Skip to main content

Diebold Tries to Wipe Out Discussion of E-Voting Flaws

In 2003, while the public was coming to grips with the perils of electronic voting, voting machine manufacturer Diebold used a series of baseless copyright claims to silence critics and sweep evidence of e-voting flaws under the rug.

In the course of pitching various governments on e-voting machines, Diebold employees exchanged emails about security issues, solutions, and notably, techniques for hiding visible evidence of those security problems. Someone leaked an email archive of these discussions to the public, and many involved in the healthy debate about electronic voting reposted and linked to the email discussion online. Diebold sent cease-and-desist letters to numerous ISPs, claiming that the linking and reposting infringed their copyrights, ultimately resulting in the disappearance of many discussions as ISPs caved to the threat.

EFF represented one ISP, Online Policy Group, in a landmark case against Diebold for sending the false DMCA takedown threats and won, proving that would-be DMCA abusers should think twice before attempting to squelch free speech online.

JavaScript license information