reported on Diebold looking to pull out of North Carolina because of a court
order to turn over their source code and list of programmers who helped develop
the software that runs their voting machines. Their argument lied within the
Operating System which is Windows. They argued they could not give the Window's
source code or list of all programmers who worked on development of the world's
most popular operating system.
Since that report, Diebold has pulled the plug on North Carolina and they are
now safe from the crooked hands that controls a majority of this countries
voting. According to
Brad at the Brad Blog, Diebold could not get a court to rule for a special
exception on behalf of Diebold and this has sparked their sudden abandonment of
One of the arguments I brought up was the selection of Windows for their
operating system. Windows is loaded with security flaws and that is evident by
the number of updates Windows owner's receive from the Microsoft site. In the
tech world it is referred to as "Security Patch Tuesday" since that is the day
when Microsoft generally releases all their patches.
Today while getting my daily dose of tech article readings in, I noticed one
that addresses the very security flaws in Windows that could jeopardize the very
democracy we all hold near.
George Ou of ZDNet is asking why Microsoft just doesn't release all their
patches and get it over with. A good question and one that would make one wonder
why Diebold still puts the stock of our democracy in this flawed operating
Nearly four years ago, Microsoft's Bill Gates ate some humble pie and
declared that they must do much better with their security issues and
launched the Trustworthy Computing Initiative. One and a half years later,
the company launches Windows 2003 Server with fewer vulnerabilities and
extremely defensive default settings. Another year goes by and Microsoft
releases Windows XP SP2 with many new enhanced security features. Almost 4
years after the launch of Trustworthy Computing, I found myself wondering
why am I staying up till 4:00 AM to deliver an emergency set of instructions
(Home and Enterprise) to my readers because Microsoft felt it unnecessary
to patch a flaw six months ago that was originally low risk but mutated in
to something extremely dangerous.
Read the full article
To rub a little more salt in that wound, Diebold registers all the votes in a
Microsoft Access database. They are securing our very selection of leaders with
one of the most vulnerable databases out there.
One of the reasons Microsoft is such a vulnerable target is because of the
popularity of the operating system. More people use Microsoft than any other
operating system, even though Linux is gaining ground. This means in order for a
virus writer to target a larger group, they are better off to target the larger
operating system. Windows will always be the number one target of malicious
attacks and by Diebold putting the security stock of our voting into their
system it means our elections are at greater risk of attack.
Writing an open source system for something like recording votes is not that
complicated of a task. Every voter should be allowed to see the inner workings
of what is handling the essence of our democracy. Open source software has been
proven to be more reliable and secure because you have minds around the globe
able to maul over the inner workings and suggest solutions. I have no doubt in
my mind that Diebold is trying to hide something in their voting software. It
also strikes me as curious that we put our voting power in the hands of a man
who our government has targeted in the past - Bill Gates.