For Jim March (at his request)


Derek Zeanah
November 17, 2004, 08:40 AM
Jim's thrown together a little demo showing how vulnerable these Diebold voting machines are. It's a big file, so it's being hosted in a manner that many here likely aren't familiar with.

Here are the details:
This uses an application called "Bittorrent," which many haven't heard of, but which apparently is responsible for two thirds of the bandwidth used on the Internet today.
This works by distributing the load between uploaders and downloaders. Basically, everyone who downloads also uploads. This means that the more people that use the system, the greater the performance.
Things really speed up if you're willing to leave the application up and running after your download is complete.
Want to get a copy of the (160 megabyte) file? Here's what you do:
Make sure yoy have a bittorrent client installed. The original client ( is easy to use and works well, but there's a much more full-featured client ( available for those who might want to host their own files. Both are free and open-source.
If you're running a firewall, you should allow incoming connections on port 6881 (though this is configurable with the better clients). If'n you don't share, the system notices and your downloads can suffer.
Click on the attached file, or point your broswer here ( and click on the GEMSDEMO.AVI link.
Wait for the download to finish, and remember to leave your client running once the download is complete. In order to not cause a THR slowdown I've capped the max upload speed -- I really need people to help mirror this thing by leaving the application running.
That's it. Let me know if there are problems.

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Derek Zeanah
November 17, 2004, 08:43 AM
Oh - if a bunch of people complain about the distribution method, and you happen to have gobs of bandwidth available, please feel free to host it so it's available via http or ftp and post a link here. ;)

As-is, I think this method will work well.

Jim March
November 17, 2004, 09:36 AM
Well I have Azureus running just fine...downloading, too, if slow on dialup :).

How fast is it for people with good connections? The guy who uploaded it to the temp space took about 20 minutes on a cable modem.

Can y'all lemme know what you think of the file itself? It's my first time as a "director" :D. Didn't do THAT could but at least I'm more truthful than Mikey Moore :neener:.

November 17, 2004, 09:42 AM
Hey jim, I'm getting it off the Campus Wireless network now and it's flying, about 40/40 and climbing steadily.

I'd say an hour or so tops.

November 17, 2004, 09:59 AM
Thanks, i'll check it out. It probably helps that it's in a format I use all the time, everyone should be using BT. :)

November 17, 2004, 10:28 AM
52 down, 10 up. Not too bad already! I can't wait to see how good it'll run once a few more people have it going.

November 17, 2004, 10:56 AM
70 down/30 up here. :)

Derek Zeanah
November 17, 2004, 12:04 PM
Thanks for seeding, guys. With 4 seeds (what we have now) we're seeing an average of 112/113 kB/s up/downloading. That's better than my 1.1 Mb (that's bit, versus byte for the stat listed previously) can do on its own. And all without affecting THR.

Now, if we had 10 seeds I bet we'd see some sweet download speeds. :)

November 17, 2004, 12:12 PM
I downloaded this and am letting it continue to upload. Is there anything else I have to do to "seed" it?

November 17, 2004, 12:15 PM
Wow. This is creepy stuff! :uhoh:

Jim March
November 17, 2004, 12:28 PM
Wow. This is creepy stuff!


NOW do you see why we want to do recounts of counties that are using this crap?

Here's something Bev Harris just posted to

BREAKING -- TUESDAY NOV 16 2004: Volusia County election records just got put on lockdown -- Dueling lawyers, election officials gnashing teeth, film crew catching it all. Poll tape discrepancies, stonewalling; Scroll down for full story.


TUESDAY NOV 16 2004: Volusia County on lockdown

County election records just got put on lockdown

Dueling lawyers, election officials gnashing teeth, film crew catching it all.

Here's what happened so far:

Friday Black Box Voting investigators Andy Stephenson and Kathleen Wynne popped in to ask for some records. They were rebuffed by an elections official named Denise. Bev Harris called on the cell phone from investigations in downstate Florida, and told Volusia County Elections Supervisor Deanie Lowe that Black Box Voting would be in to pick up the Nov. 2 Freedom of Information request, or would file for a hand recount. "No, Bev, please don't do that!" Lowe exclaimed. But this is the way it has to be, folks. Black Box Voting didn't back down.

Monday Bev, Andy and Kathleen came in with a film crew and asked for the FOIA request. Deanie Lowe gave it over with a smile, but Harris noticed that one item, the polling place tapes, were not copies of the real ones, but instead were new printouts, done on Nov. 15, and not signed by anyone.

Harris asked to see the real ones, and they said for "privacy" reasons they can't make copies of the signed ones. She insisted on at least viewing them (although refusing to give copies of the signatures is not legally defensible, according to Berkeley elections attorney, Lowell Finley). They said the real ones were in the County Elections warehouse. It was quittin' time and an arrangment was made to come back this morning to review them.

Lana Hires, a Volusia County employee who gained some notoriety in an election 2000 Diebold memo, where she asked for an explanation of minus 16,022 votes for Gore, so she wouldn't have to stand there "looking dumb" when the auditor came in, was particularly unhappy about seeing the Black Box Voting investigators in the office. She vigorously shook her head when Deanie Lowe suggested going to the warehouse.

Kathleen Wynne and Bev Harris showed up at the warehouse at 8:15 Tuesday morning, Nov. 16. There was Lana Hires looking especially gruff, yet surprised. She ordered them out. Well, they couldn't see why because there she was, with a couple other people, handling the original poll tapes. You know, the ones with the signatures on them. Harris and Wynne stepped out and Volusia County officials promptly shut the door.

There was a trash bag on the porch outside the door. Harris looked into it and what do you know, but there were poll tapes in there. They came out and glared at Harris and Wynne, who drove away a small bit, and then videotaped the license plates of the two vehicles marked 'City Council' member. Others came out to glare and soon all doors were slammed.

So, Harris and Wynne went and parked behind a bus to see what they would do next. They pulled out some large pylons, which blocked the door. Harris decided to go look at the garbage some more while Wynne videotaped. A man who identified himself as "Pete" came out and Harris immediately wrote a public records request for the contents of the garbage bag, which also contained ballots -- real ones, but not filled out.

A brief tug of war occurred, tearing the garbage bag open. Harris and Wynne then looked through it, as Pete looked on. He was quite friendly.

Black Box Voting collected various poll tapes and other information and asked if they could copy it, for the public records request. "You won't be going anywhere," said Pete. "The deputy is on his way."

Yes, not one but two police cars came up and then two county elections officials, and everyone stood around discussing the merits of the "black bag" public records request.

The police finally let Harris and Wynne go, about the time the film crew arrived, and everyone trooped off to the elections office. There, the plot thickened.

Black Box Voting began to compare the special printouts given in the FOIA request with the signed polling tapes from election night. Lo and behold, some were missing. By this time, Black Box Voting investigator Andy Stephenson had joined the group at Volusia County. Some polling place tapes didn't match. In fact, in one location, precinct 215, an African-American precinct, the votes were off by hundreds, in favor of George W. Bush and other Republicans.

Hmm. Which was right? The polling tape Volusia gave to Black Box Voting, specially printed on Nov. 15, without signatures, or the ones with signatures, printed on Nov. 2, with up to 8 signatures per tape?

Well, then it became even more interesting. A Volusia employee boxed up some items from an office containing Lana Hires' desk, which appeared to contain -- you guessed it -- polling place tapes. The employee took them to the back of the building and disappeared.

Then, Ellen B., a voting integrity advocate from Broward County, Florida, and Susan, from Volusia, decided now would be a good time to go through the trash at the elections office. Lo and behold, they found all kinds of memos and some polling place tapes, fresh from Volusia elections office.

So, Black Box Voting compared these with the Nov. 2 signed ones and the "special' ones from Nov. 15 given, unsigned, finding several of the MISSING poll tapes. There they were: In the garbage.

So, Wynne went to the car and got the polling place tapes she had pulled from the warehouse garbage. My my my. There were not only discrepancies, but a polling place tape that was signed by six officials.

This was a bit disturbing, since the employees there had said that bag was destined for the shredder.

By now, a county lawyer had appeared on the scene, suddenly threatening to charge Black Box Voting extra for the time spent looking at the real stuff Volusia had withheld earlier. Other lawyers appeared, phoned, people had meetings, Lana glowered at everyone, and someone shut the door in the office holding the GEMS server.

Black Box Voting investigator Andy Stephenson then went to get the Diebold "GEMS" central server locked down. He also got the memory cards locked down and secured, much to the dismay of Lana. They were scattered around unsecured in any way before that.

Everyone agreed to convene tomorrow morning, to further audit, discuss the hand count that Black Box Voting will require of Volusia County, and of course, it is time to talk about contesting the election in Volusia.

Jim again. Lemme 'splain about Volusia County FL (uses Diebold optical scan, same as back in 2000):

In 2000, somebody really did try a pro-Bush hack. And it wasn't Diebold, because it was a spectacularly incompetent hack: they took a precinct's worth of PCMCIA memory card voting data, copied it (probably in a standard laptop) and hacked the copy so that it produced 4000-something votes for Bush and 16,022 negative votes for Gore. Yes, you read that right: negative votes. From a precinct with about 950ish voters. Late on election night, Gore was set to concede when somebody at Volusia caught this, did a hand-correction, that was reported up the Democrat food chain and somebody told Gore.

We had sketchy details on this going back to election night 2000...somebody at CBS news caught wind. The perpetrator(s?) were never caught. They most likely worked for the county elections division in at least a mid-level position. Then in mid-03, when we got ahold of the Diebold tech support internal mailing lists there was a pretty thorough deconstruction of what went on, and they were as puzzled by some of it as anybody else. Which is one reason I think Diebold (or rather, back then it was Global, same staff though) wasn't the dirty party, the other being that if they wanted to hack, they've have done so *competently*.

So we *knew* there could be vote-hackers running around off-leash down there, and they may have learned how to do a better job - Visual Basic scripts can simply *rape* an MS-Access runtime edition like on a GEMS box, and they're taught at community college adult ed see all the stuff I showed in that video? Well all of that can be done with about 10k - 20k tops worth of VB Script TEXT FILES controlling the Access runtime edition. Set to kick off automatically in the dead 'o night with nobody around.

SOME sort of excrement has hit a rotary air movement device...there's now ballot lockdowns, lawyers, all kinds of crap going on and if I know Bev she's wading right into the thick.

Heh. Grab some popcorn folks, this one's gonna be good :).

Jim March
November 17, 2004, 12:46 PM
Arright. Next step: somebody go post this on DU! NOT as a link to here; re-create the instructions and access address post to start the bittorrent process and don't tell 'em who did the file, just that somebody did a 15 minute video record of the GEMS hack, with audio commentary, using a full-screen 800x600 screen capture utility in a 158meg file.

Then EMail me (or PM) the DU address where it's at. EMail:

Post here if you're going to be the one to do it (read: you ain't been thrown off DU yet...)

I wanna see how the lefties react to this puppy.


November 17, 2004, 01:01 PM
About to.

EDIT: New members aren't allowed to post yet. Nice.

Derek Zeanah
November 17, 2004, 02:01 PM
To seed, just leave the client open.

To post at DU: simply save the .torrent file listed above and upload it at DU -- it references the file and server name so that'll do it.

Or: post a link to and they can click the download link themselves (though someone good will link that address to THR -- no a huge deal IMO -- we're all on the side of fair elections).

OR: create your own damn torrent. ;)

November 17, 2004, 02:30 PM
I just opened the torrent for seeding, I'm capping my upload at 150k though.

Enjoy the boost in about an hour!

erik the bold
November 17, 2004, 02:46 PM
Currently getting connection time-outs using Azureus. What's up with that?

November 17, 2004, 03:05 PM
If you're using a router/NAT/firewall, make sure port 6881 is open.

erik the bold
November 17, 2004, 03:28 PM
If you're using a router/NAT/firewall, make sure port 6881 is open.

According to the set-up wizard, this port checks ok. Any way to check this?

The Undertoad
November 17, 2004, 04:38 PM
Using Bittornado, an older version, DL at 100KB/s on my apartment's crappy DSL, not uploading to anyone yet... I'll seed for a while when I'm done though. :)

The Undertoad
November 17, 2004, 05:18 PM
Holy cow. I'm about 3/4 done with the video and this is crazy. Someone needs to post this to torrent sites such as I'd do it myself but I have to run to campus for a few hours to do some work. I plan on spreading the tracker around when I get back...

November 17, 2004, 05:27 PM

Just what sort of security and/or encryption is included with Bittorrent?

I have no problem sharing bandwidth, but I am awfully squirelly about allowing incoming connections to the machine at home...especially PtP.

BTW, the home box is Fedora Core 3. I don't think work would appreciate this sort of thing installed & using their bandwidth. I would hope they would have choked off the possibility at the proxy servers.

The Undertoad
November 17, 2004, 05:32 PM
Jim - I posted this to a (largely liberal) international blog just now... I probably should have asked first but I was all worked up. I didn't think you would mind given your request to see it on DU, but if you do, lemme know and I'll kill the entry ASAP. :) Hopefully we'll see some more seeders from that.

Jim March
November 17, 2004, 06:07 PM
No sweat, Andrew, leave it as is. I was just concerned about DU because of their history with us.

Jfruser: when you set up the Bittorrent client, make sure you point it to a SUB-directory that's got nothing in it or underneath it that you care about in security terms. Either your "scratch download directory", or go one step further and create a new sub-dir just for bittorrenting (hey, new word!).

That's the only security issue I'd worry about.

November 18, 2004, 12:06 AM
ill download it when i go to sleep and then ill do unlimited upload so we get a boost
stupid question what is DU?

November 18, 2004, 12:34 AM
1. Democratic Underground- liberal forum
2. Liberal psychopaths wining

I'm using ABC and getting 280 to 310

November 18, 2004, 01:17 AM
downloading at 154 kb a sec!!
holy crap!! that is just so damm insecure
my wife is a programmer analyst she says that is just bad sloppy programming
they should of at least encrypted the file folder

November 18, 2004, 01:46 AM
We have a server with 100mbit full duplex. File will be up for as long as we can maintain it fiscally :)

You will need to unzip the file to play.

Smaller verisons coming soon.

Bad Words
November 18, 2004, 02:33 AM
1. Democratic Underground- liberal forum
2. Liberal psychopaths wining

I'm using ABC and getting 280 to 310

300 here with ABC - why isn't that the recommended client?

November 18, 2004, 02:37 AM
Is there anything that needs to be done to the downloaded file once it is downloaded? Unzip, burnatonce CD image, etc?

Bad Words
November 18, 2004, 03:05 AM
Is there anything that needs to be done to the downloaded file once it is downloaded? Unzip, burnatonce CD image, etc?
No, it's an .avi...

That's some pretty scary stuff, Jim.

Jim March
November 18, 2004, 03:40 AM
Is there anything that needs to be done to the downloaded file once it is downloaded? Unzip, burnatonce CD image, etc?

Spread it far and wide :).

Once it's in .AVI format, double-clicking it will call up a respectable player file on most PCs...Windoze machines will usually default to Windows Media Player, I'm pretty sure Macs and even Linux rigs can cope too. Harry Tuttle is experimenting with compression last I heard but failing that, AVI might be *big* but it's got wide support.

To see the internal memos wherein Diebold tech support staff talk about these same issues (and conspire to lie to the FEC-approved testing lab) see also:

That's an important document because it's the reason attorney Lowell Finley approached me personally on the subject of doing a whistleblower lawsuit in California. I then dragged Bev Harris in as a co-plaintiff.

Bad Words
November 18, 2004, 06:06 AM

Please don't everyone post there - I don't want them to see all these first time posters and wonder what's up.

It wouldn't let me create a post until I responded to 10 threads... They also don't allow you to use the search button unless you donate to them. They promise to mail you a bumper sticker if you donate to them, which tempted me to donate 10 cents.

Derek Zeanah
November 18, 2004, 08:16 AM
226 completed downloads, 35 gigabytes downloaded so far, and the peak I saw was 1.5 megaBYTES per second being downloaded. :what:

The 100 mbit connection might be worth advertising too (mine's only 1.1 so no way would I be willing to host via traditional methods), but so far I'd have to say bittorrent is impressing the crap outta me. :D

November 18, 2004, 08:55 AM
I submit this thred should be stuck @ the top for awile.

November 18, 2004, 10:24 AM
Downloading now and shall seed when finished.

November 18, 2004, 11:07 AM
I was uploading at my full 100kbps last night, quite a few thousand mbs uploaded in total.

Harry Tuttle
November 18, 2004, 12:36 PM
i've managed to compress a handful of versions with resulting file sizes of 18-35 megs

none of which maintain legibility of the various menus and screen texts

the original AVI file is already compressed so another compression run at the data takes the aliased noise around the text and mushes it into a blur

the compression runs are taking 2-3 hours to complete

attached is a screen shot from a 18.5 meg .wmv

i have raised the audio level

November 18, 2004, 03:55 PM
Downloading at 120KB/s

1MB/s DSL Is a Great thing to Have! :D :cool:

Mr. Clark
November 18, 2004, 04:08 PM
This is the fastest bittorrent I've ever downloaded. Getteng 250K per sec.

I'll leave mine up the rest of the evening.

November 18, 2004, 08:49 PM
Feel free to advertise the web link I posted. No Bittorrent required.

However the torrent concept is fantastic, and seems to be working VERY well indeed!

Jim March
November 18, 2004, 09:11 PM
Artherd, your version isn't working. Not for me, not for at least some other folk.


Bad Words
November 18, 2004, 10:09 PM
It's available at
Just click Gemsdemo and you can download it without bittorrent.
It can only support a few connections though, as it is my home computer.

Derek Zeanah
November 18, 2004, 10:16 PM
Workin' fine, BW.

November 19, 2004, 01:00 AM
By the by. Here are a couple of things that I don't believe have been covered here yet.

If the file download gets interrupted, the Bittorrent link will restart the download where you left off. You have to point the file to the same place where you stored the file previously.

If you get an "Unable to connect to tracker" message, simply leave the client open. Do not terminate the file. Eventually, you will connect to a tracker.

Here's the biggie. If you finish downloading the file and leave the client open, others will be able to download from you as a peer. Once you have the entire file, you become what is known in the parlance as a "seed". If you have to shut down for some reason, but you want to continue to be a seed, simply re-link to the link to the file and when Bittorrent finds the file is complete, it will simply hold the client open allowing others to download from you

November 26, 2004, 11:04 AM
The scary thought is that most of my classmates (many who had never touched a computer till then) in college designed Better More Secure Database's than that in ther first year... :uhoh: :what:

Derek Zeanah
November 26, 2004, 12:21 PM
Should continue to function; just making sure y'all know in case it hickups. :)

November 30, 2004, 12:12 AM
Tracker failure. No upload. No download.

November 30, 2004, 12:48 AM
It's working for me.

Occasionally, the Bittorrent client will open a window to a webpage, asking you to donate to the creator. In my experience, it won't start downloading the file if this happens. You close the pop-up, cancel the download, and try again. I'm not sure what causes it.

December 5, 2004, 02:16 AM
I have already donated to Bram Cohen and don't get the donate page any more. It is working tonight.

I'm on a funky dialup service that I can't get more than 4KiB/s no matter what I try. I have the upload rate limited as to reduce the outgoing packet time.

December 5, 2004, 02:43 AM
Haven't been in L&P recently- missed this thread

Downloadin' now. :)

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