[E-voting] Disinformation about Ireland

Adrian Colley aecolley at spamcop.net
Sat Mar 25 02:52:23 GMT 2006


On 3/23/06, Pierre Muller <pmmaillists at free.fr> wrote:
> I have to speak in a conference organized by the association of French
> large municipalities. This is our first real public event. Nedap
> importer probably funded the conference. It could be adversarial...
> I remind that Ireland don't want to use Nedap machines as often as I
> can. I am wondering how to contradict some disinformation :
> 1) CEV report is empty : I read it (partially yet), and I found a lot of
> precious information in the appendixes. In this list too. I have the answer.

Are you asking us for useful adversarial information?  I'm a bit busy,
but I wrote something that might suit:
http://lists.stdlib.net/pipermail/e-voting/2005-April/004912.html

> 2) Ireland didn't use the machines because of political fuss/stuff. What
> would you answer ? When did it really become political

Catherine answered this.  I'd add only my suspicion that the
Government told Nedap/Powervote "don't worry, it's just some political
fuss, if we sign the contract fast we'll have a fait accompli and the
opposition will lose interest."

> 3) I have noticed a weird marketing : they pretend that their machines
> are not computers (easy to contradict: PTB report mentions a 68000
> processor and a 25000 lines source code). This leads to silly
> declarations from municipalities' election staffs: "these machines are
> secure because there are not computers, but only
> mechanical/electrical/electronic devices"  :-D

Yes, that was quite funny.  Apple Macintoshes from 1984-1994 ran on
68000s; this is a handy fact to drop when faced with a "not a
computer" claim.

> I noticed something similar from Liberty (US importer) : "our machines
> are secure because they don't contain software, but only firmware".
> Anything similar in Ireland ?

Somewhat similar -- we were told that the voting machine's software is
tamperproof because it computes its own checksum and displays it on
the screen for the presiding officer to see.  Hands up who can't see
the flaw with this.

> "A spokesman said it was aware of the legal requirements of some
> American states but added: "We are closer to Berlin than Boston..."

That's not an argument; that's a reference to something Mary Harney
(Tánaiste [i.e. deputy prime minister]) said once about Ireland being
(culturally) closer to Boston than to Berlin.  The spokesman in this
case was probably referring ironically to the fact that in Ireland
we're quite happy to be closer to Berlin when it means having lower
standards.

Hope this helps,

 --Adrian.

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