The United States of America (US) is a nation that prides itself on openness. We have a constitution  and a Bill of Rights that limits the power of the Government, thereby keeping Government open. The US funds NASA which sponsors the International Space Station, Hubble Telescope, and other open science projects. We have open meeting laws for government entities. Police records are open to public viewing. Court records are open to the public. The US Constitution mentions the word ‘open’ several times. The Bill of Rights mentions “public” trials. Part of the First Amendment restricts Congress from making laws that would restrict the freedom of the press, thereby allowing the press to report on the internal workings of the Government.

The US is the most open Government on the planet. When it comes to electing our government officials, doesn’t it make sense that we’d use Open Source Software? This is software that is open to the people to read.

One of the premier election solutions in the early 2000’s was Diebold.  They were closed source, which meant that election officials could not see/compile the source code. The closed source model had proven to be troublesome, with many security issues. In 2004, ABC’s 60 Minutes ran a piece highlighting the security issues coded by Diebold.

Diebold changed their name, just maybe, because the name Diebold was forever tainted.

With open source software, security problems can be reduced because you have the potential of interested parties from the public reviewing the software for (and then fixing) bugs. This is not possible with closed software like Diebold’s.

I’ll expand more in my next post.

Keywords: CyberSecurityRecap election presidential president government senate congress senator congressional

Troy Frericks.
blog 31-Aug-2019

Written by Troy Frericks

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