Diebold versus Democracy — Fighting Back

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Media Contact: Diebold versus Democracy
Stephen Compall <sc87@evansville.edu>
Phone: +011 44 1476 403000 (leave a message)

University of Evansville Student Mirrors Diebold Election System Memos

EVANSVILLE, IN, USA -- Saturday, November 1, 2003 -- Stephen Compall announced today the opening of one of the first educational site "mirrors" of a collection of Diebold Election Systems (Diebold E.S.) internal memos, on the University of Evansville's Computer Science department web server.

Compall's web site based around the material, "Diebold versus Democracy", describes the situation, asks for help from other students, and includes links to more complete resources on the situation.

Diebold E.S. recently refuted a report [1] explaining flaws in the security of Diebold E.S. election equipment, in use in 37 states, calling into question the results of past and future elections. The memos show that Diebold E.S. recognizes that the problems are real.

Diebold E.S. has been sending "takedown requests", alleging copyright infringement, to schools hosting the Internet access for the memos' educational mirrors, which have all been published by the "Why War?" Diebold page. [2]

"My distribution of these memos falls under copyright's Fair Use provisions [3]," Compall said. "It is important that this information be publicly available. Furthermore, there is no market value for these memos, so copyright should not apply."

"Even if it does, I want people to ask themselves, what is more important: copyright, or free and fair elections?"

At stake are the 2004 elections, and those in the future.

More information:

The "Diebold versus Democracy" page: http://csserver.evansville.edu/~sc87/diebold/

[1] Analysis of an Electronic Voting System: http://avirubin.com/vote.pdf

[2] Why War? Diebold feature, all the educational mirrors: http://why-war.com/features/2003/10/diebold.html

[3] Stanford Copyright & Fair Use Center: http://fairuse.stanford.edu/

More Information

Ignoring for a moment that keeping secret the methods used to manage our elections, a consequence of using proprietary software, is anti-democratic, regardless of how "bug-free" the software may be, Diebold, a provider of computerized election systems, is now trying to stop people from revealing information about flaws in their system.

This situation proves that the rampant opacity of public software, and the DMCA for that matter, are unacceptable in a free society. Thus, encouraged by Diebold's attack on distribution of this information, I have distributed this information.

Here are some other resources for those interested in looking deeper.