[Fsfe-ie] E-Voting letter

Ian Clarke ian at locut.us
Fri Apr 9 00:28:22 CEST 2004

On Thu, 2004-04-08 at 22:26, Cathal Mc Ginley wrote:
> My letter doesn't advocate a Free Software solution, it criticizes a 
> non-Free Software solution, while also (twice or more) drawing attention 
> to the problem of knowing that the program you've reviewed is the 
> program being used.

Well, my reading of your letter is that it does advocate a free software
solution (perhaps I am not appreciating some subtlety, but if I don't -
I suspect its intended audience won't either), but even if it didn't, a
criticism is largely useless unless you advocate a better idea, so if
you aren't advocating a free software solution, why muddy the water?

> "Electronic voting is a bad idea - it's the inappropriate use of 
> technology in the wrong place."

I think e-voting ok, but only with a voter verified paper audit trail. 
Simply saying that nothing should change makes us sound like Luddites,
and will only serve to make it easier for them to dismiss us. 

> The ICTE submissions summary lists 9 instances asking for source code. 
> The possibility of an "open source" solution has been raised in an 
> article in the Irish Times (mentioned by Éibhear).

To be blunt, I really couldn't care less whether the source code is
open, provided that there is a voter-verified paper audit trail. 
Advocating the former can only serve to distract attention from the
latter - and that is bad for democracy.


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