Re: red hat summit 2007?

From: Mark Zeman <mzeman_at_cerebralsoftware_dot_com>
Date: Tue May 15 2007 - 22:57:27 CDT

  I went to the Summit and found much of what I expected: fellow Linux
enthusiasts bursting with technical information and notes on its application.
I was pleased to see Matthew Szulik and Brian Stevens' keynotes and their
accompanying video presentations carrying a few more global empowerment
messages than I had even imagined. I was truly among friends, and they
actually got it. They got it better than I did.
  Then Alan Dechert spoke to the keynote audience. I was already interested
in open voting, after reading the Slashdot posts about voting machine vendors
(and one that makes ATMs in particular) and the controversy surrounding them.
Alan spoke about the problems with current electronic voting machines and
displayed a system that he bought on eBay. It was full of security holes, like
a lock that matched every other machine from that state, and a switch inside
that allowed input from multiple non-voting sources, such as an infrared port.
   The software is an even larger issue, and Dechert also found he was among
friends in an audience that supported open source software. These people knew
 that unlimited access to technology by everyone meant that its reach was
multiplied, and that widespread scrutiny made it more secure than something
hidden and in the hands of a few developers or technicians with uncertain
   Alan Dechert started the Open Voting Consortium to solve a problem
highlighted by the 2000 elections, or perhaps more accurately, its closed and
proprietary solution. He has a background as a software developer, and he
handled the situation as any good developer would, by writing a utility or
application, or creating something entirely new to address the issue. The OVC
is on the right path, and I don't see how anyone can argue with it. Open and
accountable voting? It would be like arguing against voting rights themselves.

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Received on Thu May 31 23:17:03 2007

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