Monday, January 08, 2007

US Government bars Ciber, Inc. from testing e-voting kiosks

Like many, I'm still a bit suspicious of electronic voting machines, and in particular those which don't require (or allow) the generation of a verifiable paper trail (e.g. a receipt). To help ensure that the voting kiosks are secure, reliable and tamperproof, the federal government contracts with a number of 3rd party companies whose job it is to verify that the machine works as advertised, and that they meet the different security rules and requirements. However, as the New York Times notes, one of these contractors, Ciber, Inc. has just been barred from certifying these devices after officials found that it was not, "following its quality-control procedures and could not document that it was conducting all the required tests." The article notes,

Ciber, the largest tester of the nation’s voting machine software, says it is fixing its problems and expects to gain certification soon.

Experts say the deficiencies of the laboratory suggest that crucial features like the vote-counting software and security against hacking may not have been thoroughly tested on many machines now in use.

“What’s scary is that we’ve been using systems in elections that Ciber had certified, and this calls into question those systems that they tested,” said Aviel D. Rubin, a computer science professor at Johns Hopkins.

I'd agree that's pretty scary. The rest of the article can be found here.

Tags: voting kiosks, e-voting, self-service

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