[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Debian GNU/Linux to be used in Election Software

The Debian Project                                http://www.debian.org/
Debian GNU/Linux to be used in Election Software        press@debian.org
July 27, 2001

IT News[1] has reported in their article ``The electoral test that
pencil and paper meet'' that Debian GNU/Linux will be used in an
electronic voting system for the ACT's October election in Australia.
They write: "The only platform that provided robustness and voter
confidence was GNU Debian Linux, with all source code released under
the General Public License (GPL)."

The Canberra consultancy Software Improvements[2] won a $200,000
contract to provide an electronic voting system.  "Online voting is a
highly critical system, not in the sense that someone's life depends
on it, but it has to be accurate and reliable and available on the
day", said Carol Boughton of Software Improvements, "The main reason
we went that way (GPL) was transparency and to be able to ensure the
voters that everything is above board. Once you make code available
anyone has the opportunity to check it out."

The article continues with fear about using Open Source Software,
"Truly open source systems are valuable, but they pose threats, too,
because anyone can get and modify the code."  The "drawback" seems to
be that anybody can read and understand the code, finding flaws and
security issues.  "When you're writing in an open source environment,
you're forced to write for at least a degree of auditability.", they

 1. http://it.mycareer.com.au/news/2001/07/24/FFXL76U4HPC.html
 2. http://www.softimp.com.au/

Reply to: