Friday, May 05, 2006

More On Diebold From Kathy Dopp

Dear Governor Huntsman,

Below is a press release by Oregon's BlackBoxVoting regarding Utah's voting machines and Emery County's Bruce Funk. Please forward this email to Governor's Counselor Mike Lee and Attorney General Mark Shurtleff as well.

This week Pennsylvania locked down all its Diebold machines due to information obtained in Emery County, Utah. An unredacted version of the full expert report is due out May 10th; and will be provided to federal and state regulators, including the Dept. of Homeland Security's "CERT" alert system.

Every county clerk in Utah is now faced with the following choice:

1. Use a voting system which Diebold has admitted (forced to admit by PA's voting machine inspector Michael Shamos) has numerous severe security holes which will permit any one Diebold technician to tamper with Utah's vote counts, or

2. Use an uncertified illegal voting system, such as PA has now decided to do after PA SOS Cortez ordered a statewide lockdown of Diebold voting machines in all PA counties using them - due to the security risks that were uncovered here in Utah by Bruce Funk.

I respectfully ask that you offer Utah's counties a better option by inviting Lt. Governor Herbert's office to re-certify Utah's old voting systems (Herbert decertified them to force all counties to use Diebold touchscreens) and apply to the U.S. Justice Department for a two year deferrment on meeting the HAVA requirements such as Connecticut obtained.

People all over America are waiting to see what Utah will do in response to the same security flaws that were discovered here in Utah and caused Pennsylvania to lock down all its Diebold voting machines.

Utah's Election Officials have taken no action to address the problems yet - possibly due to the fact that Utah's Election Office never consulted with or employed any independent expert in computer science or security to assist it in evaluating voting systems and colluded with Diebold to punish the only election official in Utah, Bruce Funk, who had the wisdom and intelligence to consult with experts.

Sincerely, Kathy Dopp, 435-658-4657


Utah officials ignored the warning entirely, and instead flew Diebold attorneys to Emery County on the governor's airplane, where the Diebold lawyers were allowed to sit into a private executive session. In this session, a decision appears to have been made to block Emery County Elections director Bruce Funk from executing his duties.

In Utah, the law requires that any employment decision be publicly noticed (it was not) and the county attorney is the designated counsel for county elections officials (County Attorney David Blackwell chose to side with Diebold against Bruce Funk). According to a tape recording of the public portion of the meeting, Bruce Funk repeatedly requested an attorney, but this was denied to him.

Funk was an eye witness to the security testing by Harri Hursti and Security Innovation, Inc. He knew first-hand that the machines represented a significant security risk. County commissioners told him he was going to be required to use the machines anyway, Diebold refused to provide a letter in writing indicating that machines it sold weren't used or loaded with inappropriate software; Diebold then told Emery County that it was going to cost $40,000 to check over the machines (the Diebold contract limits them to charging just over $1200 per day, Emery County has just 40 machines, and re-flashing all machines with a new system takes no more than 10 minutes per machine). Funk was told that he would not be permitted to watch Diebold technicians work on the machines, and they had already "visited" his machines while he was out of town for a day.


Because Funk was denied a lawyer, he didn't know that a little-known 1929 law in Utah was sometimes used by public officials to browbeat each other out of office. If certain public officials gang up and intimidate another public official, threatening punitive measures and dire consequences, urging resignation, if the targeted official tenders even a tentative and conditional resignation, under some interpretations that is held to stick. Diebold and the county succeeded in browbeating Funk into temporary submission; he quickly notified them in writing that he had no intention of resigning, so they locked him out of his office.

Black Box Voting has assisted Funk in securing qualified legal counsel and is underwriting the public policy legal actions to defend Funk against Diebold's actions -- ironically, with Diebold's own money, won in a Diebold false claims suit in California. A $76,000 fee was paid to Black Box Voting founder Bev Harris, and was subsequently contributed as a restricted donation for public interest litigation. The Diebold money is now helping support the fight by whistleblower Stephen Heller, who is facing retaliatory action by Diebold's attorneys. Diebold false claim funds are also underwriting legal actions to help Bruce Funk fight Diebold's retaliation.

In Funk's case, the lack of public notice and failure to put his employment matter on the agenda likely outweighs the 1929 law, as does the county's refusal to provide him with counsel, failure to allow him to sit in on the private meeting with Diebold lawyers concerning his employment, and insistence that he take responsibility for elections held on machines he knew to be insecure.

To date, Emery County has refused to provide Funk with either a transcript or a tape or their behind-closed-doors meeting with Diebold attorneys.


Experts for the state of California and the state of Pennsylvania have now confirmed the seriousness of the vulnerabilities discovered in Emery County. Diebold was cornered by Pennsylvania voting system examiner Michael Shamos, and was given the choice of telling the truth or lying. Shamos had already sequestered one of the machines and was prepared to examine it himself it Diebold lied. Only after this did Diebold admit to knowing about the security vulnerability, which is designed into the system.

Black Box Voting is completing reports with Harri Hursti and subsequently with Security Innovation (which will serve as peer review for Hursti Report II). The Hursti Report on findings from Emery County will detail multiple back doors built into the system. This report will be released to the public in redacted form on May 10. The unredacted version will be provided to federal and state regulators, including the Dept. of Homeland Security's "CERT" alert system.


Here is a quote from the preliminary information which Utah officials chose to ignore (except for locking Mr. Funk out of his office):


To: Gary Herbert, Lt. Governor of the state of Utah
Cc: David Blackwell, Emery County Attorney, Bruce Funk, Emery County Elections
Emery County Commissioners, Michael Cragun, Utah State Elections Director

Mar. 24, 2006

Dear Sirs,

This is a formal notification that a security defect was found in the Diebold TSx system in Emery County, Utah by professional security experts from Security Innovation, Inc. and Mr. Harri Hursti. Because of the severity of the defects, the formal reports are being prepared with sufficient precision to garner the attention of the appropriate authorities with jurisdiction over this matter. These authorities, of course, include each of you who are receiving this notice, in addition to federal authorities in the general area of computer security.

The security problems found in Emery County present potentially catastrophic security defects for upcoming elections. The issue extends outside of Emery County to additional states. The identified security vulnerability appears to be:

1) Persistent, with the ability to survive through multiple elections;

2) Difficult to detect, not only for elections official but also for security experts and even for Diebold technicians;

3) Flexible, in that the exploit can selectively affect any particular election, candidate or ballot question;

4) Accessible, in that no password, supervisor access or special equipment is needed to invoke the exploit;

5) Difficult to eradicate with any patch, reinstallation, or cleaning procedure;

6) Likely to be exploited, because the skills needed to exploit the hole are possessed by many programmers and the information needed to conduct the exploit is generally available to the public. The time needed to exploit the security hole is in the range of a week's planning time and 60 seconds for execution.


The testing in Emery County follows another set of tests by Black Box Voting in Leon County, Florida, which documented security flaws in the GEMS central tabulator and the Diebold AccuVote optical scan system.


Like Bruce Funk, Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho faced retaliation by Diebold and other voting companies. Diebold refused to honor its contract with Sancho, forcing him out of HAVA compliance. The only other authorized vendors then blackballed Sancho, refusing to
sell to him.

The Florida Attorney General is now investigating Diebold, ES&S and Sequoia for collusion and antitrust violations.

Diebold has also been participating in orchestrated smear campaigns against Black Box Voting and its founder, Bev Harris, using fake Internet "screen names," identity theft (posing as board members of Black Box Voting to post defamation), organizing fake news Web sites
smearing election integrity advocates in general and Black Box Voting/Bev Harris specifically. Some Diebold employees tag-team with the Diebold smear squad to point elections officials toward the cyberlibel. The Diebold Internet smear squad also includes an individual from North Carolina.

Black Box Voting, together with a team of volunteer researchers, has now obtained documents and photographs which directly tie these Internet libel campaigns to Diebold. A more detailed article on the Diebold Internet smearing, accompanied by documents and photographs, will be published here after the dust has settled on the Diebold touch-screen security failures.



Black Box Voting is a nonprofit, nonpartisan 501c(3) organization
fighting for citizen elections oversight, supported entirely by
citizen donations.
to donate:
Black Box Voting
330 SW 43rd St. Suite K
PMB 547
Renton WA 98055

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Kathy Dopp
National Election Data Archive
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