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Latest Featured Reports | Sunday, February 14, 2016
SCALIA DEAD AT 79
Notorious U.S. Supreme Court Justice found dead in Texas. A few very quick thoughts on his sudden passing and long legacy...
Behind the Rhetoric at PBS' Democratic Debate in WI: 'BradCast' 2/12/16
Journalists David Dayen and Jacki Schechner with substantive (and sometimes snarky) analysis of the last face-off before NV and SC...
Study: 'Racial Resentment' at Heart of 'Tea Party':
'BradCast' 2/11/16
Guest: Sean McElwee of Demos; Also: Photo ID vote suppression in NH, elsewhere; OR standoff ends; CA gas leak finally stopped...
'Green News Report' 2/11/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Sanders slams Repubs for denial in NH; SCOTUS halts historic emissions standards; U.N. sets new emissions standards for airlines; PLUS: Record heat wave in the Arctic...
Previous GNRs: 2/9/16 - 2/4/16 - Archives...
Sanders and Trump Dominate NH Primaries; Satan Wins in Phoenix: 'BradCast' 2/10/16
Guest: Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser. Also: Federal court finds NC racially gerrymandered Congressional districts...
Dirty Tricks, Voting Rights, Election Integrity and the NH Primary: 'BradCast' 2/9/16
Catching up with a LOT of news, and why voters in every state should be concerned...
'Green News Report' 2/9/16
Clinton pushes action for Flint Water Crisis; Trump calls out GOP on eminent domain; Sanders fights to block new pipelines; PLUS: Obama proposes new oil tax...
Rubio Short-Circuits, Cruz Keeps Lying, Trump Keeps Winning: 'BradCast' 2/8/16
GOP NH Debate coverage with Salon's Heather Digby Parton and Washington Monthly's Martin Longman...
Super Sunday Toons!
From the NFL's brain injury epidemic to the questionable brains of the 2016 candidates (and more) in the moment before NH voters go to the primary polls...
'Progress' v. 'Revolution': Bernie and Hillary's Lively NH Debate: 'BradCast' 2/5/16
Analysis with KY civil rights attorney Joe Dunman and Crooks and Liars' Managing Editor Karoli Kuns...
Black Box Voting's Bev Harris on Iowa Caucus Mess, NH Concerns: 'BradCast' 2/4/16
ALSO: 'Hero of Democracy' Tom Courbat, In Memoriam...
'Green News Report' 2/4/16
Dems keep pushing climate action, Repubs keep ignoring it; FL mayors slam Rubio on sea level rise; CA AG files suit over gas leak; PLUS: FBI launches Flint probe...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


ComputerWorld Review of HBO's 'Hacking Democracy', Plus an EXCLUSIVE Online Video Preview!
By Brad Friedman on 11/1/2006 1:24pm PT  

My article/review of HBO's Hacking Democracy (begins airing tomorrow, Thursday, Nov 2. @ 9pm) has now been posted over at ComputerWorld. I haven't read their final edit yet, as tech probs (yes, tech probs at ComputerWorld! And we're using these machines for voting?!) held up publication until just moments ago. But I trust it resembles something along the lines of what I orginally wrote for them. You can read my take on the landmark documentary in my ComputerWorld feature article now posted here...

As well, HBO has been kind enough to send us a trailer which, thanks to BRAD BLOG video-ace Alan Breslauer, is now online. EXCLUSIVE VIDEO PREVIEW posted right here...

And, just in case you missed it, see late last night's post on Diebold's pathetic (yet hilarious!) last-minute attempt to stop HBO from running this film. Catch that late-breaking news right here...

UPDATE: ComputerWorld has now posted a complete package on E-Voting issues compiled and edited by CW's Security Section editor, Angela Gunn. Tons of stuff available that I haven't even begun to comb through, but thought you might want to know about what appears to be an excellent new resource. It's all available from right here...




In Hilarious Statement, Company Claims Documentary --- Which They Haven't Seen --- Has Facts Wrong...But They're Referring to a Completely Different Documentary!
Feature Article on Film Should Be Published by ComputerWorld Tomorrow...
By Brad Friedman on 10/31/2006 10:32pm PT  

I've written a feature article for ComputerWorld on HBO's upcoming Hacking Democracy, the superb documentary on the many insidious lies of Diebold scheduled for airing beginning Nov. 2nd. We posted a preview article on the film's release several weeks ago. That article should be posted in full Wednesday morning if the continuing delays are worked out (CW had said they'd hoped to publish it Monday).

In the meantime, Diebold seems to be embarrassing itself yet again by issuing a statement calling for HBO to pull the documentary, or at least run disclaimers before, after, and throughout the film. I've seen it. If I were them, I'd try to do everything I could to keep America from seeing the film, as well.

"Truth and accurate reporting are the biggest casualties of the film," Diebold Election System President David Byrd is quoted as saying in the media release.

But ironically, as The Hollywood Reporter is reporting tonight, Byrd has not only never seen the film, but his claims that the film is "Riddled With Errors and Slipshod Reporting" apparently refer to a completely different film!

Confusing a different film called VoterGate with the short film called VoterGate, which was an early version of the film now known as Hacking Democracy, Byrd writes a two page letter [PDF] to HBO refuting several points in the other film!

While Diebold's letter from Byrd claims that the film is "so egregious that HBO should pull the documentary," the letter itself is not only riddled with errors and slipshod reporting, it also makes a sad attempt at playing the partisan card, which Diebold has been trying to deny for years! Note this graf...

"Hacking Democracy" is directed by the directors of "VoterGate" and contains much of the same material. "VoterGate" was produced with special thanks to Susan Sarandon and The Streisand Foundation.

Never mind that the VoterGate Diebold refers to is the wrong VoterGate, but what the hell do either Susan Sarandon or The Streisand Foundation have to do with Diebold's claim that the film is inaccurate?

Not disingenuous enough for you? Byrd has more...

Harri Hursti is shown attacking a Diebold machine in Florida. But his "attack" proved later to be a complete sham. Hursti was invited by California Secretary of State's office to demonstrate his supposed ability to "hack" a Diebold optical scan system. He declined...

Of course, we know that Byrd never saw the Hursti Hack in Hacking Democracy (it hadn't occurred by the time either VoterGate film was released), the disingenuous claim that it "proved later to be a complete sham" is itself a complete sham:

Not only did the California Secretary of State's own technical advisory board at UC Berkley write that "Harri Hursti's attack does work" and that it was "definitely real" in their report [PDF] on the hack, but they also found "more serious vulnerabilities...that go well beyond what Mr. Hursti demonstrated, and yet require no more access to the voting system than he had. These vulnerabilities are consequences of bugs–16 in all."

We would later learn that the invitation to which Diebold refers, from the CA SoS "inviting" Hursti to try his hack out in California, was drafted by a Diebold employee and disinformation operative by the name of Rob Pelletier, and sent to Hursi on CA SoS stationery!

As revealed by this investigative report [PDF] released over the Summer by BlackBoxVoting.org (one of the film's main subjects) entitled "The Diebold Pursuasion Machine," it appears that Pelletier drafted the letter for CA SoS McPherson's office. The "invitation" would later come to be regarded as a "setup" using special Diebold machines and designed for Hursti to fail.

In the same report, it was revealed that Diebold employee Pelletier had been spreading disinformation under several phony names at various Internet sites, as well as here at BRAD BLOG as a commenter using the name "Wally O'Diebold."

As Barney Gimble wrote yesterday in a terrific piece on the history of Diebold in Fortune, about a "five-step plan guaranteed to make an obscure company absolutely notorious":

First get into a business you don't understand, selling to customers who barely understand it either. Then roll out your product without adequate testing. Don't hire enough skilled people. When people notice problems, deny, obfuscate and ignore. Finally, blame your critics when it all blows up in your face.

Hey Diebold: It's blowing up in your face. Stop blaming the critics. You're just making a continuous jackass out of yourselves. And, trust me, you've got far worse problems coming your way that you ought to be worrying about.




New Report Said To Be As Important As Princeton Viral Hack Study of Diebold Touch-Screen (DRE) Systems...
By John Gideon on 10/31/2006 3:11pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

Yesterday the University of Connecticut released a report of the results of a study they did of the Diebold AccuVote Optical Scan voting system the state will be using in the future. This new report, commissioned by the Secretary of State, is as scathing as the recent Princeton Report accomplished on the Diebold TS Direct Recording Electronic machines.

In his blog, Johns-Hopkins University Computer Scientist Avi Rubin says:

"Reading this report was a hair raising experience for me. Diebold has clearly not learned any of the lessons from our 2003 report, and it is startling to see that their optical scan ballot counter is as vulnerable to tampering, vote rigging, and incorrect tabulation as the DRE."



Video by Democratic Sec. of State Candidate in California Critical of CA SoS Bruce McPherson's Certification and Lack of Security Requirements for Diebold Touch-Screen Systems...
By Brad Friedman on 10/31/2006 3:08pm PT  

Democratic Secretary of State candidate, Debra Bowen has released a new video ad on her campaign website showing how easy it would be for hackers to break into a garage where pre-programmed, election-ready Diebold touch-screen systems are now being "stored securely" by poll workers around the state.

Such a break-in could allow them to easily manipulate a single Diebold touch-screen machine to implant a virus on it would could then pass itself from machine to machine, resulting in an entirely flipped election. Nobody would ever know.

We have long since been critical of CA Sec. of State Bruce McPherson's re-certification of Diebold voting systems after his own technical advisory board at UC Berkley had advised him the machines could be tampered with in dozens of ways.

His further lack of enforcement of security requirements for the use of the systems --- he has sat by and allowed them to be sent home for weeks ahead of the election with poll workers on so-called "sleepovers" --- is both an outrage and a violation of his own state requirements and federal law.

Yesterday, we detailed (with photographs) how San Diego County Registrar Mikel Haas has been handing thousands of such hackable voting machines to poll workers in his county since October 16th of this year. Those irresponsible "sleepovers" now allow those poll workers --- or anyone who may wish to access the machines in their garage --- a full 3 weeks prior to the election to find the 60 seconds needed to flip every race in San Diego County.

Bowen's Diebold "sleepover" break-in ad can be viewed at her campaign website. It's also posted in full below...





By Brad Friedman on 10/29/2006 5:00pm PT  

...With a huge nod to Tom Tomorrow who presented a similar toon a full three years ago...well before many of us even understood how scary these things are...

(Hat-tip to BRAD BLOG emailer Melisa U.)




Sadly, it's a REPUBLICAN Who Is Speaking Out About the Clear and Present Threat to Our Democracy
While the GOP Prepares to Yell 'Fraud' This Year if Necessary...
By Brad Friedman on 10/29/2006 3:36pm PT  

"The equipment has been tested by independent agencies and federal agencies," Diebold's Chief Disinformation Officer, Mark Radke lied to Diane Sawyer in a recent Good Morning America interview on ABC.

Sadly, the only ones there to counter Radke's knowing and misleading disinformation was a computer scientist from Princeton, and a Republican governor. Not a Democrat in sight.

The National Democratic Party, to their eternal shame, has remained virtually silent about the grave national security threat --- as it has been described by almost every computer scientist and security expert with whom the The BRAD BLOG has discussed the matter --- which our country now faces vis a vis the nationwide use of inaccurate, uncountable, unaccountable, hackable and, yes, untested electronic voting systems.

To be crystal clear, Radke was simply lying in his statement to Sawyer. He knows damned well that not a single independent body --- nobody, none, zero...no computer scientist, security expert or federal, state or local election official or organization --- is allowed to test Diebold's voting systems in full and release their findings publicly. The same is true for the systems of every other voting machine company in America.

The only federal testing of these systems is done by the so-called "Independent Testing Authority" (ITA), a consortium of three private corporations chosen and paid for by the voting machine companies themselves. The ITAs test only what their client Voting Machine Companies tell them to test. They do so in secret and without releasing the results of their limited testing publicly.

Lou Dobbs Tonight filed a very good report on the ITA scam the other day. The video and transcript are here.

ABC's online coverage of the interview goes on to report that "Approximately 40 percent of Americans will use these machines to vote in November."

That is wrong. Well over 80% of American voters will use such machines this November. ABC should know better by now.

Most disturbingly, the DNC has said and done literally nothing about the problem, and has let it fall to the Republican governor of Maryland, Robert Ehrlich, to speak about the issue nationally.

Says Ehrlich about the need to scrap these dangerous systems at the end of ABC's report:

"I don't care if we paid half a billion dollars or a billion dollars [for these systems]," Ehrlich said. "If it's going to put the election at risk, there's no price tag for a phony election."

Ehrlich is 100% correct. As we reported last August after we were invited to address state party chairs and the DNC's national attorneys at their Summer convention, the national Democratic party continues to whistle past democracy's graveyard. As far as we can tell, not a thing has changed since then.

In the meantime, as we've reported previously, the Republicans are positioning themselves to be able to scream Democratic fraud via electronic voting machines along with their even more disingenuous claims of "voter fraud." Here's a blog item posted today by some wingnut who quotes a couple of our reports from months ago as "proof" that Democrats are preparing to flip votes via Sequoia Voting System electronic machines. The blogger's supposed basis for the report is the claim that Sequoia was purchased by a consortium tied to Venezuala's Hugo Chavez.

You'll also note the anonymous blogger linked the above points only to problems reported on Sequoia systems, ignoring the mountain of reports that voting systems made by Republican-based companies such as Diebold, ES&S and Hart Intercivic are equally, if not more, unfunctional, inaccurate and vulnerable to tampering and fraud.

We don't see the Dems waking up any time soon, as they have failed so far to challenge any of the outrages already plaguing the system during early voting --- from illegally truncated screen displays, to touch-screen votes flipping from one candidate to another, to illegal voting machine "sleepovers" with poll workers as are now occuring in California, Ohio, Florida, and elsewhere. By the time Election Day rolls around, poll workers in San Diego County, for example, will have had more than three weeks to have found the 60 seconds they would need to game a single pre-programmed, election-ready Diebold voting machine --- that they've been allowed to keep in their houses since SD County Registrar of Voters Mikel Haas has been handing them out like candy since October 16th. (NOTE: We'll have much more on that tomorrow.)

The Democrats, so far, have failed to do a damned thing about any of it, choosing instead to close their eyes, cross their fingers, and hope for the best. Good luck.




By John Gideon on 10/28/2006 1:22pm PT  

Blogged By John Gideon, 28 October 2006

Still over a week from election day and already the problems are piling up. Meanwhile the vendors and their shills are making excuses and attempting to sell the voting public a line of garbage. Among the shills is a federal agency, the Election Assistance Commission, that is supposed to assist the voter and, instead, has sent their chairman out on the road to defend the vendors.

In a blog posted yesterday, Brad said it well:

"The U.S. Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) is a complete and utter failure. The current commissioner, Paul DeGregorio, has done nothing to instill confidence in elections or provide a lick of oversight in the deployment and use of these voting systems across the nation in the Midterm Election. In his latest interviews and editorials, he is reprehensibly doing nothing but echoing Voting Machine Company propaganda and Election Officials who choose to be apologists for them."

In a rebuttal to DeGregorios' opinion piece in the Tallahassee Democrat Avi Rubin, Johns-Hopkins Professor, computer scientist and author of "Brave New Ballot" had this to say in his blog:

"I have not seen any reason to trust our nation's voting equipment. Trusting it just because an election official says we should is not good enough for me. I want to trust a system because I don't believe it can be compromised, not because someone implies that not trusting it is not patriotic."

In The Mean Time Across The Nation...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




By Brad Friedman on 10/28/2006 12:51pm PT  

An absolute mess on the ground.

In Ohio, Cuyahoga County's attempts to change the way poll workers are trained in light of their Primary Election Day disaster seem clear, from the startling USA Today coverage, to be a disaster in the making in and of themselves. Read it, and be amazed at the unbelievably complex gyrations now required to address the 300+ recommendations made to the county after their Primary Day meltdown. It's amazing. "Election Cliffhanger: Will it all Work?"

In Maryland, the Republican governor warns of a "crisis in the wake of Diebold revelations."

In Colorado, Sequoia has fucked up the Absentee Ballots so that 30,000 of them must be re-copied by hand by pollworkers.

UPDATE: By John Gideon 4:15PM: Today the county announced that they had awoken from their day dream of duplicating 30,000 ballots. They have decided to do the smart thing and just set up another machine to count the incorrect ballots.

I'm on the road, and haven't been able to follow closely for the last 12 or 24, so there is much more out there that is not covered here (keep an eye on John Gideon's 'Daily Voting News' each day for all the frightening stuff and the utter mess that we simply can't cover in detail), but clearly the links above are just the tippy-top of the tip of the iceberg.

Buckle up.




[NOTE: Please Bring a Video Camera to the Polls To Document These Things This Year!!!]
By Brad Friedman on 10/27/2006 1:15am PT  

We didn't much report on these incidents back in 2004 because they seemed anectodal at the time and couldn't be independently confirmed. After two years now of thousands of such reports from '04 --- almost always showing votes hopping to Republican candidates only --- and still the Voting Machine Companies and Elections Officials saying "it never happened," it seems appropriate to report a few of these incidencts as we hear of them before Election Day, during Early Voting, so folks can look into them.

Here are three different reports over the last day or two of touch-screen votes flipping from Democrats or Libertarians over to Republicans.

-- In Texas...
-- In Arkansas...
-- In Missouri... (via Email. See below.)

From: [redacted for privacy]
Sent: Wednesday, October 25, 2006 10:38 PM
Subject: Vote Miscount in MO

[snip]

A friend of our family’s went last Friday to early vote in Maplewood at Sunnen Park. He voted for Claire McCaskill, but each time he, the election worker, and the election supervisor pressed the screen for Claire, the screen said he had voted for Jim Talent.

I sent this info along to a friend that works in Claire’s campaign. I have the name and number of the guy this happened to if you are interested.

[snip]

PLEASE BRING A VIDEO CAMERA WHEN YOU GO TO VOTE THIS YEAR SO THESE INCIDENTS CAN BE DOCUMENTED! Spread the word...Thank you.




The November Train Wreck Begins To Pick-Up Steam...
UPDATE: Multi-Partisan Group of Maryland Candidates Call for Use of Emergency Paper Ballots instead of the Machines in Wake of 'Lack of Confidence' After Latest Reports of Diebold Touch-Screen Chaos!
By John Gideon on 10/25/2006 10:39pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

And so it begins! Today the Washington Post has revealed, in a superbly written and investigated story, that Diebold secretly made modifications to thousands of their voting machines in Maryland and that everyone involved seems to have forgotten to tell the State Board of Elections about it.

It seems that after the state bought machines in 2002 they began experiencing intermittent and wide-spread screen freezes. Finally in 2005 Diebold installed all new systems boards in all 4,700 machines.

And, oh by the way, they forgot to tell the State Board of Elections that they had done anything. The State Elections Administrator, Linda Lamone, and her staff seem to have known but members of the SBOE seem to have been left out of the discussion.

UPDATE FROM BRAD: This is a very detailed story with a duplicitous cast of characters and it is very well investigated and told. Kudos to WaPo's Cameron W. Barr for this coverage! We look forward to seeing much more of it!

Also see Baltimore Sun's coverage which offers still more damning details about the duplicity of both Diebold (who still has the MD contract and hasn't yet been sued) and the MD State Board of Elections as headed by the Democratic Diebold-apologist Linda Lamone (who still has a job, remarkably enough.)

UPDATE FROM JOHN 10/26 4:45am PT: A coalition of candidates in Maryland has now asked that only paper ballots be used in the upcoming election. The coalition, with candidates for different offices and representing different political parties, has joined together under the banner of the non-partisan Candidates Alliance for Recountable Elections (CARE). A media release explains their stance on this subject and is below...

NOTE: The coverage of the Hart Intercivic screen display problems in Virginia having been found now in other states such as Texas and California has been moved to it's own item here....

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




Courtesy of Diebold Spokeshole --- and Former Bush Adminstration Official! --- Mark Radke
By Brad Friedman on 10/24/2006 10:58am PT  

In a WaPo article from Saturday (we were outta town, and are just now getting caught up with much) on the possible origins of the double-super-secret Diebold source code which showed up out of the blue in a Maryland candidate's office last week, Diebold's leading spokesliar Mark Radke is quoted as saying the following...apparently with a straight face...

Radke said the company was not averse to disclosing its code if the law were changed to require it. But he said disclosure would dampen innovation in the field.

Heheh..."dampen innovation in the field." Those Diebold spokesguys and their crazy sense of humor.

By the way, as we were looking for a nice photo of Diebold's top mouth-piece, we came across a new little factoid --- new to us anyway. Seems that before Radke came to his new post as Diebold's chief liar, he had been Chief of Staff to George W. Bush's crony SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt. Small world. Go figure.

Diebold's chief obfuscator is a former Bush Administration official. Just one of those wacky coincidences, we guess.

CORRECTION 10/25/06: Good news! After digging around on this one, trying to figure out how it could possibly be that Radke was a former Bush Administration official and none of us knew about that until now, Russ Michaels, one of the filmmakers of HBO's Hacking Democracy writes to let us know that there is a different Mark Radke out there! The Diebold Radke is different from the Bush crony SEC Radke. Details on the other one, Mark S. Radke, right here...




Experts Begging Diebold to 'Come Back to Reality, Secure Nation's Voting'
Is that the Diebold Secret Source Code that Arrived in my Mail Today?
By Alan Breslauer on 10/22/2006 10:50pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

Diebold's "system is utterly unsecured," said cyber-security expert Stephen Spoonamore in the online print version of ABC World News' report on Sunday Night.

Spoonamore continued, "The entire cyber-security community is begging them to come back to reality and secure our nation's voting."

With the election only 16 days away, ABC World News worries "about another Florida style ballot fiasco" in tonight's e-voting segment. One major concern, it seems, is that e-voting machine maker Diebold's source code is turning up in random mail boxes, as The BRAD BLOG reported last Thursday. Yet, despite this latest revelation coming on the heels of a Princeton study evidencing the ease in which Diebold machines could be hacked, Diebold maintains everything is peachy.

-- ABC's Video report here...
-- ABC's printed report (with additional details) here...

UPDATE FROM BRAD 9:22pm PT:

We're delighted to see that ABC News has finally decided that there is a story here worth reporting. Wish they had come on board long ago. In any case, the print version of their story, written by Jake Tapper, Rebecca Abrahams and Eduardo Sunol, has several notable details above and beyond the video report. In addition to the comments from Spoonamore above, there's this...

Diebold, the company that makes the voting machines, told ABC News, "These discs do not alter the security of the Diebold touch-screen system in any way," because election workers can set their own passwords.

But ABC News has obtained an independent report commissioned by the state of Maryland and conducted by Science Applications International Corporation revealing that the original Diebold factory passwords are still being used on many voting machines.

The SAIC study also shows myriad other security flaws, including administrative over-ride passwords that cannot be changed by local officials but can be used by hackers or those who have seen the discs.

The report further states that one of the high risks to the system comes if operating code discs are lost, stolen or seen by unauthorized parties --- precisely what seems to have occurred with the discs sent to Kagan, who worries that the incident indicates the secret source code is not that difficult to obtain.

"Certainly, just tweaking a few votes in a couple of states could radically change the outcome of our policies for the coming year," she said.




Jack Cafferty's 'Broken Government' Report: 'The greatest democracy the world has ever known is in trouble'
By Alan Breslauer on 10/22/2006 3:39pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer


(Hat tip to BRAD BLOG emailer Mike from The Campaign to Give Jack Cafferty a Show)




ALSO: State Report Finds Sensitive Voter Registration Database Vulnerable to 'Across-the-Board Access'
Diebold, State Election Director Lamone Continue State of Denial...
By John Gideon on 10/19/2006 8:42pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon (with additional snark provided by Brad Friedman)

The Washington Post is reporting in Friday editions that the FBI is investigating the "possible theft" of Diebold electronic touch-screen voting system source code in Maryland.

While the Maryland State Board of Elections admits that the disks contained "the software...used in Maryland in the 2004 elections," Diebold denies everything. Of course. They gave their catch-all apologia --- the software is for "versions...that are no longer in use in Maryland" --- although they were forced to acknowledge "the version of one program apparently stored on the disks is still in use in 'a limited number of jurisdictions.'"

The disks feature logos from Ciber Inc. and Wyle Labratories, Inc., two labs that test voting machines and software (sort of) for Diebold. Both firms deny the disks are theirs.

According to the article...

The disks delivered to [ex-Delegate Cheryl C.] Kagan's office bear labels indicating that they hold "source code" --- the instructions that constitute the core of a software program --- for Diebold's Ballot Station and Global Election Management System (GEMS) programs. The former guides the operation of the company's touch-screen voting machines; the latter is in part a tabulation program used to tally votes after an election.

Three years ago, Diebold was embarrassed when an activist obtained some of its confidential software by searching the Internet. The company vowed to improve its security procedures to prevent another lapse.

The release of such software poses a risk, computer scientists say, because it could allow someone to discover security vulnerabilities or to write a virus that could be used to manipulate election results."

WaPo goes on to report...

The Washington Post obtained copies of the disks Wednesday and allowed Avi Rubin, a computer scientist at Johns Hopkins University, along with a colleague and a graduate student, to review the software on the condition that they make no copies of it.

"I would be stunned if it's not real," Rubin said.

Rubin, who has said that electronic voting systems that do not produce a paper record of each vote cannot be secured, led a team that produced an analysis that pointed out security vulnerabilities in the Diebold software found on the Internet in 2003.

Sam Small, the graduate student, said the version of Ballot Station "was consistent with what we've seen previously." Small could not gain access to the GEMS software because the material on two of the disks was protected by a password."

...

The Diebold statement said "it would take years for a knowledgeable scientist" to break the encryption used on the software apparently contained on the disks delivered to Kagan. But Rubin said "the data and files were not encrypted" on the Ballot Station disk he reviewed.

So will Diebold just continue to deny that anything has happened or can happen? Will MD State Election Director Linda Lamone just pass on Diebold disinformation as she always does (despite knowing better...since she's seen the unredacted scientific reports on these systems from security organizations like SAIC and RABA?) Or will someone finally understand that this is a massive problem that needs immediate attention?

Maryland, along with Georgia, was one of Diebold's original "showcase states," implementing Diebold's hackable paperless touch-screen voting across virtually the entire state since 2002. With failure after failure, we might add.

If it's all not bad enough, in what is reported by WaPo as "an unrelated development" in the same article, a new report from Maryland state auditors revealed that the state's new voter registration database does not have proper security controls in place for access to the data...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




The Revolving Door Seems To Be Working Fine For Ex-Insiders as Thousands in Campaign Contributions to the Commission Chair from Old Friends Ensure Diebold's Premier Local Outfit Gets the County Contract!
State Election Integrity Advocates Issue News Release With Some Superb Reporting That Seems to Have Eluded the Local Mainstream Media!
By John Gideon on 10/13/2006 3:33pm PT  

Yesterday the Illinois Ballot Integrity Project (IBIP) issued a press release that is, as I explained to Brad Friedman, "un-freaking-believable". The DuPage County chapter of IBIP has been hard at work tracking cronyism and favoritism on the part of DuPage County, IL Election Commission Chairman J.P. "Rick" Carney in his dealings with Diebold Election Systems representatives from Fidlar Elections and Liberty LLC.

Kudos to IBIP for some great reporting!

The complete "un-freaking-believable" press release follows below...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




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