbying Congress.

-- 
Eron Lloyd
Technology Coordinator
Lancaster County Library
elloyd@lancaster.lib.pa.us
Phone: 717-239-2116
Fax: 717-394-3083
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Received on Wed Mar 31 23:17:09 2004

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