Archive for October 23rd, 2009
Sequoia voting machines has been troubled by allegations of vote irregularities before. (see here, here and here for typical examples). Now Slashdot is reporting that a new analysis of the computer code used by these machines indicates there is probably some truth to the allegations.
The existence of such code appears to violate Federal voting law: “Sequoia blew it on a public records response. … They appear… to have just vandalized the data as valid databases by stripping the MS-SQL header data off, assuming that would stop us cold. They were wrong. The Linux ‘strings’ command was able to peel it apart. Nedit was able to digest 800-MB text files. What was revealed was thousands of lines of MS-SQL source code that appears to control or at least influence the logical flow of the election, in violation of a bunch of clauses in the FEC voting system rulebook banning interpreted code, machine modified code and mandating hash checks of voting system code.”
Today, Senator John McCain made it clear that he is not in favor of a free and open Internet. He believes that access to the Internet should be entrusted to the telecoms. As reported by PC World,
McCain’s bill, the Internet Freedom Act, seeks to do the opposite of what its name implies by ensuring that broadband and wireless providers can discriminate and throttle certain traffic while giving preferential treatment to other traffic. Basically, those in power or those who pay more will have better access. Apparently we have different definitions of ‘freedom’.
“Today I’m pleased to introduce the Internet Freedom Act of 2009 that will keep the Internet free from government control and regulation,” McCain said. “It will allow for continued innovation that will in turn create more high-paying jobs for the millions of Americans who are out of work or seeking new employment. Keeping businesses free from oppressive regulations is the best stimulus for the current economy.”
Here’s a bit more background on McCain’s mindset, which consists of a war of misinformation (keep in mind that during the presidential campaign, McCain admitted that he didn’t even know how to use a computer):
McCain was on the opposite side of the Net neutrality debate from President Barack Obama during last year’s presidential campaign. During his White House campaign, President Barack Obama came out strongly in favor of Net neutrality, which is backed by companies such as Google, Amazon, Yahoo!, eBay and consumer advocacy groups, but opposed by telecommunications, wireless and cable companies.
In short, since U.S. citizens have retained such immense control over the television and radio airwaves (this is sarcasm and here’s Exhibit A), we’ll hand the Internet over to private corporations too. The solution to McCain’s attempt to hand control of the Internet to big profit-hungry corporations is to require McCain to subject himself to cross-examination in real-time by someone like Lawrence Lessig, or any other rational person who is knowledgable about net neutrality. McCain would be one or two simple questions from being exposed as either naive or corrupt.