[ILUG] E-voting in India
colm at stdlib.net
Wed May 5 12:53:14 IST 2004
On Wed, May 05, 2004 at 12:51:00PM +0100, Bryan O'Donoghue wrote:
> >There is no need to compromise beyond that, we do not need to degrade
> >trust. There is no reason why we cannot take the advantages of E-voting
> >(harder to mistakenly spoil a ballot, better accsessiblity) and combine
> >it with what we know - paper counts.
> A paper count is a step in the right direction.
> However, in order to stress the Close Source system, one has to perform a
> paper count in tandem. At this point we can know or at least hazard a
> better guess as to the likelyhood of a backdoors existing in a given system.
Indeed, and the Commission has recommended such paralell tests in an
actual election :)
> Perhaps that backdoors exists, but, wasn't used in that particular instance
> to compromise the voting process.
> My position would be that, unless I as a citizen can verify that code, I
> can't be satisfied that the system *isn't* compromised.
> A paper trail is a necessity, but, I also would contend, so is the ability
> to scrutanise the source code.
> Why shouldn't the source code be available to the public?
It absolutely should, I've just given you arguments for publishing it :)
But this shouldnt be mixed up with Open Source, ie have to have a license as
defined by the OSI.
> A foreign company has *no* rights afforded to citizens in this country, it
> is a vendor, supplying a public service and it's ethereal Intellectual
> Property rights, have no remit to degrade or abrogate a citizens right to
> verify *all* aspects of a democratic vote.
I entirely agree, but like it or not that vendor also has the right to
protect its own intellectual property and investment. It is fully
entitled to restrict re-use of its code.
Personally I believe it is wrong of the vendor to do this, because there
is no significant risk whatsoever of any competitor stealing their code
(for one thing we represent a market of one, for another Governments
tend not to buy stolen code) and I believe the Department was seriously
irresponsible in not insisting on full ownership of the code we paid.
But I must still recognise that it does not serve our interests to
insist on the vendor going open source, something they clearly will not
favour, but insisting that they must publish the source and make it
available for more general scrutiny.
Colm MacCárthaigh Public Key: colm+pgp at stdlib.net
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