Re: Local interview

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Fri Mar 26 2004 - 15:59:48 CST

On Mar 26, 2004, at 3:43 PM, Eron Lloyd wrote:
>>> 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.
>> What we transfer is pre-certification development versions. Ideally,
>> the actual software is contained on our EVMix live-CD, and is
>> physically carried around to polling places (and an MD5 sum is
>> performed once it gets there).

> The thing with policy language is that it needs to be as specific as
> possible
> to prevent misinterpretation. As it is written, it would totally
> disqualify
> the entire GNU tool chain, Linux, Python, and every other component
> used in
> our system. I'm looking for language the proprietary vendors could
> point to
> and use against us.

But the over broad interpretation applies equally to the proprietary
vendors (which makes me believe the courts would never interpret it the
worst way). The actual copy of Linux, Python, etc. that gets carried
to a voting machine can very well be contained on the EVMix live-CD
that I've mentioned (I like my coinage for the hypothetical
distribution, but obviously the name is tentative). So the self-same
copy of Linux/Python/EVM used "in connection with the voting system" is
not transferred over the internet.

Similarly, Diebold's awful Windows-based machines should not have the
software installed over the internet. But Diebold themselves certainly
download security updates to WinCE over the internet. (And even if
Diebold themselves get shipped a CD, the same patch is *available* over
the internet). And they may well obtain support libraries they use over
the internet too. What is transferred in the development process isn't
the same thing as what is transferred to the actual voting
machine--that applies equally to OVC or proprietary vendors.
mertz@ | The specter of free information is haunting the `Net! All the
gnosis | powers of IP- and crypto-tyranny have entered into an unholy
.cx | alliance...ideas have nothing to lose but their chains. Unite
         | against "intellectual property" and anti-privacy regimes!
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Received on Wed Mar 31 23:17:10 2004

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