[E-voting] UK govt circular mentions open-source e-voting

Aengus Lawlor aengusl at eircom.net
Thu Jul 21 11:51:16 IST 2005

On Thursday, July 21, 2005 4:28 AM [EDT],
Craig Burton <caburt at alphalink.com.au> wrote:

>> Your point about checksums - can I ask for a link?  I wonder if some
>> other code signature would work or whether the hack in question gets
>> around code checking altogether.  I suspect the latter; below I
>> suggest that any kind of  integrity check has to be performed on the
>> DRE from some trusted external service - a dongle, a networked
>> service or something else its a self-check.
>> Even then, I'm yet to understand how an adequately hacked current DRE
>> machine could not report "alls well" to an external source.

Craig, checksums on a computer screen don't do anything to reassure a voter
that their votes will be tallied correctly. An OSS e-voting system is just
as much a black box that I have to trust as a proprietary system. The fact
that I can, in theory, read some source code that I've been told is actually
running on the voting machine is utterly irrelevant because it is completely
impossible for me to verify that it actually is running that code.

unless you are advocating that voters be allowed to dowload the source,
compile it on their own machines, bring their own hardware to the polling
place and cast their own vote on their own hardware, then please, don't
waste our time extolling the virtues of OSS for solving the e-voting
problem. The advantages of OSS are simply not relevant to the actual problem
that e-voting represents.


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