Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Heat is on

Time to crank up the security button.

It looks like the good Republicans in the Alaska Division of Elections have taken note of the publication of voting machine log files from counties in Florida and acted rather swiftly to prevent any such nonsense there.

Readers may recall the previous posting about the Alaska State Division of Elections denying access to public voting data, citing that the Diebold database was proprietary and could not be made public. The state's Democratic Party pushed on that absurdity enough that election officials backed down and agreed to supply the database, but only after it would "manipulate the data" into an acceptable form, in consultation with Diebold.

But three days ago, Alaskan officials have flopped over once more and are again denying access to the data, this time on the grounds that the publication of public election data "presents numerous security risks to the State of Alaska." In fact, State Chief of Security Officer, Darrell Davis, as though channeling Diebold officials, claims that the public release of public data is problematic because:
release of any security related information creates a serious threat to our ability to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of our systems and services....
The state's Division of Elections has now moved from claiming public voting data is commerically proprietary to now claiming that exposure of the data would be a state security threat. Ignoring the utterly specious nature of the claim, the claim itself is interesting for one salient feature: state election officials don't see any difference between Diebold corporate security and security of the state of Alaska. The two are now one and the same.


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