Tuesday, March 18, 2008

E-voting company threatens scientists who want to study their black box

From the Wired Campus blog:

Sequoia Voting Systems, a company that manufactures electronic voting machines, sent an e-mail message last week to two computer scientists at Princeton University, warning them against dissecting Sequoia machines and software. The scientists, Edward W. Felten and Andrew Appel, are well known for exposing security flaws in electronic voting machines and warning the public against trusting them. . . . A Sequoia vice president, Edwin Smith, wrote that the plan would violate Sequoia’s contract for use of its machines. “Sequoia has also retained counsel to stop any infringement of our intellectual properties, including any noncompliant analysis,” the message read.

This is absolutely ridiculous. There is no reason for voters to trust a company that refuses to share how their machines work.


reuminations said...

couldn't showing their goodies expose them to the greater threat of disrupting the electoral process?

John Jones said...

The democratic process needs to be transparent. I’m not comfortable with the idea that the corporations that make voting machines are the only ones who know how they work. These companies should—at the very least—have to expose their machines’ workings to the states who contract with them.