The case for open-source voting softare, pt. 3

I’ve written before about the Diebold computer-voting-maching scandal, and why I think voting software should be developed in an open-source mode — so that citizens can see for themselves how the software works, and whether it’s secure or insecure. Diebold has always publicly claimed that its secret, proprietary software is safe and reliable — while in private, Diebold engineers have written panicked memos talking about the security holes.

Yesterday, the Register reported that Diebold’s automated teller machines were infected by the Nachi worm. Why? Amazingly, they run on Windows XP Embedded — a platform that is just shot through with holes.

(Thanks to Slashdot for this one!)

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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