Originally posted by FallenFromTheTree
This is good news, but you still have to secure the tabulation servers or make the source code
available to independent inspections.
What goes in, must come out with a permanent and verifiable record. No exceptions!
As long as computers are in any way involved, this makes the system vulnerable.
There is SO MUCH money involved that there will always be a motive to fix the results by someone.
Diebold Voting System:Greatest Threat to Democracy
'Diebold system is one of the greatest threats democracy has ever known,' says Diebold whistleblower. He identifies U.S. Homeland Security 'Cyber Alert' prior to 2004 Election, warning that votes can be 'Modified Remotely' via 'Undocumented Backdoor' in central tabulator software!
The source is acknowledging that the company's "upper management" -- as well as "top government officials" -- were keenly aware of the "undocumented backdoor" in Diebold's main "GEM Central Tabulator" software well prior to the 2004 election. A branch of the Federal Government even posted a security warning on the Internet.
Pointing to a little-noticed "Cyber Security Alert" issued by the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the source inside Diebold -- who "for the time being" is requesting anonymity due to a continuing sensitive relationship with the company -- is charging that Diebold's technicians, including at least one of its lead programmers, knew about the security flaw and that the company instructed them to keep quiet about it.
"Diebold threatened violators with immediate dismissal," the insider, who we'll call DIEB-THROAT, explained recently to The BRAD BLOG via email. "In 2005, after one newly hired member of Diebold's technical staff pointed out the security flaw, he was criticized and isolated."
In phone interviews, DIEB-THROAT confirmed that the matters were well known within the company, but that a "culture of fear" had been developed to assure that employees, including technicians, vendors and programmers kept those issues to themselves.
In an exclusive interview with RAW STORY, a whistleblower from electronic voting heavyweight Diebold Election Systems Inc. raised grave concerns about the company’s electronic voting technology and of electronic voting in general, bemoaning an electoral system the insider feels has been compromised by corporate privatization....
The insider harbors suspicions that Diebold may be involved in tampering with elections through its army of employees and independent contractors. The 2002 gubernatorial election in Georgia raised serious red flags, the source said.
“Shortly before the election, ten days to two weeks, we were told that the date in the machine was malfunctioning,” the source recalled. “So we were told 'Apply this patch in a big rush.’” Later, the Diebold insider learned that the patches were never certified by the state of Georgia, as required by law.
“Also, the clock inside the system was not fixed,” said the insider. “It’s legendary how strange the outcome was; they ended up having the first Republican governor in who knows when and also strange outcomes in other races. I can say that the counties I worked in were heavily Democratic and elected a Republican.”
In Georgia’s 2002 Senate race, for example, nearly 60 percent of the state’s electorate by county switched party allegiances between the primaries and the general election....
The insider’s account corroborates a similar story told by Diebold contractor Rob Behler in an interview with Bev Harris of Black Box Voting.
Harris revealed that a program patch titled “rob-georgia.zip” was left on an unsecured server and downloaded over the Internet by Diebold technicians before loading the unauthorized software onto Georgia voting machines. “They didn’t even TEST the fixes before they told us to install them,” Behler stated, adding that machines still malfunctioned after patches were installed.
California decertified Diebold TSX touch screen machines after state officials learned that the vendor had broken state election law.
“In California, they got in trouble and tried to doubletalk. They used a patch that was not certified,” the Diebold insider said. “They’ve done this many times. They just got caught in Georgia and California.”
Diebold Attempts to Evade Election Transparency Laws
EFF Goes to Court to Force E-voting Company to Comply With Strict New North Carolina Law
Raleigh, North Carolina - infoZine - - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is going to court in North Carolina to prevent Diebold Election Systems, Inc. from evading North Carolina law.
In a last-minute filing, e-voting equipment maker Diebold asked a North Carolina court to exempt it from tough new election requirements designed to ensure transparency in the state's elections. Diebold obtained an extraordinarily broad order, allowing it to avoid placing its source code in escrow with the state and identifying programmers who contributed to the code.
North Carolina Illegally Certifies Diebold E-voting System
Board of Elections Ignores Rules to Escrow Code, Identify Programmers
Raleigh, North Carolina - The North Carolina Board of Elections certified Diebold Election Systems to sell electronic voting equipment in the state yesterday, despite Diebold’s repeated admission that it could not comply with North Carolina’s tough election law. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) believes that this raises important questions about the Board of Elections’ procedures as well as the integrity of Diebold’s bid for certification.
In all, three companies were certified for e-voting in North Carolina: Diebold, Sequoia Voting Systems, and Election Systems & Software. However, Keith Long, an advisor to the Board of Elections who was formerly employed by both Diebold and Sequoia, has said that "none of them" could meet the statutory requirement to place their system code in escrow. Instead of rejecting all applications and issuing a new call for bids as required by law, the Board chose to approve all of the applicants.
Diebold would rather lose all of its voting machine business in North Carolina than open its source code to state election officials as required by law, the Associated Press reports.
Despite threatening to withdraw from bidding because it refused to turn over source code (SN reported), Diebold was selected by the NC State Board of Elections as one of three companies certified to sell electronic voting machines in the state.
Carnegie Mellon University computer expert Michael Shamos, a state voting-systems certification official for Pennsylvania, is one of the staunchest advocates for new, fully computerized electronic voting systems.
But judging by what he's seen emerge from secretive, private labs known as "independent testing authorities" and approved by the National Association of State Elections Directors, Shamos said, "There's stuff in there that's so horrible, I can't understand it."
He found a quarter of the voting systems presented to Pennsylvania unsuitable for elections, with such "glaring failures" as an inability to tally votes correctly. A recent study led by the University of Maryland showed all of six voting systems tested did not record 3 to 4 percent of the vote. What does pass state muster often can break down.
"I have good reason to believe that 10 percent of systems are failing on Election Day. That's an unbelievable number," Shamos told an assemblage of voting-system makers, elections officials and scientists. "Why are we not in an uproar about the failure of (touchscreen voting) systems?"
"Things are getting through the certification process that really shouldn't," said software architect Eric Lazarus of DecisionSmith, a voting-systems consultant for the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University.
The premise isn't new: Federal election officials also have broached the idea of requiring vendors to make their source codes accessible to state election boards. The idea is that officials can compare the hash code--that is, a sort of fingerprint for a piece of software that changes when any line of code is altered--from escrow-deposited software with software they receive for their voting machines to verify that it has not undergone tampering.
But Diebold, an Ohio-based company that also makes automatic teller machines, filed a court complaint objecting to the requirements. It insisted that not all of its code could be turned over because some of it belonged to third parties, such as Microsoft, which would be loathe to disclose it and already store it in their own separate escrow accounts.
"We don't know how we'd provide source code for Windows CE or whatever third-party vendor it may be," David Bear, a spokesman for the company, said Friday, noting that the company already puts its proprietary code in an escrow account that can be made accessible to those who require it. "It's like buying a computer at Best Buy: You don't own Microsoft Word; you license the use of it."
On Monday, a judge in Raleigh, N.C., dismissed that complaint, saying Diebold and others could be subject to penalties for not complying with the new law. That's why the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which filed a brief encouraging the court not to give Diebold special treatment, found it baffling that a mere three days later, the State Board of Elections announced it would certify Diebold anyway.
"A North Carolina judge ruled that Diebold may not be protected from criminal prosecution if it fails to disclose the code..."
“The opposition likes to call us ‘conspiracy theorists’ … you have things called ‘Easter Eggs’ – hiding code, leaving it dormant until it gets the right signal, that then activates … this can get around testing,” said Blakemore, who posited recent issues with the Grand Theft Auto videogame as ways that nested code could lead to surprising results.
Complaint Alleges Insider Trading Violations
COLCHESTER, Conn., Dec. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Scott+Scott, LLC
(www.scott-scott.com...), at the direction of clients, has filed a
securities fraud class action in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Ohio against Diebold Inc. ("Diebold" or the "Company")
(NYSE: DBD) and individual defendants. Presently, the class is defined in the
complaint drafted by Scott+Scott as those who purchased Diebold securities
between October 22, 2003, and September 21, 2005, inclusive (the "Class
Diebold stock trading volume picks up steamAnalysts change views of share value after news of Wally O'Dell's resignationBy Dave ScottBeacon Journal business writerDiebold Inc.'s shares soared Tuesday as Wall Street reacted to the resignation of the ATM maker's top executive.
North Carolina Sued for Illegally Certifying Voting Equipment
EFF Asks Court to Void Approval of Diebold and Others Without Source Code Review
Raleigh, North Carolina - infoZine - - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) on Thursday filed a complaint against the North Carolina Board of Elections and the North Carolina Office of Information Technology Services on behalf of voting integrity advocate Joyce McCloy, asking that the Superior Court void the recent illegal certification of three electronic voting systems.
North Carolina law requires the Board of Elections to rigorously review all voting system code "prior to certification." Ignoring this requirement, the Board of Elections on December 1st certified voting systems offered by Diebold Election Systems, Sequoia Voting Systems, and Election Systems and Software without having first obtained - let alone reviewed - the system code.
"This is about the rule of law," said EFF Staff Attorney Matt Zimmerman. "The Board of Elections has simply ignored its mandatory obligations under North Carolina election law. This statute was enacted to require election officials to investigate the quality and security of voting systems before approval, and only approve those that are safe and secure. By certifying without a full review of all relevant code, the Board of Elections has now opened the door for North Carolina counties to purchase untested and potentially insecure voting equipment...
New Tests Fuel Doubts about Vote Machines
By Marc Caputo and Gary Fineout
The Miami Herald
Thursday 15 December 2005
A top election official and computer experts say computer hackers could easily change election results, after they found numerous flaws with a state-approved voting-machine in Tallahassee.
Tallahassee - A political operative with hacking skills could alter the results of any election on Diebold-made voting machines - and possibly other new voting systems in Florida - according to the state capital's election supervisor, who said Diebold software has failed repeated tests.
Ion Sancho, Leon County's election chief, said tests by two computer experts, completed this week, showed that an insider could surreptitiously change vote results and the number of ballots cast on Diebold's optical-scan machines.
After receiving county commission approval Tuesday, Sancho scrapped Diebold's system for one made by Elections Systems and Software, the same provider used by Miami-Dade and Broward counties. The difference between the systems: Sancho's machines use a fill-in-the-blank paper ballot that allows for after-the-fact manual recounts, while Broward and Miami-Dade use ATM-like touchscreens that leave no paper trail.
"That's kind of scary. If there's no paper trail, you have to rely solely on electronic results. And now we know that they can be manipulated under the right conditions, without a person even leaving a fingerprint," said Sancho, who once headed the state's elections supervisors association.
Jurors Return Mixed Phone-Jamming Verdict
The Associated Press
Thursday 15 December 2005
A former top Republican Party official was convicted on telephone harassment charges Thursday for his part in a plot to jam the Democrats' phones on Election Day 2002.
The federal jury acquitted James Tobin of the most serious charge against him, of conspiring to violate voters' rights.
Tobin, 45, of Bangor, Maine, was President Bush's New England campaign chairman last year. He could get up seven years in prison and $500,000 in fines when he is sentenced in March.
For nearly two hours on Election Day 2002, hundreds of hang-up calls overwhelmed Democratic get-out-the-vote phone banks in New Hampshire and a ride-to-the-polls line run by Manchester's firefighters union.
Tobin, who at the time was New England chairman of Bush's re-election campaign and a top regional official of the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, was accused of orchestrating the phone-jamming.
The former executive director of the New Hampshire GOP, Chuck McGee, who admitted coming up with the idea, served a seven-month sentence for conspiracy.