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Scoop: SAIC Connected To E-Voting Whitewash

EDITOR'S NOTE: Scoop has today published two breaking news columns concerning SAIC connections to a PR campaign proposal to clean up the bad news epidemic around electronic voting in the United States. These stories contain raw source material intended for re-use by other media outlets. All news outlets are encouraged to make use of this material.

Sludge Report #156 – SAIC Connected To E-Voting Whitewash

In This Edition: SAIC Connected To E-Voting Whitewash - $Millions To Clean Up E-Vote Stink - ITAA eVoting Industry Coalition DRAFT Plan, Activities, and Pricing - For More Information

Sludge Report #156

SAIC Connected To E-Voting Whitewash

On the board of the Enterprise Solutions Division of the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) – a lobbying organisation bidding to provide a $200,000+ public opinion manipulation campaign on electronic voting – is senior vice president of SAIC, the company tasked with investigating the security of the Diebold voting machine technology in the states of Maryland and Ohio.

The revelation that http://www.namebase.org/cgi-bin/nb06?_KNECHT_RONALD_JRonald J Knecht, Senior Vice President, SAIC, and a former defence intelligence chief, is connected to the proposed voting machine whitewash push seems certain to fuel public concerns about the number of conflicts on interest in the voting machine industry.

SAIC has been tasked by the Governor of the state of Maryland to report on security concerns around Diebold Election Systems software and hardware..

To date in the developing story about electronic security concerns about new touch screen voting systems – black box voting – high profile conflicts of interest have already caused problems for 1) Nebraska Republican Senator Chuck Hagel and 2) for Johns Hopkins university professor Avi Rubin, co-author a report damning Diebold's touch screen software security published in June.


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$Millions To Clean Up E-Vote Stink

The document that follows is a confidential internal memo, and is published here as intended source material for the numerous US media presently pursuing the Diebold FTP Files story broken here on Scoop. (See… Google Breaking Headlines - Wired – Ohio – New York Times – MSNBC )

It provides a rare glimpse into the insides of a major corporate United States emergency PR operation being run at full throttle.

In particular it reveals the plan prepared by the Enterprise Solutions division's Michael Kerr for the ITAA – an organisation funded and representing many of the biggest defence contractors - to clean up the public impression left by recent revelations concerning the hackability of Diebold Elections Systems software. Diebold's software source code was left by the company on an open to the public insecure FTP website and downloaded by investigators including Seattle's Bev Harris.

The whitewash proposal has been coordinated in association with the Election Center – a seemingly chimerous body coordinating Secretaries of State in the United States and which works closely with the body tasked with certifying the electronic voting machine certifiers.

This morning by phone Voting machine companies from all over the United States (and remember this is a NZD$8 billion + market) were asked for $200,000, to provide a full service public relations assault. It includes proposals to retain a pet think tank and for funding public opinion polls to press the agenda of the manufacturers that electronic voting machines are safe for democracy.

The document proposes to aggressively sell the notion that voting via a computer is the "gold standard" for any democracy to aspire to.

Significantly the plan does not suggest the voting industry convene a group to actually make computer voting the gold standard, though it does suggest cooperation on –non-competitive issues. Rather the clear thrust of the proposal is to simply finance the creation of a public impression of safety.

Also significantly, no mention in the document is made of "Verifiable Paper Trails" a cheap and effective solution to the problem of potentially hackable electronic voting machines backed by a growing group of eminent computer scientists led by David Dill of Stanford University.

This morning in the phone conference. Details of which will follow in subsequent report. One participant commented that if David Dill was involved in the efforts to influence the standards, "I'm sure noone would want to play."

**********

See below…

… for the full text of a public relations campaign proposal to clean up the Diebold E-voting stink proposed by the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) to players in the multi-billion dollar voting machine manufacturing business today.

The proposal was written by Michael Kerr of the Enterprise Solutions division of the ITAA on Wednesday. It calls for commitments of up to USD$200,000 by August 29th, next Friday.

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ITAA eVoting Industry Coalition
DRAFT Plan, Activities, and Pricing

Purpose: Create confidence and trust in the elections industry and promote the adoption of technology-based solutions for the elections industry. Repair short-term damage done by negative reports and media coverage of electronic voting. Over the mid- to long-term, implement strategy that educates key constituencies about the benefits of public investments in electronic voting, voter registration and related applications.

Audience: Public confidence in the integrity of the ballot box is absolutely critical to the democratic process. To build such confidence, the vendor community must address several constituencies:

1. Media
2. Elected officials at the federal, state and local level
3. Elections administrators, procurement officials and others involved in the purchase decision
4. Academia
5. General public
6. International counterparts
7. Systems integrators and related government contractors


Success Benchmark: Achieve widespread acceptance among key constituencies that electronic voting is not just an alternative to other balloting systems, but is the "gold standard" to which all should aspire.


Model 1


Goals:

1. Help assure the integrity of IT used in the electronic voting process
2. Generate positive public perception of the eVoting industry
3. Speak with a unified voice on industry standards
4. Develop liaison with key constituencies in order to build broader support for e-voting
5. Improve security of technology and development/deployment processes
6. Improve public awareness of voting technology security
7. Reduce substantially the level and amount of criticism from computer scientists and other security experts about the fallibility of electronic voting systems.
8. Adopt an industry code of ethics

Generate collaborative research on non-competitive issues

Major Activities:

Deliverables

1. Establish Blue Ribbon Task Force to evaluate voting technology development and implementation processes, propose process improvements, and establish code of ethics.

2. Produce and publish collaborative research on non-competitive issues - 2 annual white papers.

3. Assess public attitudes about electronic voting on a regular basis through public opinion surveys, focus groups and other research.

4. Hold seminar/briefings/webcasts on Blue Ribbon Task Force findings, code of ethics launch, white paper releases.

5. Create comprehensive media plan to articulate key messages, identify outreach strategy and tactics, synchronize timing of media outreach to election milestones and other significant events, and raise visibility of issues, activities and the ITAA Election Systems Task Force itself.

6. Develop liaison to national associations, government oversight bodies, customer trade associations
a. Attend national conferences, work to add agenda items to programming
b. Arrange guests at briefings, monthly meetings, receptions
c. Arrange meetings with key government executives, lawmakers, staff.

7. Provide customer interface opportunities
a. Arrange guests at briefings, monthly meetings
b. Develop a regular dinner, reception program.


Regular Meetings/Events

1. Hold monthly meetings in Washington D.C. or Dallas area

2. Hold bi-annual full membership meetings


Fees in addition to annual dues: $100,000 - $125,000


Model 2


Goals:

Same as Model 1.

Plus: Perform a detailed evaluation of voting technology security standards and certification processes.


Major Activities:

Deliverables

1 - 7. Same as Model 1.

8. Retain consulting firm or think tank for review and evaluation of voting technology security standards and certification processes. Publish findings/recommendations.

Meeting/Events

1. Hold monthly meetings in Washington D.C. or Dallas area

2. Hold bi-annual full membership meetings


Fees in addition to annual dues: $125,000 - $150,000


Model 3

Goals:

Same as Models 1 and 2.

Plus: Perform a detailed evaluation of voting technology security standards and certification processes.

Plus: Re-engineer voting technology security standards and certification processes, based on findings in report.

Plus: Build media, public, and customer awareness of new security and certification processes.


Major Activities:

Deliverables

1 - 7. Same as Models 1 and 2.

8. Retain consulting firm/think tank for review and evaluation of voting technology security standards and certification processes. Publish findings and recommendations.

9. Implement report findings/recommendations; re-engineer security standards and certification processes.

10. Launch public relations campaign to build media, customer, and public awareness of new security and certification processes.

Meeting/Events

1. Hold monthly meetings in Washington D.C. or Dallas area

2. Hold bi-annual full membership meetings


Fees in addition to annual dues: $200,000+


Schedule

With the Iowa caucuses (and therefore the start of the primary season) only five months away, time is exceedingly short to implement this plan. Americans must have full faith in the efficacy of the election systems infrastructure. Numerous factors, including the overarching need to conduct the 2004 election with no “hanging chad” controversies, suggest that work commence with a minimum of delay.

ITAA recommends the following schedule of major milestones to bootstrap this effort:

August 29 ITAA membership applications have been completed by the core group of election
systems companies

September 3 Election Systems Task Force conducts teleconference to review and refine plan

September 12 Plan is approved, work groups established and implementation begins

September 22 Invitations tendered to candidates for “Blue Ribbon” Board; media plan circulated

September 30 First public opinion survey goes into field

October 14 Launch event to report survey findings, announce task force, blue ribbon board


Conclusions

ITAA is ready, willing and able to work with firms in the election systems sector to build and, as necessary, restore, a high degree of confidence in the integrity of e-voting and related applications. ITAA provides an ideal forum to undertake this program, offering:

1. a sophisticated government affairs and public relations apparatus;
2. over 20 years of industry engagement in public sector contracting;
3. the premier trade association membership of contractors involved in the federal systems marketplace;
4. an on-going state and local advocacy program;
5. an existing Election Systems Task Force and internal staff resources well schooled in the underlying issues;
6. and a track record of lobbying for federal funding to upgrade state and local electronic systems.

ITAA applauds the companies involved at the Election Center meeting for having the vision and determination to address the current doubts about election systems on an industry basis. Working together, ITAA believes that these companies have already taken the first step to meeting the common challenge.

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For More Information

For more media resources and links concerning the ITAA, The Election Center and R. Doug Lewis the proponents of this campaign - see the following companion Sludge Report. See also http://www.blackboxvoting.com http://www.blackboxvoting.com for more breaking making news on this subject.

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Sludge Report #157 – The ITAA, The Election Center & R. Doug Lewis

In this edition: Background resources for the media on: the ITAA, The Election Center & R. Doug Lewis - See also… Sludge Report #156 – $2 Million To Clean Up E-Vote Stink (1)

Sludge Report #157

The ITAA, The Election Center & R. Doug Lewis

CONTENTS

1. LINK TO THE ITAA WEBSITE

2. WHAT THEY DO – THE ITAA ENTERPRISE SOLUTIONS DIVISION

3. A WHO'S WHO OF THE DEFENCE AND SOFTWARE INDUSTRY - ITAA ENTERPRISE SOLUTIONS DIVISION BOARD OF DIRECTORS

4. LINK TO THE ELECTION CENTER WEBSITE

5. WHO IS R DOUG LEWIS? – BEV HARRIS

6. WHO IS R DOUG LEWIS? - LINK TO A DISCUSSION THREAD ON THE ELECTION CENTER WEBSITE

7. WHAT THE ITAA SAYS ABOUT THE ELECTION CENTER

Tech Angle
8. IS THIS THE ELECTION CENTER'S ULTIMATE AGENDA? - ELECTION DOUG LEWIS ON INTERNET VOTING

California Angle
9. WAS THIS THE FUTURE FOR CALIFORNIA? – INTERNET VOTING ( ELECTION CENTER REPORT)


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LINK TO THE ITAA WEBSITE

http://www.electioncenter.org/

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WHAT THEY DO - ITAA ENTERPRISE SOLUTIONS DIVISION

"The ES Division has championed many key reforms on behalf of its members, including procurement reform on both the state and federal level, led education initiatives to raise awareness of the information security issues in the government and commercial sectors, and worked to augment the adoption of electronic commerce applications at the state and federal level. We do this through a vertical committee structure which allows division members to work together, exchange ideas, and develop solutions to common problems. "

Source – ITAA

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A WHO'S WHO OF THE DEFENCE AND SOFTWARE INDUSTRY - ITAA ENTERPRISE SOLUTIONS DIVISION BOARD OF DIRECTORS

The Enterprise Solutions Division Of The ITAA Board

Mr. Thomas P. Anderson VP & COO Raytheon Company
Mr. Harvey V. Braswell President ACS Government Solutions Group
Mr. Martin Cummings VP, Homeland Sec & Civil ProgIntegic Corporation
Dr. Renny DiPentima Pres, Consulting & Systm Intg SRA International, Inc.
Ms. Ellen Glover President, Impact Washington Impact Innovations Group
Mr. Thomas A. Grissen President & General Manager Maximus
Mr. Stanley J. Gutkowski Mngng Prtnr, US Gov't Mrkt Accenture
Mr. Roland S. Harris III Gen'l Mgr, Public Sector IBM Global Services
Mr. Thomas L. Hewitt President Global Governments, Inc.
Mr. Rodney P. Hunt President & CEORS Information Systems, Inc.
Mr. L. Kenneth Johnson President CACI International Inc.
Mr. Steve Kalish Pres., Federal Sector Computer Sciences Corporation
Mr. James Kane President & CEO Federal Sources, Inc.
Mr. Ira D. Kirsch President, US Fed Gov't Grp Unisys
Mr. Ronald J. Knecht Sr. Vice President SAIC
Mr. Robert B. Laurence President & CEOLYCEUM
Mr. Robin S. Lineberger SVP & General Manager BearingPoint
Mr. Louis G. Matrone President & COO IMC
Ms. Valerie W. Perlowitz President & CEO Reliable Integration Services
Mr. James J. Perriello President, Gov't Solutions Northrop Grumman Information Technology
Mr. Ross G. Pickus VP Bus Development Computer Associates
Mr. Donald E. ScottS VP Gov't Solutions EDS Corporation
Mr. William Shernit President BAE Systems ESI
Mr. Robert Stauffer Nat'l Business Development Mgr Deloitte Consulting
Mr. Henry J. Steininger Managing Partnr, Glob Pub Sec.Grant Thornton LLP
Mr. Kenneth Touloumes VP, Business Development Titan Corporation

Source – ITAA

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LINK TO THE ELECTION CENTER WEBSITE

http://www.electioncenter.org/

*************

WHO IS R DOUG LEWIS? – BEV HARRIS
http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0308/S00072.htm

Source – Scoop

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LINK TO A DISCUSSION THREAD ON THE ELECTION CENTER WEBSITE

http://electioncenter.proboards14.com/index.cgi?board=Gen&action=display&num=1059503416

Source – ITAA


*************

WHAT THE ITAA SAYS ABOUT THE ELECTION CENTER

"ITAA applauds the companies involved at the Election Center meeting for having the vision and determination to address the current doubts about election systems on an industry basis. Working together, ITAA believes that these companies have already taken the first step to meeting the common challenge."

Source - ITAA (Michael Kerr's PR Proposal August 2003)

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IS THIS THE ELECTION CENTER AGENDA? - ELECTION CENTER ON INTERNET VOTING

Internet Voting Overview

A Message from R. Doug Lewis, Executive Director of The Election Center

One of the hottest topics in elections today is the potential use of the Internet for voting purposes. The subject engenders much passion in some quarters and supporters and opponents seem to be of widely divergent opinions on whether its widespread use for voting is "just around the corner."

The Election Center neither supports nor opposes use of the Internet for voting. It is simply another technology. Like other technologies which offered to "revolutionize" the way we vote, it may or may not ultimately have a place in American elections. The papers or reports presented at this site are from responsible government election officials who have studied the issue. They are presented as food for thought by the elections profession.

We have supported the limited tests of Internet voting that are planned or have been conducted because we believe some testing is necessary to determine all the right questions to ask.

Our task, at The Election Center and within the elections profession, is:

Sounds like a "Tall Order" doesn't it? Actually, these are the same kinds of concerns that go into the evaluation of any method offered for voting. Elections administration concerns itself with the safety, security, accessibility, integrity, and cost questions for every election conducted in America. And while we cannot always help the public to have the right perception of the electoral process, we cannot ignore public perception.

Over the course of the next year or so, we will be making available "white papers" and official studies by government bodies which explore the issues raised in potentially applying this new technology. While we want to hear your opinions and are willing to listen to a wide range of points of view, we cannot publish all the comments of those who wish to have a say in the subject.

We will limit the published papers to those who have responsibility for conducting elections, i.e., those government officials who have to administer the electoral process. While others may know the technology better than elections officials, they have not had the responsibility of conducting elections where the process must have an extraordinary level of accountability to assure the integrity of an election…and, ultimately, will be perceived by the public as being fair and honest.

Use our public message boards to express your opinions and views, or even to ask questions. If you are an official of an elections related governmental agency and have studied this issue and have developed an official report or study, then please send those to us and they will be listed at this site.

Source – Google Cache/Election Center


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WAS THIS THE FUTURE FOR CALIFORNIA?

http://www.electioncenter.org/voting/voting_report.html

More information on internet voting can be found here…
http://www.electioncenter.org/voting/inetvoting.html


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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