NATIONAL BALLOT INTEGRITY PROJECT
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: What’s wrong with computer voting machines? Why can’t we safely entrust our elections to automation?
· Five former CIA Directors are identified as directly involved in election engineering, overtly or covertly: John Deutch, R. James Woolsey, Bobby Ray Inman, Robert Gates, and George H.W. Bush.
· Investigative journalist, Lynn Landes, reports that SAIC (Science Applications International Corp., sometimes also referred to as Scientific Applications International Corp.), of San Diego, California, is described as, “the shadow ruling class within the Pentagon,” and as a “behemoth military defense contractor with a shadowy, if not tarnished reputation,” which maintains strong business ties to the military and intelligence communities, such as the NSA and CIA. Many of SAIC’s board members are formerly with the Pentagon and CIA.
· Behemoth military contractor SAIC and ChoicePoint, Inc., of Atlanta, Georgia, have developed a strategic alliance, teaming up as partners in “data mining”.
· SAIC is aligned with a number of major voting machine vendors, including Diebold Election Systems, Hart Intercivic, VoteHere and ES&S (Election Systems & Software).
· SAIC has bid for state voter registration database contracts, such as that of the State of Nevada, under the name of “Votec/SAIC/ES&S”.
· Investigators have uncovered hidden colorful criminal histories of investigation, indictment, prosecution, and imprisonment for corruption among voting machine vendors and their networks. Among the offenses uncovered: serious security lapses, creative accounting, multiple sets of books (including in the vote counting software itself), dummy front companies, and numerous counts of racketeering, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, fraud, theft, bribery of officials, and embezzlement.
· According to T. Hommel, expert computer programmer, attorney, and Editor of wheresthepaper.org, SAIC, ChoicePoint and Diebold Election Systems now control America’s electronic automated elections.
· Jeffrey Dean, Senior Vice President of Diebold, was convicted of 23 counts of felony theft in the first degree, of planting back doors in his software, and of using a “high degree of sophistication” to evade detection over a period of 2 years.” While heading up the development of Diebold’s GEMS controversial central compiler software source code at Global Election Systems (later, purchased by Diebold, and renamed Diebold Election Systems), convicted felon, Jeffrey Dean, worked in close association with John Silvestro, Owner and CEO of LHS Associates of Methuen, MA, which maintains, pre-programs and configures the voting machines and memory cards of five New England States, including New Hampshire.
· Diebold Election Systems is under tremendous scrutiny nationwide for sales of voting systems proven to be highly vulnerable and easily hackable by anyone from a teenager to a terrorist. Diebold CEO, Walden O’Dell, recently resigned, Diebold shareholders and numerous others have filed suit, and contracts for Diebold voting systems sales and services are in question, and being canceled, throughout the country.
· According to Peter Phillips, Director of Project Censored, “Diebold hired Scientific Applications International Corp. (SAIC) of San Diego to develop the software security in their voting machines.”
· Yet, the State of Maryland hired SAIC as an “independent reviewer,” to assess Diebold’s Accuvote-TS (touch-screen) software security, in light of widespread concerns about its Diebold touch-screen voting machines. On September 2, 2003, SAIC released a “Risk Assessment Report,” with significant deletions, and the media reported that the machines “passed muster.”
· ChoicePoint and its associates lobbied aggressively for a Help America Vote Act (HAVA) provision for federally mandated statewide voter registration databases. ChoicePoint has since bagged the lion’s share of state contracts nationwide.
· ChoicePoint was in the news, in 2000, for purging 91,000 African-American males from Florida’s voter registration database, for which ChoicePoint was paid well. Asserting that they were felons, the company claimed those purged were, thus, ineligible to vote. ChoicePoint’s controversial voter purge list was proven erroneous after the Florida 2000 Presidential Election.
· ChoicePoint was in the news for “Grand Theft Identity,” as reported by Newsweek Magazine on July 4, 2005, and for massive credit card identity theft, in the millions, on its watch, just prior to the 2004 Presidential Election.
· ChoicePoint controls the “no-fly” watch list, recently augmented to 88,000.
· On April 22, 2005, Andrew McIntosh of the Sacramento Bee reported that, despite being under investigation by federal and state regulators for improprieties, ChoicePoint was poised to receive an $845,500 contract from California’s State Attorney General to “develop a computer system (to) help probe suspected criminals and terrorists.”
· The now infamous PROMIS software was originally developed by a company called INSLAW (Institute for Law and Social Research), which was awarded a contract for $10 million by the U.S. Department of Justice, “to adapt a computer program to the needs of U.S. attorneys and government agencies in tracking criminals (later termed “terrorists”), inter-agency.”
· Upon being shorted $2 million of $10 million, INSLAW filed suit against the U.S. Justice Department for breach of contract. Discovery revealed that the PROMIS software had been unlawfully altered with a quiet nod of approval from high-level officials at the Justice Department.
· According to INSLAW Owner and CEO, Bill Hamilton, PROMIS software was later sold with companion hardware, “with extra signal-sending hardware chips that broadcast data to satellites owned by the NSA.”
· Robert Gates, a Senior American intelligence and national security official (later, appointed Director of the CIA by President George H.W. Bush), personally peddled the PROMIS software overseas, complete with “back doors by which to spy on client countries.”
· Corroboration regarding the illegal sale of PROMIS came from, among many, former agent of the United States’ Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Lester Knox Coleman III. According to Coleman, bootleg copies of PROMIS were “made without the knowledge of INSLAW, to which a “backdoor’ software routine had been added. No matter how securely the front door might be barred with entry codes and passwords, American operators, holding the key to the secret back door, could break into the PROMIS systems operated by Cyprus, Egypt, Syria, Pakistan, Turkey, Kuwait, Israel, Jordan, Iran and Iraq whenever they wished, access the data stored there and get out again without arousing the slightest suspicion that the security of those systems had been breached…”
· Numerous PROMIS client countries also included Canada, Libya, and Chile.
· Similar language has been noted in the case of the computer voting industry, as follows:
On July 8, 2003, an article was published, by Bev Harris of Black Box Voting, elections investigator and author of Black Box Voting – Ballot Tampering in the 21st Century, stating that Johns Hopkins and Rice University technologists had discovered secret “back doors” in the Diebold GEMS software source code (which accounts for the tabulation of 50% of America’s votes) by which votes could be changed, in real time, by remote, during America’s elections.
· In January 2005, it was reported at Boston.com, that SAIC was awarded a $170 million contract for a PROMIS-type computer software program for the FBI, intended “to help agents share data about terrorist threats and criminal cases.” Could SAIC be the keeper of the “improved” PROMIS technology?
· Robert Gates now presides over election engineering, in association with SAIC and VoteHere (satellite cryptography technology).
· An electronic voting project is in progress, at MIT and Caltech, funded by Carnegie and others, that is based on satellite cryptography technology, and which entrusts the security and control of whole elections to five individuals, possessing one-fifth, each, of a single encryption key. Encryption is as much about secrecy as it is about security. Exactly what is being encrypted and who is to be entrusted with the secrets?
· Note that, of the five former CIA Directors identified as directly involved in election engineering, John Deutch is with MIT and Bobby Ray Inman is Caltech-connected.
· Career CIA professional, Ray McGovern, wrote unfavorably of Robert Gates, in Chapter 19 of his book, Neo-Conned, as follows: “Why dwell on Gates? Because a careerist in both senses of the word, he bears the lion’s share of responsibility for institutionalizing the corruption of intelligence analysis (at the CIA).”
· If such is the case, why is Gates presiding over election engineering? Could Robert Gates have interest in “institutionalizing the corruption” of America’s elections?
· Similar properties have been noted between the PROMIS technology (with “extra signal-sending hardware chips that broadcast data to satellites owned by the NSA”) and firmware, commonly in use in America’s elections.
· Interesting Facts Recently Revealed About Firmware:
· Firmware is “flashable.” Modem firmware is often stored in updateable ‘flash’ memory, rather than requiring chip exchange.
· If there’s a remote interface, firmware can be updated by remote and such an interface can be a wireless receiver inside a case, and we wouldn’t see it. Simply putting a scanner around it would ensure no telltale signals that might arouse suspicion.
· In the case of wireless, one transmitter can hit all receivers in a given area, and one server can send out and download a particular program, such as a vote-changing program, to every device.
· Such microprograms, composed of microinstructions, can control the sequencing of computer circuits directly at the detailed level of the single machine instruction.
· We understand that LHS Associates, New England’s exclusive “independent” voting machine sales and service vendor for Diebold and ES&S equipment, long advised New Hampshire that we were using software v. 1.92 T (an early “non-GEMS, pre-GEMS”) test version of the Diebold software, and that we have, therefore, not been using firmware (v. 1.94 W and above) in our automated elections. Thus, we in New Hampshire were advised that we have been safe from any concerns over “central tabulation” and the controversial Diebold GEMS software source code (now known to involve flashable firmware). The matter of firmware’s involvement in New Hampshire’s elections, however, has not in fact been clear, and now, firmware is openly proposed for all of New Hampshire.