Black Box Voting Bulletin, 2005-01-19
Feel free to distribute
From: Bev Harris <Bev@blackboxvoting.org>
Jan 19, 2005 see below for:
- Issues affecting update schedule, Web address for updates
- Consumer protection lawsuit activated against Diebold: Discovery starts Feb 4.
- New Black Box Voting DOCUMENT ARCHIVE (Programmers especially, check this out)
- The "Crypto Solution" New ways to take away your paper ballot.
- Constitutional Equal Protection Amendment for voters?
- BBV Confidential
1. ISSUES AFFECTING UPDATE SCHEDULE:
Several technical issues impeded our e-mail update schedule. We have worked through them, except for one, which we will finish next week. Because many of you have not received some of the updates, this bulletin has a summary of the latest, and Web links for all of the updates so far.
WEB ADDRESS FOR ONLINE UPDATES:
http://www.blackboxvoting.org CLICK "Forums" THEN SELECT "Latest Updates."
Direct link: http://www.bbvforums.org/forums/messages/1954/1954.html
2. UPDATE 1-18-05: CONSUMER PROTECTION LAWSUIT ACTIVATED AGAINST DIEBOLD: DISCOVERY SCHEDULED TO COMMENCE Feb.4.
Black Box Voting board member Jim March and Executive Director Bev Harris filed two lawsuits against Diebold in California. The first, a false claims ("Qui Tam") suit, is expected to settle shortly for a $2.6 million payout to the state of California by Diebold.
The California false claims case is the first successful consumer case against Diebold, and at a $2.6 million reimbursement to California taxpayers, will assign the largest penalty in any voting machine-related case so far.
California is expected to compensate Harris and March for their original research in the case. The exact figure has not yet been determined by the courts, but the initial proposed settlement allocates around $76,000 each.
Bev Harris’s compensation will be donated to Black Box Voting, as a restricted contribution which must be spent specifically on additional consumer litigation to protect election integrity.
March and Harris have been joined by three other Californians in a second lawsuit, alleging fraudulent business practices and unfair competition by Diebold. Papers were filed this week in Sacramento Superior Court reactivating this lawsuit, which will provide a vehicle for seeking discovery from Diebold about its business practices and voting systems.
Some of the Qui Tam money is tagged towards underwriting discovery in the second case. Whereas in the first case, the California Attorney General was able to assert control, this newly reactivated case allows the plaintiffs more direct control over discovery. Plaintiffs have requested four months to conduct discovery, and have scheduled written interrogatories and witness requests by Feb. 4, 2005. (More: http://www.bbvforums.org/forums/messages/1954/2291.html)
3. UPDATE 1-17-05: NEW: BBV DOCUMENT ARCHIVE at bbvdocs.org. This document archive will release specific information, including voting machine information not previously available to the general public. It will focus first on optical scan information from Diebold, because Ohio is now leaning toward replacing its punch card systems with Diebold optical scans, and many anomalies were identified in Florida and Washington with Diebold optical scans.
To be featured in the BBV Docs archive:
- 2004 Election audit logs and results
- Voting system user manuals, software, bug reports and certification documents
- The complete repository of the Diebold memos
- Many items from the original Diebold FTP site
- Items from Sequioa, ES&S, and Hart Intercivic
- Previously unpublished correspondence between key election officials.
- Full text of election-related lawsuits
- Original source materials from Black Box Voting book
- Transcripts of interviews with key elections officials
- Items of interest to the history of the voting integrity movement
New items are being uploaded daily. We are installing a high-speed document scanner to convert thousands of pages of FOIA documents, including correspondence among voting industry officials, to Internet format for open source investigation and examination.
TIPS FOR USING THE ARCHIVE:
* Link to document archive portal (currently skinny, but check back frequently as new documents go online daily): http://www.bbvdocs.org
* TO SEE EVERYTHING IN THE ARCHIVE AT ONCE: Go to this link: http://www.bbvforums.org/forums/messages/2197/2197.html and click "tree view" at the bottom.
* TO SEE EVERY DOCUMENT IN THE CATEGORY AT ONCE: In "tree view" click the + sign by the folder. (http://www.bbvforums.org/forums/messages/2197/2197.html)
4. UPDATE 1-10-05: THE "CRYPTO SOLUTION" GOOD OR BAD?
Direct link to full article, a counter point of view, legislative updates that invite crypto into voting, and an active discussion on the Crypto Solution: http://www.bbvforums.org/forums/messages/2051/2051.html
Prepared legislation makes "paper trail" a sham.
(Wait! We thought we were going to get paper ballots!) Guess again. Waiting in the wings is an end-run around paper ballots, a cryptography application that is anything BUT transparent. Citizens are about to find out that the devil really IS in the details.
CRYPTO solution vs. PAPER BALLOT solution
The Crypto Solution gives you a slip of paper with a secret code on it, which you later take to the Internet to find out that you voted. Not HOW you voted. Not how everyone voted, so the public can know who really won. Not even, really, that your voted was counted. For these things, you are told to trust.
Trust who? Well, cryptographers with defense industry ties. The current computerized voting system is about to become even more mysterious and opaque, unless you put up a fight.
FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN FIGHT BACK. Learn the questions to ask about the Crypto Solution at the bbvforums.org (Black Box Voting Forums) workspace for election integrity: Crypto section http://www.bbvforums.org/forums/messages/2051/2051.html
5. UPDATE 1-6-05 CONSTITUTIONAL EQUAL PROTECTION AMENDMENT FOR VOTERS?
- The bold action by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) in challenging the Ohio members of the electoral college, made possible by the actions of committed, relentless citizens and voting integrity groups nationwide, gave discussion of election improprieties a forum on national TV. More important, it could lead to proposed corrective legislation, and possibly a Constitutional amendment.
In the United States, we have no federal right to vote instead, a citizen's right to vote is really a state resident's right to vote. With voting, THERE IS NO EQUAL PROTECTION UNDER THE LAW.
If we do enact federal equal protection legislation for voting, many of the inappropriate actions taken by state officials would be struck down in court, and it would be much easier to litigate problems with voting machines.
When Florida was allowed to systematically disenfranchise voters, it hid behind state's rights. When Ohio's Secretary of State Ken Blackwell successfully disenfranchised voters in Ohio, through inappropriate rules on provisional ballots and other measures, he hid behind state's rights.
5. More updates:
1-5-05: Election Misconduct as a Public Records Crisis
1-5-05: Update from Washington D.C.
12-30-2004: Volunteer Actions Activating the Eagles
12-29-04: Update on 'Help America Audit'
12-28-04: Update for donors, and a look to 2005
6. BBV CONFIDENTIAL Security issues: We kept part of our site, including an e-mail account, on a Web server that had experienced security breaches. One reason was to see if we could get some footprints to identify hackers.
We did not achieve that, but did get some interesting information.
On Jan. 11, thirty minutes into a transmission to approximately 800 Washington state activists (recommending tough questions to ask at a VoteHere meeting), a security flaw was exploited in our system, and a subsequent file change took out the blackboxvoting.org e-mail for both incoming and outgoing e-mail. This was not due to anti-spam reports. It was due to a security problem.
We obtained the logs, including our logs from one of our firewall programs. Most IPs could not be identified, but we did identify two that were interesting: One was traced back to a specific individual who has frequented hacking message boards, who has links to a particular organization that has engaged in interference with Black Box Voting .org. The other traced back to the Department of Defense. These were not Web site visits, but intrusion actions, and there are ways to tell the difference.
While examining these logs, we were also able to identify visits to the Web site by Agent Mike or someone related to his organization. ("Agent Mike" is the Secret Service agent who interviewed Bev Harris several times last year about an alleged VoteHere hack, but mostly about the Diebold Memos). Most of Agent Mike’s IP traces identified from a series of e-mails he sent to Bev Harris are from a special use category that does not permit tracing. One of Agent Mike’s IP addresses, however, leads back to the anti-terrorism asset forfeiture branch of the U.S. Treasury. We have not looked for Agent Mike on all the logs, but the last time he or his friends visited appears to be October 2004.
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