[E-voting] Did finally Nedap give access to all source code ?

David GLAUDE dglaude at poureva.be
Fri Jun 3 20:42:08 IST 2005


As far as I know my message to you was a message to you... not to the 
list so why do you reply on the list.

Aengus Lawlor wrote:
> David GLAUDE wrote:
> 
>>Beeing public knowledge does not mean it is public domain... but at
>>least it is obvious or not new and can not be patented.
> David, I know that English isn't your first language, but please stop
> re-interpreting what I say.

I just say that public knowledge is not public domain and that someone 
must write the software anyway. So most likely someone will have to be 
paid for it and give garantee that it does work.

I also make an implicit reference to the fact that software patent 
should not exist and even if there is a risk of them beeing legalized 
soon, no one should be able to patent what is just an implementation of 
the counting method described in the law.

> The PowerVote Count module implements the
> statutory rules for counting Irish PR-STV elections. Those rules do not
> belong to PowerVote, and there is nothing to prevent anyone from writing
> their own code to implement those rules. The parts of the ERS software that
> are responsible for communicating with the NEDAP memory modules may involve
> proprietary code, or licensed drivers from Nedap - I have absolutely no
> idea. But it would be more efficient to have 4 or 5 different, independently
> developed counting modules, run in parallel, and focus any code review
> efforts that are deemed necessary on the "ballot transfer" code.

Are you assuming that 4 or 5 different pieces of code is better than a 
reviewed one?

I can garantee that those 4 or 5 pieces of code might make the same 
mistake in a corner case scenario.

> (That still does nothing to deal with the issue of the actual ballot
> collection on the Nedap machine itself - we're going to be stuck with their
> firmware if we use their hardware).
> 
> Aengus
> 
>>Aengus Lawlor wrote:
>>
>>>What's even more astonishing is that the Government is actually
>>>paying for this "count" software in the first place. The basic
>>>algorithm is public knowledge, and as the participants of this list
>>>have demonstrated, it's not that difficult to implement. The
>>>Government could solve the PowerVote part of the problem by simply
>>>doing away with the PowerVote software entirely, and having a new
>>>tool written to do the same job. It wouldn't resolve the problems
>>>with electronic balloting, but it would render PowerVotes ridiculous
>>>claims null and void.
>>>
>>>Aengus



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