Re: Ms. Tobi's overheated rhetoric

From: Jim March <1_dot_jim_dot_march_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Sat Nov 03 2007 - 06:40:22 CDT


There have been a boatload of academics over the years of the Brit
Williams/Merle King ilk. People who have supported the "dominant
paradigm" at NASED, EAC and various state certification processes.
Rotten certification systems have had academic apologists for years.

And when they're not apologizing, they're simply ignoring data that
comes from non-academic sources.

Let's take one example. You must be aware by now that Windows CE in
the Diebold touchscreen product line hasn't been examined by anybody
outside of Diebold. Documents filed by Diebold with the California
SecState's office list WinCE as "COTS", which is flat-out impossible
as CE has to have been customized in order to work at all. It's a
"kit", not a "product".

How can you ignore that? I'm quite serious here: there is NO possible
way the legality of the Diebold CE-based products can be supported.

Worse, since CE is at the core of the Sequoia and Hart touchscreens,
it's quite possible they pulled the same stunt. After all, there were
only three labs. If one examined CE in code-review detail while
another treated it as COTS, you'd think somebody would ask questions
over drinks at the hotel bar wherever the next NASED meet was held?

So at least one vendor's product line is verifiably
illegal...something I told you in person around Oct. 2003. Did you
ever check up on that? Ever ask any questions? It's 2007 and the
junk is still in use all over the country. Never mind that both the TS
and TSx have drop-in flash memory module support allowing wholesale
code addition with a standard Phillips screwdriver and less than five

As to Dill. Problem one is that the way he treats non-academics is
completely different from how treats his "fellow ivory tower folk"
with names followed by lots of funny initials. The difference is
night and day. Go have a chat with his first (volunteer) webmaster
some time.

Problem two, he hasn't complained about what's going to anywhere near
the degree the situation merits. He's like a guy watching a riot
saying "excuse me, this isn't polite at all" in a squeaky voice. It
doesn't do a lot of good. Think I'm exaggerating? Go over his
testimony before the Carter-Baker commission.

Three, and worst of all, he's an enabler. I don't expect you to
understand that right away because you are too - a worse one,

It's not my words that should "unnerve" you, nor were they meant to.

What *should* unnerve you is a serious examination of what you've been
doing for years: by acting as an "insider" to "reform things from
within" including during the McPherson years when it was obvious
reform wasn't going to happen, you didn't just fail to do reforms.
Much worse, you enabled the ongoing bullshit. You lent your name,
your credibility and your academic credentials to a visibly broken
process. You propped up an ongoing disaster.

And despite everything Bowen has done, that's still the case. The
TS/TSx series is patently illegal. Every time Diebold claims it's
certified, they lie - in direct violation of the settlement agreement
in the case Bev and I filed, by the way.

On Nov 3, 2007 1:31 AM, David Jefferson <> wrote:
> On Nov 2, 2007, at 11:38 PM, Jim March wrote:
> > On Nov 2, 2007 10:44 PM, David Jefferson <>
> > wrote:
> >>
> >> David Jefferson wrote,
> >>
> >> Whether Ms. Tobi is familiar with what goes on in the behind-the-
> >> scenes
> >> arena or not is irrelevant. There is absolutely no support for her
> >> outrageous statements even in the public arena. There is no
> >>
> >> "elitist movement among technologists to yank our elections out
> >> of the populist muck",
> >>
> >> and there are absolutely no public statements by technologists
> >> that support that idea. Ms. Tobi, or someone, just made that up.
> >>
> >> Likewise, there do not exist any
> >>
> >> "self appointed experts ... [who] ... are drowning in their own
> >> self
> >> created illusion that a high tech, complexified, opaque, and
> >> expertified election system can meet the standards for a free
> >> and open democracy".
> >>
> >> Who the hell is she talking about?
> >
> > For God's sake David, exhibit "A" is David Dill.
> What exactly is your point about David Dill? I challenge you to find
> anything he has ever said or written that remotely resembles Ms.
> Tobi's characterization. I find it truly bizarre that you would use
> Dill, who is one of the half dozen strongest national leaders in
> the U.S. opposing electronic voting and demanding auditable
> systems, as an example in support of Ms. Tobi's remarks. How do
> you possibly justify that?
> > So which computer scientist does the county drag out here to the
> > desert to talk about the urgent need for "Security By Obscurity" as an
> > "expert witness"?
> >
> > Merle King, comp. sci. professor from Kenessaw U. in Georgia. This is
> > the partner of Brit Williams who helped set up the Georgia Diebold
> > system featuring all the worst possible ideas in electronic voting: a
> > total conversion in '02 to the Diebold TS paperless DRE.
> Perhaps Prof. King is someone to whom Ms. Tobi might have been
> referring, but if so we are not talking about the same people. He
> has very little influence except reflected from Williams. His ideas are
> not on the ascendant at all. He and Williams, represent the dead end
> of the line for their ideas on voting systems.
> > So Professor Jefferson, don't you dare tell me there aren't
> > "academics" who are adamantly opposed to "the little people" (those
> > who don't have comp. sci. degrees and NDAs) being able to audit
> > elections. Don't. You. Dare. We have ALL run into such critters if
> > we've worked this issue long enough and if you had your eyes open or
> > your "integrity flag" set to [/ON] you'd see it too.
> >
> > Nancy Tobi was anything but "hysterical".
> Do not accuse me of calling anyone "hysterical". What I said is that
> she doesn't
> know what she is talking about, at least in today's remarks, and that
> her comments
> were outrageous and offensive and the opposite of the truth. I did
> not call use any
> adjectives for her at all, let alone "hysterical". I have never even
> met her.
> Do you think that Prof. King, or King plus Williams, constitute "an
> elitist
> movement among technologists to yank our elections out of the populist
> muck"?
> There is no such "movement among technologists". There are a small
> handful of
> visible technologists with views like King's, no more than about 5 in
> the U.S.,
> and their numbers are not growing. If there is a "movement" among
> technologists, it
> is the growing force in many states demanding transparency and
> auditability, in the
> complete opposite direction from Williams and King. I think Prof.
> King is wrong in
> critical ways, and I do not admire Georgia's election practices, which
> I think are at
> the bottom of the nation. But this one example of Prof. King (or two
> if we throw in
> Williams) does not justify the nonsense that Ms. Tobi wrote.
> And, Jim, where do you get off writing to me (or anyone else)
> something as
> high handed and pseudo-threatening sounding as
> "Don't. You. Dare." ?
> Do you think I am unnerved by that?
> David
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Received on Fri Nov 30 23:17:06 2007

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