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Diebold Chases Links To Leaked Memos

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the whack-a-mole-weeble-wobble dept.

United States 595

bllfrnch writes "Mary Hodder, over at The Berkeley School of Journalism's bIPlog, reports that electronic voting bigwig Diebold has begun sending cease-and-desist letters to universities whose students are linking to hijacked internal company memos that elucidate the company's level of respect for citizens' right to vote. Particularly shocking is the line: "If voting could really change things, it would be illegal.""

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first post???? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336510)

first post????

And we have a ... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336511)

first post! Again.

Thank you, thank you. Yes, I know. I couldn't have done it without the help of my untrustworthy slow machine which forces me to wait while it starts up tomcat so i can test the site I'm working on.

Re:And we have a ... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336524)

Damn... didn't make it!

nth post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336512)

poopies

Stupid Quote (3, Insightful)

Pingular (670773) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336514)

If voting could really change things, it would be illegal
Of course voting can change things, for example I'm sure the people of Iraq would have loved to vote a new leader when Saddam Hussein was in power, but couldn't. People have died for the right to vote. I think that things like the above quote are very dangerous things to say.

Well, it happens to be true. (1, Offtopic)

Aldric (642394) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336522)

No matter whether it's a republican or democrat as president, they will be looking out for their corporate buddies.

Re:Stupid Quote (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336534)

I'm sure the people of Iraq would have loved to vote a new leader when Saddam Hussein was in power, but couldn't.

What makes you think that? Saddam Hussein was standing up against the evil imperialist infodels that he was blaming for all of Iraq's problems. At least, the Iraqi people probably believed that. I reckon Saddam would have won even if the election was fair.

Re:Stupid Quote (2, Interesting)

Troed (102527) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336550)

Saddam Hussein was standing up against the evil imperialist infodels that he was blaming for all of Iraq's problems.

Some would say he wasn't that wrong on that either. Have you personally talked to people from Iraq? I have - and Iraq was a very nice little country back in the 70s. The problems began in the (US backed) war against Iran, and when Saddam later invaded Kuwait (after getting an OK from the US) everything went downhill due to the (US led) bombing back to the stone age.

This latest war, for absolutely no reason, was the final straw. Today's Iraq is a lot different from what it once was - and the US is somehow involved in everything that has happened ...

Re:Stupid Quote (4, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336539)

Well its a good thing diebold does not have a potential agenda or anything [slashdot.org] .

Re:Stupid Quote (2, Funny)

maharg (182366) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336543)

.. their mission seems to be "to boldly die like no e-voting company has died before"

Re:Stupid Quote (5, Insightful)

padukes (599707) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336560)

Particularly shocking is the line: "If voting could really change things, it would be illegal."

It's so annoying how people blow these things out of proportion - dude works for a voting machine company and has a sarcastic signature about voting - it's a joke - lighten up - it's like people are looking for things to whine about and then jumping on anything remotely sensational - [grumbles and moves back under bridge]

Absolutely (3, Insightful)

mongbot (671347) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336577)

Imagine if somebody based their opinions about Slashdot based upon somebody's signature. It's stupid and hypocritical.

I think the guy just had a sense of humour. It's a shame to think that he must be getting hell for trying to lighten up his job.

Re:Stupid Quote (2, Funny)

Marcus Brody (320463) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336602)

Shock Horror Slashdot Headline: Americans still dont understand sarcasm

I thought this was slashdot, not the onion....

Re:Stupid Quote (2, Informative)

Asprin (545477) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336651)

Not only that, but if you just Google for the text of the quote -- AND WE SHOULD ALL KNOW HOW TO DO THAT -- it's all over the place. Definitely a sig. Nothing to see here. Move along... move along...

Re:Stupid Quote (0)

basingwerk (521105) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336662)

It shows the dude up - he looks like a bonehead, and you don't want boneheads implementing systems that provide democracy. This is a serious issue, and the public expect due diligence and professionalism from the vendor, not lash it up quick solutions. Anyboby can create quick and dirty business solutions, and if a business system fails, so what, who cares if you loose a bag of nails. But this is democracy we are talking about, and we expect pucker systems, like you have in power plants and planes, not "lash it up" programs!

Re:Stupid Quote (1)

AceM2 (655504) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336710)

The sig quote has nothing to do with the guy being a 'bonehead' or whatever. Come on, some of the most professional and skilled people make stupid jokes about their job. Haven't you ever had a doctor or a surgeon say something stupid to you for a laugh? We don't go oh my god, this guy's a bonehead... We just laugh, it's meant to lighten us up. At least, those of us with a sense of humor would...

Oh really? (-1, Offtopic)

mongbot (671347) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336569)

I'm sure the people of Iraq would have loved to vote a new leader when Saddam Hussein was in power

Saddam Hussein actually did a lot of good things for the Iraqi, such as nationalising the oil industry. And Hussein had a point about the fairness of tiny puppet states like Kuwait controlling an enormously disproportionate amount of oil reserves. Unfortunately, reality is not as simple as Fox News would have you believe.

But the question now is if and when the Iraqi people will get the right to vote. Since Afghanistan, which was invaded way back in `01, still hasn't had a single democratic election, Iraq's chances are slim. You see, the people of Iraq aren't exactly handing out flowers to the American invasion force (which indiscriminately slaughter opposition). In fact, most Iraqis would prefer independence, much as America's forefathers did. But the US occupation forces hardly want a government which might demand national autonomy and national control of the oil supply.

And guess what - the Baath party has been outlawed. What an auspicious beginning for American-style democracy.

Re:Oh really? (2, Insightful)

gantzm (212617) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336604)

What an auspicious beginning for American-style democracy.

Yeah, it's a good thing everybody agreed on American independence. Imagine how things would have went if some people would have been sympathetic to the king.

Re:Oh really? (-1)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336671)

You actually were, except when you had to pay them taxes.
BTW, why do you think you freed the black slaves ?
For humanitary matters ?
You freed them because you needed their blood during the Secession war.
Which promise could you have made, otherwise ?
Now, when I'll see a black president, I'll begin to believe America is an equal-opportunity company but until then, I won't believe your puny corrupt smelling obesifying over-informed under-caring country to be the "Land of the Free".

Every morning, when I get up, I fart to the West.

Re:Stupid Quote (3, Funny)

nickco3 (220146) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336570)


Of course voting can change things, for example I'm sure the people of Iraq would have loved to vote a new leader when Saddam Hussein was in power


No need to put that in the past tense. I'm sure the people of Iraq would still love the chance to vote for their own leader.

Re:Stupid Quote (1)

azzy (86427) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336598)

Iraq under Saddam did have elections, and you could vote. Note that if the voting /could/ have changed anything, Saddam would have made it illegal ;)

Re:Stupid Quote (1)

Shimbo (100005) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336599)


If course voting can change things, for example I'm sure the people of Iraq would have loved to vote a new leader when Saddam Hussein was in power, but couldn't.


That's the point though isn't it? Having the right to vote, is what you get after you have won your freedom. Nobody voted Sadaam out of power.

Women died for the right to vote: is there a significant gender bias in candidate voted for? Usually no; does that mean that women's right to vote is unimportant. Of course not.

Although if people are still shocked by quoting an anarchist-feminist who died over 50 years ago [berkeley.edu] , they haven't woken up.

Re:Stupid Quote (1)

bendude (135729) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336637)

Of course voting can change things, for example I'm sure the people of Iraq would have loved to vote a new leader when Saddam Hussein was in power, but couldn't.

Actually, Iraq went to the polls last year. Saddam won [breaking.tcm.ie] with a swing of almost 0.1% of the vote.

Don't vote .. (3, Funny)

maharg (182366) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336515)

.. it only encourages them ;o)

I GOT A GREASED UP YODA DOLL SHOVED UP MY ASS! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336517)

VOTE LINUX!

Damn! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336518)

I'm in love with a UT bot!!!!!!

Shocking? (2, Interesting)

bunhed (208100) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336519)

Particularly shocking is the line: "If voting could really change things, it would be illegal.""

only because it's true

Re:Shocking? (1)

Pingular (670773) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336611)

If voting could really change things, it would be illegal
I'm pretty sure the person that wrote that meant it to be sarcastic anyway, of course I could be wrong...

And the corollary quote, with Diebold in mind (4, Funny)

swb (14022) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336634)

Seen on the back of car yesterday:

"Those who vote change nothing. Those who count the votes change everything."

Re:Shocking? (0)

mik (10986) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336701)

You don't happen to live in Florida, do you?

Why don't the idiots use the DMCA? (5, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336520)

The DMCA is quite clear in its provisions for allowing questionable material to stay up. BlackBoxVoting had no need to roll over in the first place. The simply needed to submit a DMCA counter notice.

Simply send a counter notice stating that the documents do not breach copyright, and put the website back up. This moves the obligation to Diebold to bring suit!

First post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336521)

wow.. first comment?

As to the voting being iligal comment.. thats not THE website.. thats just... from Kerry, one of your standard hackers.

irony (4, Insightful)

goodbye_kitty (692309) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336523)

paradoxically it seems to be the case that in places where voting COULD change things it IS illegal, and vice versa.

so this is how bush will win the next one (-1, Troll)

Findel (663041) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336525)

, and then he will change everything so that he can stay in power for the rest of his miserable life. ps. I got the first post! shouldn't have gone AC cos now you wont believe me.

Re:so this is how bush will win the next one (-1, Redundant)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336546)

"so this is how bush will win the next one
, and then he will change everything so that he can stay in power for the rest of his miserable life


Not out of the question actually [slashdot.org] .

How biased is that?! (2, Insightful)

file-exists-p (681756) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336526)

> Particularly shocking is the line: "If voting could really change things,
> it would be illegal."

This is ridiculous. The guy was using this quote as a signature. Come on!

Re:How biased is that?! (1)

maharg (182366) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336548)

I agree. It's ridiculous that anyone should have such a signature. What was he thinking of ? ,-}

Re:How biased is that?! (1)

mirko (198274) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336564)

Leave it to this user [slashdot.org] to notify him, then ;-)

Illegal voteing (5, Insightful)

basking2 (233941) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336527)

Be careful to not overanalyze that "illegal-votine" quote. It appears where a sig normally does (sans the '--'). It could just be cynacism... after all, if I took the quotes at the bottom of the /. main page this seriously I would probably stop reading the page! Good journalism is in part good history and anthropology.

Re:Illegal voteing (2, Insightful)

gatzke (2977) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336605)

Let this be another lesson to everyone that anything not encrypted online could be in public view.

Email, web pages, newsgroup posts, whatever.

You may think it is funny now, but others might not get your humor one day when your name pops up in a google cache or email archive.

Re:Illegal voteing (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336681)

You may think it is funny now, but others might not get your humor one day when your name pops up in a google cache or email archive.

Surely that is their problem, not ours. Let me give you an example of something nobody else seems to find funny, but I wouldn't mind being on the public record.

Two strings walk into a bar. The first one says, "I'll have a martini.", and the second, "I'll have a manhattan.FIJWPI@#$29u0jfmfwWGWR".

The first string blushes and says to the bartender, "Excuse my friend, he's not null terminated."

Re:Illegal voteing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336711)

hahahahahah funniest joke. EVER!!!!
Love it! thanks :D

Re:Illegal voteing (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336688)

> Email, web pages, newsgroup posts, whatever.

I think it's especially important to encrypt posts to newsgroups. Otherwise literally anyone could read them. And as for unencrypted websites...well, I shiver at the very thought of it.

No wonder the Greens never win :) (1)

laetus (45131) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336647)


If you've ever wondered why the Green Party never wins, check this [f-451.net] .

LOL. I used the site search [f-451.net] . You can have fun too looking for words like:

hide, investigator, coverup, suppress, alter, payoff, cleanup, forge, deny, lie, misinformation, etc.

More mirrors needed (4, Insightful)

Quixote (154172) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336535)

It would be quite easy to mirror these documents offshore. Of course, thats not the point; the need of the hour is to mirror these document inside the US to press home the point of "civil [mahatma.org.in] disobedience [walden.org] ".

mirroring inside the US (2, Interesting)

dpilot (134227) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336610)

Any volunteers for a high-profile arrest?

BTW, Newsweek carried a piece by Steven Levy about Diebold this week.

!shocking (4, Insightful)

mirko (198274) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336537)

Particularly shocking is the line: "If voting could really change things, it would be illegal."

This line belongs to a .sig, why is this shocking ?
This is taken out of context.

Re:!shocking (1)

leerpm (570963) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336574)

Because it is an employee of the company, and it appears to reflect a position that someone working for such a company should hopefully not have.

Re:!shocking (2, Insightful)

mikey_boy (125590) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336609)

Because it is an employee of the company, and it appears to reflect a position that someone working for such a company should hopefully not have.

But it's just a sig!!! If I was working for a company that was building a voting system, I'd probably be inclined to have something sarcastic along those lines in my sig. Frankly I think there are far more worrying things in the diebold case than someone having a (slightly warped?) sense of humour in the company.

Re:!shocking (1)

bendude (135729) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336670)

If I was working for a company that was building a voting system, I'd probably be inclined to have something sarcastic along those lines in my sig.

And if you worked for me - I'd terminate your tenure with prejudice. If you want to bite the hand that feeds you can starve.

And I'm not even a neo-con.

Re:!shocking (1)

mirko (198274) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336618)

So what ?
In other words he could mean : "we enforce the right to vote efficiently" because in his context, he might have some reserves about the current voting situation...
Why should his sig be seen as a rebellion while this may be a progress-triggering motto ?

it's just a sig line (1)

ikoleverhate (607286) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336542)

it's a sig line. not a statement of intent. it's not even new, look here [google.com]

mirrors (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336544)

list of mirrors here

http://cultcom.com/mirror.html [cultcom.com]

That's absolutely right (-1, Flamebait)

queen of everything (695105) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336547)

If voting could really change things, it would be illegal

Exactly...so why vote? Why try to change things? Hopefully some nice, strong leader will just "take over" our country and tell us how things are going to be rather than let us have any input into our own futures. Wouldn't that be nice and easy. Then we don't have to think about issues, we will be told how to think. I think this idea is grand. If by some odd stretch someone does decide they don't like something our "leader" tells us, we can complain about how we can't change anything. At least we woulndn't have to worry about following issues and voting people into and out of office. Its easier not to have to think. Thinking for ourselves is bad. Plus, we know democracy just doesn't work.

Oh wait, that's called communism, socialism...that's what we want right?

Re:That's absolutely right (4, Insightful)

perly-king-69 (580000) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336580)

Oh wait, that's called communism, socialism...that's what we want right?

You should go back to school. Communism is concerned with collective ownership of land and property, Socialism looks towards equality via state control of the economy. Neither precludes the use of democracy within a society.

You're thinking of a dictatorship which could be of a left (think USSR) or right (eg Chile under Pinochet) persuasion.

--

Re:That's absolutely right (1)

gnalre (323830) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336607)

To quote HHGTTG

"If you don't vote for the lizards, the wrong lizard may get in"

Re:That's absolutely right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336623)

No, it's not called communism or socialism. Communism and socialism are in fact not incompatable with democracy. You can have a democratic socialist state, or a democratic communist state. The fact that current communist countries, such as Cuba, are not demoracries does not meam that an authoritarian government is a trait of communism, any more than the fact that the United States has a representative democracy means that democracy is a trait of capitalism. You could certainly have an authoritarian, capitalst system as well.

The fact that so many people are so poorly educated, and in fact extremely ignorant about systems of economics and government in countries where they are supposed to make intelligent decisions about candidates and platforms to vote for is really sad.

Re:That's absolutely right (4, Insightful)

actor_au (562694) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336648)

Quote the Parent: "Oh wait, that's called communism, socialism...that's what we want right?"

No, thats called a totalitarian dictatorship Einstein.
Socialism, Fascism and Communism are merely political ideologies, intolerable ideologies yes, but thats all they are.
Socialism doesn't tell people to stop thinking and to starve your population, people that supported it did(Monsters) but the original texts encourages the people to think of freedom and how to make society work better for the majority.
Fascism didn't tell people to kill millions of Jew, Homosexuals, Gypsies and Disabled People, just to think of how to work together, the people that supported Fascism did commit some of the most horrific crimes humanity has ever encountered but what they preeched originally was togetherness what they did was disgusting.

I hate the Nazis as a rule and the Soviets only slightly less, but I also hate ignorant wankers from any nation that seem to think that sticking a label like "Fascist" or "Socialist" on anything they don't like and claiming a moral high ground by beating to death a strawman sent from the un-edited nightmares of Anne Coulter is pathetic.

The exception to this is Rick from The Young Ones.

Re:That's absolutely right (2, Informative)

nagora (177841) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336687)

Oh wait, that's called communism, socialism...

The American Guide to political theory: Socialism = Communism and the both = Stalinism.

They're actually all different; you're thinking of Stalinism. Stalin called himself a communist but it was just a way to make his opponents look bad to "the people", he didn't actually mean it.

TWW

Re:That's absolutely right (1)

Cobron (712518) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336715)

Hopefully some nice, strong leader will just "take over" our country and tell us how things are going to be rather than let us have any input into our own futures.

So now you have chosen your own nice, strong leader, who represents 100% of your population.
Always nice to read "Liberalism.. GOOOOD, socialism... BAAAAD". Shows great insight.

In my country (Belgium... yes, that little speck on the world-map that looks like something a fly left behind) the 2 greatest parties are the Liberals and the Socialists, so they are forced to work together.
True, every decision takes ages and at the end of the day no-one gets his way, but imo that's just a little bit better than 1 guy -and may I say such smart and charismatic one at that- calling all the shots.

Distributing the Diebold memo with apt-get (5, Interesting)

Debian Troll's Best (678194) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336553)

I've done a fair bit of contact work for a large Federal Government departments, and one issue which was recurrently faced was that of how to distribute important documents across the whole organization, without the loss of a document server or two bringing down the whole thing. The situation with the leaked Diebold memo reminds me of this situation. And here's how my team and I solved it in our contract work: apt-get.

Yes, the power of apt-get could be used to form a type of ad-hoc distributed network for the distribution of the Diebold memo, without fear of a single server being shutdown making the document disappear. What we did for the Fed was to create a set of apt.sources files which contained the addresses of a bunch of mirror servers which contained the documents of interest. When a user needed to find a document, they would simply issue an apt-get instyall Document command at their workstation, and apt-get would do the rest.

It gets better. When a new revision of the document was released, it was a simple task for the user to perform an apt-get upgrade Document, and the latest version was dragged across from what ever server happened to be available from their apt.sources file. We even spent a couple of weeks hacking dselect to launch OpenOffice when necessary to create a kind of crude distributed document management system. The users loved it! It's the UNIX way!

But anyway, back to the problem at hand. What is needed are a bunch of Debian servers to host the offending Diebold memo which has been leaked, and for people to start adding these to their apt.sources files. That way, Diebold won't be able to shut down any servers, and if they leak new information, it can easily be upgraded with apt-get upgrade Diebold! apt-get just continues to amaze me.

apt-get free speech!!!

Re:Distributing the Diebold memo with apt-get (2, Informative)

dalutong (260603) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336661)

As much as that is a fun solution... an easier one would simply be to get it on bittorrent. If it is popular enough it will be available and it will be less likely that those debian servers would be shut down.

Re-inventing the wheel (4, Informative)

Moderation abuser (184013) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336667)

Ah how I like to spend my time re-inventing what others have done many times before but in an incompatible manner.

How to distribute documents across a whole organisation in an available manner? I could install Usenet News servers and have them do it, or I could waste weeks writing wrappers round apt-get, hacking dselect and tie myself directly to Debian, and spend time installing apt on hundreds of machines.

Or I could just post the document to a newsgroup... DOH!

Re:Re-inventing the wheel (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336673)

YHBT. YHL. HAND.

Out of context (2, Informative)

ownedbybill (716541) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336554)


If voting could really change things, it would be illegal

The actual link was to the following text:

>> Does anyone have the password for the TS Instructions from the ftp site?
>>
>>Thanks
>>Kerry
>>
>>If voting could really change things, it would be illegal.
>>Revolution Books, New York, New York


It looks more like a joke sig than a corporate statement.

Re:Out of context (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336627)

Exactly. That remark doesn't seem to have any connection to the matter.

Re:Out of context (1)

zanderredux (564003) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336663)

We know it is a sig (not a smart one, though), but since it is part of the document, do you think that lwayers will care whether it is a sig or not??

"If voting could really change things" (1, Redundant)

Florian Weimer (88405) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336555)

If you'd looked at Google [google.com] before posting something like this, you'd have noticed that this is a quote that has been floating around for a while. So it's just part of the author's signature.

Apparently, people work add Diebold who like to make a bit of fun of themselves. Kind of surprising, huh?

Re:"If voting could really change things" (2, Insightful)

leerpm (570963) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336586)

It is one thing to poke fun at yourselves. But when your company itself produces machines that need to be considered trustworthy, having such a signature does not help to promote any sort of trust. Remember that trust is not always based on fact, but on the perception others hold of you.

Re:"If voting could really change things" (1)

iapetus (24050) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336684)

In which case it would be bad to use such a signature for communicating with the outside world, but fine to use it for purely internal communications, right?

It's just a sig for crying out loud. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336559)

And a fairly commonly used slogan, too. The guy who is now Mayor of London even paraphrased it for the title of his autobiography [amazon.co.uk] . Used in this contect, we can at least celebrate the fact that irony has finally come to the Americas...

Why bother (1)

lennart78 (515598) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336561)

Since the outcome of the last presidential elections in the states was kind of irrelevant, why should anyone bother with wether these machines are any good, wether the company that makes them is run by men, machines or marketing-droids?
If you don't need to score the most votes to become the president, why count them at all?

More significantly... (2, Interesting)

yo303 (558777) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336562)

Associated Press is finally picking up the story (see here) [nwsource.com]
Diebold Inc. sent "cease and desist" letters after the documents and internal e-mails, allegedly stolen by a hacker, were distributed on the Internet. Recipients of the letters included computer programmers, students at colleges including Swarthmore and at least one Internet provider.

Heh... and several million /. readers...

yo.

Great Material! (0)

basingwerk (521105) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336565)

This is going in my project mis-management slides for future courses on how not to do systems engineering! ".. lack of concern over the practice provide products which do not exist and then attempting to build these on an unreasonable timetable with no written plan, little to no time for testing, and minimal resources. It also seems to be an accepted practice to exaggerate our progress to our customers and ourselves then make excuses at delivery time when these products and services do not meet expectations.

Diebold (3, Insightful)

Majix (139279) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336568)

What sort of qualifications does Diebold have to be making voting systems? If I as a customer saw these messages, bug rapports and horror stories, I wouldn't trust them to design a cup holder for my car, let alone for something as critical as a voting system.

Here's how you build a real voting system.
- You get the best brains to really think about the problem. Forget the Diebold cubicle workers, you get someone like Rivest and pals to design the system. They solve the problems of audit trails, accountability, how to trust the machine etc.

- You get a collaboration of the top research institutes and universities to implement the system. Implementation must be done completely in the open. Every party and faction will have a great interest in eyeballing the system, so that no other faction can exploit it. With enough eyes, every bug is shallow.

- You don't design 52 systems, you design one or two. A well designed system will be used and paid for by virtually all the states. Done right it might cost as much as 30 bad systems, but it'll be worth it.

- You maintain the system troughout the year, not just 2 months before each election. You reuse improved versions of the system with each election.

Re:Diebold (1)

ShadeARG (306487) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336631)

Then voting would work, and it would be illegal.

Re:Diebold (2, Informative)

Davak (526912) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336672)

You asked: What sort of qualifications does Diebold have to be making voting systems?

They are evidently good showmen and salespeople.
In response to a question about a presentation in El Paso County, Colorado: "For a demonstration I suggest you fake it. Progam them both so they look the same, and then just do the upload fro [sic] the AV. That is what we did in the last AT/AV demo." [source: http://chroot.net/s/lists/support.w3archive/199903 /msg00098.html ]

Now, I've been to demostrations... and I've created demostrations. But to "fake it" sounds like lying to me. How good can a voting system be if it's based on untruths?

Of course, how good can a company be that leaves confidental, image-soiling messages open enough that somebody could snatch them up? If they can't keep their message board private, I would doubt they are going to care much about your privacy of your vote.

Davak

Re:Diebold (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336696)

No need to involve working engineers or people who have real world experience implementing similar systems. Right.

They're confirming the validity of the documents (5, Insightful)

Craig Ringer (302899) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336573)

By DMCAing people who host or link to these documents, they're implicity confirming their validity. I almost wonder if a "deny everything" policy might've worked better for them:

"Nope, never seen those before. Guess somebody thinks it's funny to try to discredit a reliable, trustworthy company like us."

Insead, they've chosen "arrgggh, give those back! You can't show people those - they're secret!". Hmm...

Re:They're confirming the validity of the document (0)

nordicfrost (118437) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336612)

This is also called "the clambake twist", where the church of scientology caught their nuts in a blender when they sued Operation Clambake [xenu.net] . By suing, they confirmed that the insane documents were indeed theirs.

There's a 3rd possibility. (1)

porkchop_d_clown (39923) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336704)

The documents are theirs, but they've been altered to increase the number of inflammatory statements, or to remove context.

I'm sorry, but I've purchased to much herbal viagra to believe everything I read on the Internet...

"Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act" (4, Interesting)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336579)

I'm sure Diebold is fighting this.

This is House Resolution 2239 which requires a paper trail and bans the use of non-open software.
Here's a story about it: link [indymedia.org]

Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall... (1)

Bloodmoon1 (604793) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336581)

Who is the most corrupt corporation of them all?

Ok, I'll take back all the bad things I said about Germans over the whole Iraq thing just for this:

From this page [why-war.com] at why-war.com: How to get the files: Note that the location of the documents may change, but this page will always have the current links. In case Diebold takes down this page, bookmark cultcom.com/mirror.html [cultcom.com] , a mirror being hosted in Germany of direct links to the memos.

Now, who wants to take bets as to how big of an election fraud it will take for the Feds to officailly knock the shit out of Diebold? I'm saying 2 Senator and 5 House elections in a single year.

Re:Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336658)

"Ok, I'll take back all the bad things I said about Germans over the whole Iraq thing just for this:"

It's too late - you`re officially a fuckwit for not thinking things through properly.

http://cryptome.org/mil-dead-iqw.htm

Tick tock tick tock...another day, another fresh batch of dead Americans. Don't forget - pulling a Vietnam in Iraq has nothing to do with right and wrong and whether or not the `mission` is `completed successfully`, and everything to do with whether or not Fat Joe Sixpack has had enough of dead grunts.

Well, has he? Looks like he's getting more pissed off by the day - just like the Iraqis (and the rest of the Arab world).

Just what ARE you doing in Iraq, anyway? On who's behalf?

Re:Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336668)

The Future's. Asshat.

Copy of cease & desist letter (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336591)

October 28, 2003

James Bruce
Vice President for Information Systems
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Room 10-219
Cambridge, MA 02139

XXXXXXXX@mit.edu

Re: Copyright Infringement

Dear Mr. Bruce:

We represent Diebold, Incorporated and its wholly owned subsidiaries Diebold Election Systems, Inc., and Diebold Election Systems ULC (collectively "Diebold").

Diebold is the owner of copyrights in certain correspondence and other material relating to its electronic voting machines, which were stolen from a Diebold computer ("Diebold Property").

It has recently come to our clients' attention that you appear to be hosting a web site that contains Diebold Property. The web site you are hosting infringes Diebold's copyrights because the Diebold Property was reproduced, placed on public display, and is being distributed from this web site without Diebold's consent.

The web site and Diebold Property are identified in a chart attached to this letter.

The purpose of this letter is to advise you of our clients' rights and to seek your agreement to the following: (1) to remove and destroy the Diebold Property contained at the web site identified in the attached chart and (2) to destroy any backup copies of the Diebold Property in your possession or under your control.

Please confirm, in writing, that you have complied with the above requests.

To the best of my knowledge and belief the information contained in this notification is accurate as of the time of compilation and, under penalty of perjury, I certify that I am authorized to act on behalf of Diebold.

Our clients reserve their position insofar as costs and damages caused by infringing activity with respect to the Diebold Property. Our clients also reserve their right to seek injunctive relief to prevent further unauthorized use of Diebold Property, including reproduction, distribution, public display, or the creation of derivative works, pending your response to this letter. We suggest you contact your legal advisors to obtain legal advice as to your position.

We await your response within 24 hours.

Very truly yours,

Ralph E. Jocke

INFRINGING MATERIALS POSTED ON:
XXXXXXXXX.net

Shocking?? (4, Insightful)

Cally (10873) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336615)

Eh? Surely bllfrnch has not mistaken an old cliche ironically used in a sig (presumably by a Diebold employee, though that's not clear) for some sort of official policy statement?

Whilst I'm posting, my take on this whole thing: I still cannot understand why on earth the US moved away from the pencil-and-paper, put-an-X-in-the-box system used (AFAIK) by the rest of the world (certainly that's how it works here in the UK.) Simple, cheap, robust, reliable, transparent... why complicate a system that's already a model of simplicity and correctness? Can someone explain to me what the problem is that 'voting machines' (of any sort, including the mechanical punched-card type) are trying to solve, exactly?

I actually worked as a volunteer in a General Election back in 1987 - this included sitting outside the polling station politely asking voters how they voted as they were leaving, aka 'exit polls' done to give the parties an idea of how things are going. Of course people don't have to answer and many didn't. At the count, all the candidates and their agents, pluys local party workers, official observers etc can all stand around watching the ballot boxes coming in, being emptied out, counted & sorted. If there's a close result, the losing candidate has the right (which is often exercised) to call for a recount. Because the bits of paper are all still there it's easy to do this. Organised, mass tampering with ballots is for all practical purposes impossible in this system - there's too much oversight, checks & balances & transparency. Of course, the first-past-the-post electoral system itself sucks, and we should have proportional representation :), but the simple question of how many votes each candidate got is pretty much a solved problem. It's just, y'know, counting, really...

If voting changed anything... it would be illegal (2)

Domini (103836) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336617)

This is not a critique on voting... just one on voting systems. Voting is illegal in many countries, perhaps because it could bring unwanted change? Thus it is fair to assume that voting DOES change things. QED.

So this person's (perhaps random) e-mail fortune sig has much truth to it? (And dual meanings, on which /. has only latched onto one)

So why is voting legal in the States? Perhaps because people cannot change the really important things?
-ponder-

When last has voting really had a profound effect? When last have we voted about issues and not FOR parties? A total swing in the political rulers have not had any noticable effect on the country... hence the opinion that there had been no real need to vote.

More interesting reading HERE [spunk.org] .

Re:If voting changed anything... it would be illeg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336640)

Another article [rcn.com] which describes this better.

civil disobedience (1)

OglinTatas (710589) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336641)

I saw this story on kuro5hin the other day. Trhurler posted a comment [kuro5hin.org] that civil disobedience is not merely "breaking the law for a good reason" but a willingness to be subject to negative consequences. The students may be eager to see their day in court, hopefully to set a good precedent, but their ISPs may not. Even though the students sites sport INDIRECT links, which as far as I know have not previously been subject to takedowns.

Re:civil disobedience (4, Insightful)

lennart78 (515598) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336713)

Civil Disobedience is a great example of how democracy should work.

A law made by "the people" is made to represent the best interest of "the people" in general. It should be fair and in proportion, and that should be the basis for obedience to that law. Making theft illegal is in everone's best interests, because it should protect your posessions.

When a law is out of proportion, unjust, or in any other case plain wrong, it is no longer in the best interest of the people in general, and thus should be void. "The people" ignore (break) the law, because they in general do not agree with it.

The ability for the public to act this way should prevent government agents from making laws for their own benefit (corruption). The public has a means of protecting their public interest.

If the voting system is corrupted, it's in the publics best interest to expose this. I'm not aware of who leaked the memos in the first place, but linking to material available on the web should not be punished IMHO.

I think it's utterly wrong to place responsibility of the counting of votes in the hands of a commercial enterprise, not if they don't give full and in-depth insight in the process, and allow auditing at every level at any time. Not because I'm an open source zealot or "liberal", but because I trust a commercial enterprise as far as I can throw them, and that's not very far...

Gore (4, Interesting)

Davak (526912) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336642)

"I need some answers! Our department is being audited by the County. I have been waiting for someone to give me an explanation as to why Precinct 216 gave Al Gore a minus 16022 when it was uploaded. Will someone please explain this so that I have the information to give the auditor instead of standing here "looking dumb"." [source: http://chroot.net/s/lists/support.w3archive/200101 /msg00068.html ]

I am not pro-Gore or anti-Gore or Republician or Democrat. But the quote cracks me up...

No matter if he won or lost, quotes like this now make me understand why he at least wanted a recount.

Davak

Freenet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336649)

Once someone puts it on Freenet, this discussion will be moot. It'll be available to anyone who wants it, and impossible to pull down.

However.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336650)

If you examine what they're picking on, in many cases, the excepts shown on the site linked by slashdot [why-war.com] are either partial texts made to appear out of context, or were not intended to be taken seriously by the reciever, such as the tagline which is attacked (the one that says 'if elections could change things, they would be illegal'). In part, there may be some truth to taking some of these seriously, but in the same token, a lot are blown out of proportion. It's also interesting to note that things which occured years ago (such as the resignation of Brian Clubb). That was two years ago, and there is no solid evidence that what he reported then is true now. Further, there is nothing (other than his word) to suggest that what he did was not based on little more than his opinion. This is a really bad site which was so selective with it's quotes it really looks like an attack rather than being informative to any real degree. We have a few scattered documents, and no real idea of the larger picture.

What about the buyers? (2, Interesting)

tehanu (682528) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336654)

There is a lot of talk about Diebold - but what about the people who bought the machines off them? They were all I believe state governments and agencies. I'd say that they have been guilty of gross negligence in the buying process. And even now when the truth is coming out they are still not even holding an inquiry or even publicly demanding answers from Diebold. Surely there must be some laws that can be used to hold the state agencies responsible. I wonder if they could end up being sued by a losing candidate if he could prove that their negligence led to him losing? Generally I'm against law-suits but sometimes its the only thing that get institutions or companies to sit up and take notice.

What about homeland security acts? (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336655)

Doesn't this fall under some sort of homeland security thing?

Such the exposure is the right and duty of real americans?

I hate to ask this question but... (1)

porkchop_d_clown (39923) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336666)

People seem to be taking these links as gospel truth. Do we have any proof that these documents have not been doctored before they were put on the web?

These quotes are amusing and energizing to be sure, but are they accurate?

Live fast, die bold. (0)

FZer0 (585622) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336679)

Sorry, couldn't help myself.

What difference does it make ? (1)

tgt (599351) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336685)

I've read the paper on the security analysis of the Diebold voting machines. It was one big hole. What is Diebold pursuing now ? They can't just clean up their reputation by removing links from the web, it's riduculuos. On the other hand, since that report went public, some other state (or states) bought the same system. Nobody who is actually responsible for decision ever cared. Some stupid game of politics.

Chase this, Diebold: (1)

base3 (539820) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336718)

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