[E-voting] Appeals to the Information Commisioner - progress andobstacles

Aengus Lawlor aengusl at eircom.net
Mon Oct 30 01:48:05 GMT 2006

On Sunday, October 29, 2006 5:23 PM [EDT],
Joe McCarthy <joe.mccarthy at arkaon.com> wrote:

>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> Office of the Information Commissioner
>> ... I am of the view that
>> the information in the records under review in this case could
>> reasonably be expected to facilitate further hacking. Thus, release
>> of
>> the records could reasonably be expected to make it easier to commit
>> an offence (a person being guilty of an offence, under section 2(1)
>> of the Electoral (Amendment) Act 2004, if they wilfully and without
>> authority, interfere with any voting system equipment).

It sounds like the Information Commissioner is of the view that the Nedap 
Voting machines can not be trusted, as persons with certain information 
would be able to "hack" them. If the machines were in fact secure, then 
there wouldn't be any danger in releasing records.

The suggestion that "that the release of the records would involve the 
disclosure of information not already in the public domain, which could 
indeed further prejudice Nedap's competitive position" should be grounds for 
refusal is, frankly, perverse. If the records demonstrate wrong-doing on the 
part of Nedap, then to protect them from the consequences of revealing that 
wrong-doing is just bizarre. On the other hand, if the damage to Nedap would 
result from information that forced the Irish Government to admit that it 
has screwed up, then to protect the Government because a political setback 
would have commercial consequences for a foreign company simply beggars 

The Department of the Environmnt wants to have it both ways - it claims on 
the one hand that the machines are secure, but on the other hand that there 
is "secret information" the release of which would render the machines 
insecure. Despite the fact that all the knowledge necessary to hack the 
machines is already in the pubic domain.



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