Forbidden files are circulating on the Internet and threats of lawsuits are in the air. Music trading? No, it is the growing controversy over one company’s electronic voting systems, and the issues being raised, some legal scholars say, are as fundamental as the sanctity of elections and the right to free speech.
The Diebold issue shows how p2p can serve democracy. It also raises the question: is democracy a non-infringing fair use?
This article is full of great quotes:
“Are these companies staffed by folks completely ignorant of computer security,” [Prof. Rebecca Mercuri] said, “or are they just blatantly flaunting that they can breach every possible rule of protocol and still sell voting machines everywhere with impunity?”
“[Sequoia's approach is] very different from the way that Diebold has been doing things.” [Aviel D.] Rubin, who has received a cease-and-desist notice from Diebold because of his research, said, “The solution is to stop selling insecure voting machines and not to continue threatening students who are only trying to protect our democracy.”