DR. EDGAR DAVID VILLANUEVA NUÑEZ
Congressman of the Republica of Peru is reported recently as having sent an
interesting letter to Microsoft in Peru. The full text is at:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/25157.html but in respect of how Open
Source and Proprietary software create an interesting question for good
governments, the following quote may give a flavour:
"the State needs systems the development of which can be guaranteed due to
the availability of the source code.
To guarantee national security or the security of the State, it is
indispensable to be able to rely on systems without elements which allow
control from a distance or the undesired transmission of information to
third parties. Systems with source code freely accessible to the public are
required to allow their inspection by the State itself, by the citizens, and
by a large number of independent experts throughout the world."
"...for software to be acceptable for the state it is not enough that it is
technically capable of fulfilling a task, but that further the contractual
conditions must satisfy a series of requirements reguarding the license,
without which the State cannot guarantee the citizen adequate processing of
his data, watching over its integrity, confidentiality, and accessibility
throughout time, as these are very critical aspects for its normal
This is no trivial matter. The fact that TDs can win or lose over a margin
of a couple of votes means that any error, even infinitesimal, can change
the direction of a government. How do we KNOW there is no interference
unless the system is Open Source, as of course is the manual counting and
recounting that we've seen recently.
This Peruvian Congressman's letter should be compulsory reading in schools.
----Original Message Follows----
From: "John A. Kinsella" <John.Kinsella at ul.ie>
To: Irish Linux Users Group <ilug at linux.ie>
Subject: [ILUG] [OT] Electronic election count
Date: Tue, 28 May 2002 14:04:31 +0100 (IST)
It's not all that OT IMHO.
Dept of Enviro web site says:
Firstly, the voting machine has been in use successfully for many years in
Holland and in Germany without any problems. It has a good track record.
Notwithstanding that fact, the machine was tested by two international
test institutes in Holland and Germany. In addition, a number of returning
officers and the Department of the Environment and Local Government have
carried out functional tests to ensure that it works properly.
In relation to the system software, an architectural and code review was
carried out by an independent company. In addition, a number of returning
officers, the Department of the Environment and Local Government and the
Electoral Reform Society in the UK have tested the functionality of the
software to ensure that it implements the count rules properly.
I must say I'd like to know who that ind company was!
And is the source code available?...
Looks like no-one here in Ireland checked the system.. Might we have been
provided with a "custom" version?..
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you...
John A. Kinsella Ph: +353-61-202148 (Direct)
+353-61-333644 x 2148 (Switch)
Mathematics Dept. e-mail: John.Kinsella at ul.ie
University of Limerick FAX: +353-61-334927
IRELAND Web: http://jkcray.maths.ul.ie
Irish Linux Users' Group: ilug at linux.iehttp://www.linux.ie/mailman/listinfo/ilug for (un)subscription information.
List maintainer: listmaster at linux.ie
Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp.
Maintained by the ILUG website team. The aim of Linux.ie is to
support and help commercial and private users of Linux in Ireland. You can
display ILUG news in your own webpages, read backend
information to find out how. Networking services kindly provided by HEAnet, server kindly donated by
Dell. Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvalds,
used with permission. No penguins were harmed in the production or maintenance
of this highly praised website. Looking for the
Indian Linux Users' Group? Try here. If you've read all this and aren't a lawyer: you should be!