Feeds

‘Gouging’ memo leaves Diebold red-faced

Paper trail? Sure, that'll be $1200 for a printer

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The archive of internal correspondence from the politically-connected ATM giant Diebold - which is bidding for many electronic voting contracts across the US - is a gift that keeps on giving. Diebold has its own answer to critics who want a verifiable paper trail. Incredibly, the e-voting terminals don't leave behind such information.

It plans to make the modifications so expensive that city and state officials balk at the cost.

Steven Dennis at the Maryland Gazette last week unearthed correspondence from a Diebold engineer who advised that "any after-sale changes should be prohibitively expensive."

Diebold had told the Gazette that printers - required for the paper trail - would cost between $1,000 and $1,200 per machine. Given that printers can be found at Best Buy for as little as $50, voters are justified in questioning what makes a Diebold-approved printer quite so expensive.

Explains support technician 'Ken':

"There is an important point that seems to be missed by all these articles: they already bought the system," he wrote: "At this point they are just closing the barn door. Let’s just hope that as a company we are smart enough to charge out the yin if they try to change the rules now and legislate voter receipts."

Ken later explains what 'yin' means.

The State of California recently mandated that its electronic voting machines produce an auditable paper trail, although not before 2006.

Although paranoia is rife, comments by Diebold CEO Wally O'Dell have done little to allay public confidence. O'Dell is a top tier fundraiser for the GOP, and eleven of the top Diebold executives have also made Republican donations. Earlier this year, O'Dell wrote: "I am committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."

Diebold recently used the DMCA in attempt to oblige ISPs to take down the archive of internal correspondence, which surfaced this year after it was left on a public ftp server. ®

Related Stories

Electronic Voting Debacle [start here]
E-voting vendor sued for DMCA takedown
Diebold gives up e-vote clampdown
California mandates e-voting paper trails
Fraud potential found in e-voting systems
Black Box Voting Author replies
Computer ballot outfit perverts Senate race, theorist says

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks
Black Hat research says proposed protocol will bork network probes, flummox firewalls
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
Microsoft's Euro cloud darkens: US FEDS can dig into foreign servers
They're not emails, they're business records, says court
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?