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Reply #28: He's saying that knowing the source code doesn't protect the vote. [View All]

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-22-10 02:19 AM
Response to Reply #27
28. He's saying that knowing the source code doesn't protect the vote.
Edited on Fri Oct-22-10 02:59 AM by Bill Bored
First, I'm surprised that you didn't know how GEMS works. Wasn't this covered in Bev's book? (I must confess I've never read it.) Haven't you ever downloaded a copy of GEMS to see for yourself? It'll scare the heck of you if you do.

I don't know if ES&S's crap works the same way, but I suspect it does.

Now, if that much damage can be done just by tweaking the ballot programming, knowing the source code buys us very little. Source code is not the way to steal particular elections because for one thing, it's NOT election-specific! So while it's nice to know the source code to see if it has any bugs (which is not really possible to know because of its complexity), or if it has been changed since certification (actually that should be the object code that runs on the machines, hopefully included in the "other material in escrow" in your law), none of this protects the configuration files and hence, the vote, from tampering with the configuration files.

Source-code obsession is what Wilms is talking about. But the ballot programming that existed at the time the votes were cast is what determines how the votes got counted, in addition to the compiled source code. Source code itself tells us very little and it doesn't tell us anything about what the compiler did to it.

The above is why you need to do hand counts and audit the configuration files.
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