Barry SCHWARTZ (Barijo ŜVARC) (chemoelectric) wrote,

Cheating through DLLs (an e-mail to Bev Harris)

Date: Sat, 11 Dec 2004 10:58:04 -0600
From: [The Chemo-Electric Trashman]
To: [Bev Harris of]
Cc: [Some bloggers]
Subject: Cheating through DLLs

Hiya, Bev.

I've got little opinion on Clint Curtis's allegations, but I would like to take issue with some of your points against him. I am a disabled former computer programmer, with a master's degree in electrical engineering, and so consider myself qualified.

However, since Curtis says he did not insert the software into any voting system, this is (almost) a moot point.

My understanding of what he claims is that Curtis never even wrote any vote cheating software. All he did write was a program that gives some idea of what a vote cheating machine could be like. To talk about putting Curtis's software into vote cheating machines is like talking about squeezing people into an architectural scale model.

But I've been receiving e-mails from programmers that point out something even more obvious: by slipping the rig into a .dll, a program that runs in the background in the operating system (which is never examined at all) you can certainly achieve vote-rigging and survive a source code review.

Those must have been Windows programmers. There is a very simple way around this problem, which is to use a free software distribution, in which the packages are all digitally signed or at least have checksums published for them. Thus you can be certain of getting what everyone else in the world is getting, and you have the source code if you need to examine it--which you probably will not need to do, on account of the digital verification.

Running any kind of election software on a Microsoft Windows box is foolish. I don't understand how anyone could tolerate that. You should have all the source code for the machines freely perusable by anyone with Internet access. This isn't even difficult to do; it is done all the time these days.

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