Diebold and PES Sued for Stealing...

... Code?

A California software company has filed a lawsuit against Diebold and its subsidiary, Premier Election Solutions, claiming that PES' electronic voting machines violate its copyrights.

Artifex Software, of San Rafael, Calif., claims that PES systems infringe on its copyrighted Ghostscript PDF interpretation and printing software. Artifex claims PES is using Ghostscript in its electronic election systems even though Diebold and PES "have not been granted a license to modify, copy, or distribute any of Artifex's copyrighted works," Artifex claims in court papers filed late last month in U.S. District Court for Northern California.

Why is this important?

Obtaining GNU Ghostscript

GNU Ghostscript is a copyrighted work; it is distributed under the GNU General Public License. You can get the current version of GNU Ghostscript by Internet FTP from ftp.gnu.org/gnu/ghostscript from any of the GNU distribution sites; likely, alpha versions may be available on alpha.gnu.org/gnu/ghostscript.

As (h/t) lambert at Corrente pointed out, under GNU General Public Licensing, if Diebold and PES used Ghostscript to create their product they may be legally bound to make their product's code open for our inspection, as well.

The GNU General Public License (GNU GPL or simply GPL) is a widely used free software license, originally written by Richard Stallman for the GNU project. The GPL is the most popular and well-known example of the type of strong copyleft license that requires derived works to be available under the same copyleft. Under this philosophy, the GPL grants the recipients of a computer program the rights of the free software definition and uses copyleft to ensure the freedoms are preserved, even when the work is changed or added to. This is in distinction to permissive free software licences, of which the BSD licences are the standard examples.


Newly Released Video: Spoonamore Confronts Maryland Board of Elections Over SAIC Report

Posted on behalf of and at the request of luaptifer by GreyHawk.

The following video was posted on the Velvet Revolution site on 27 August 2008.

It documents Stephen Spoonamore's confrontation of the Maryland Board of Elections with an unredacted version of the "Risk Assessment Report" of Diebold's electronic voting systems as commissioned by the state of Maryland from the Scientific Applications International Corporation (SAIC) in 2003." as reported on Brad Blog 11/5/06. Those who commissioned the report were provided only a 40 page redact and limited to 'borrowing' a copy of the full 200 page document, Diebold considered it such sensitive material.


"Computer cyber security expert Stephen Spoonamore got a copy of the 197-page unredacted report which listed hundreds of serious problems, and he released that report to us.

Well, Spoonamore did more than that – he took the report to the Maryland Board of Elections and confronted them with it at a public meeting. He told them that if he were handed such a report in the private sector, he would "shut down the system and open a fraud investigation." The elections officials expressed shock that they had not ever seen the same unredacted report. And when the meeting was over, Spoonamore, with a concealed microphone, personally confronted the officials. And what did one of them say to him –that him having the report was "a security risk." Following the confrontation, Spoonamore was contacted by law enforcement officials who demanded to know how he got the report. We can say now that the report came from a high official in the Executive Branch who wanted to expose Diebold."


I'm catching up on some history of the electronic voting machine story and, as a result, coming to realize the potential for these machines to profoundly undermine the integrity of this November's election.

Take a read of Bradblog's 'THE PENTAGON PAPERS OF E-VOTING' while understanding that machines like this are found in most of these United States. This report doesn't touch upon the recently revealed defects found in all lines of Diebold / Premier systems since their production began.

Diebold voting machine key copied from pic on Diebold site

Via BradBlog, (and h/t Buzzflash) anyone can have their very own Diebold voting machine master key now:

Good lord in heaven. How dumb are these guys at Diebold?! Can you believe the United States has actually entrusted them to build a security system for the original U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights?!

After everything else... now comes this.

Wednesday: Secrets Revealed!

Joe Guillen/Cleveland.com: 20 percent of election printouts were unreadable
"If it is as close as it's been for the last two presidential elections and it's that close again in 2008, God help us if we have to depend on Cuya- hoga County as the deciding factor. . ." said County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora, a longtime opponent of the county's touch-screen voting system. [Vendor? Diebold. Via Election Law @ Moritz]

Kevin G. Hall/McClatchy: Democrats' health plans echo Nixon's failed GOP proposal
WASHINGTON — Even before Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton unveiled her new health-care plan, Republicans attacked it as socialized medicine. They neglected to mention, however, that her plan bears a striking resemblance to changes that were proposed in 1974 — by the late President Richard M. Nixon.

PEJ: Journalists in Iraq - A Survey of Reporters on the Front Lines (Nov 28, 2007)
The survey, conducted by the Project for Excellence in Journalism from September 28 through November 7. . . will be followed, later this year, with a content analysis of coverage on the ground from Iraq.