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Fear of Hackers Tampering with Computer Voting Machines
Editorial
Douglas Chick


50 million Americans, or 29 per cent of registered voters in the U.S. will use the new touch screen computer voting machines in the November 2004 elections. This number includes the 59 percent of the voters in Florida. One of the main suppliers of these computer voting machines, Diebold, said its machines are virtually hack-proof and a "dramatic improvement" on the old punch-card machines. But when the state of Maryland gathered a group of hackers and asked them to test the system, they broke into the machines with ease. This reported by Caroline Overington, a correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald in New York. It is also reported that one tester took just 10 seconds to hack a machine and change the results. Off-site hackers needed fewer than 60 seconds to get access via a modem and insert fictitious numbers.

I don't want to call anyone a liar, especially Caroline Overington, but I need a little more detail than, so called computer experts broke into a voting computer and changed the results in less than 60 seconds. I can't even break into my own computer and change a text doc that I've written, in that amount of time. And yet these virtually hack-proof machines got nicked in less than a minute? Even Windows takes a little more than 3 minutes to hack. (just kidding Microsoft, relax…) My question is how? Are these computers connected to the Internet, do they have modems connected to the phone company? Who set these damn things up, the government? These types of stories might easily convince those that are already afraid of computers, (and believe me, there are a lot of people out there afraid owning a computer will rob them of their life's saving) but to a more sophisticated computer professional, there are just too many inconsistencies.

In the same story, "Diebold has also come under fire for its links to President George Bush. Its chief executive, Walden O'Dell, has pledged to raise $100,000 for his election campaign." He recently told a group of Republicans in Ohio that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the President". 

Dude, just how many CEOs does this man know? 

Fear has played a monumental role in the recent years in controlling public opinion. A fear of terrorism, a fear of losing our jobs, and a fear that our vote isn't going to count. 9/11 has managed to wake up America, and make us afraid to go back to sleep. If people become afraid to vote, than we become the countries that our fore fathers and mothers, strived so hard to escape from. 




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