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GPL on AI generated code

From: Akira Urushibata
Subject: GPL on AI generated code
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2023 07:55:26 +0900 (JST)

The election is a central institution of democracies.  Methods vary,
but recently more and more countries and regions are installing
computers to be used as voting machines.  When the software is
proprietary, certain problems arise.  The machines may be rigged to
give a certain candidate advantages.  In another scenario, someone may
attempt to revoke certain ballots or even disqualify the entire
election claiming that the machines were compromised.  When the source
code cannot be examined it is hard to prove integrity and fairness, or
disprove insists of foul play.

Donald Trump claimed in 2020 that voting machines were rigged.  The
statement, made by none else than the president of the United States
with prospects of another term hanging on the veracity of this very
statement, naturally received attention.

Speech by president Donald Trump, December 2 2020:


  "On top of everything else, we have a company that's very suspect.
   It's name is Dominion, with the turn of a dial or the change of a
   chip, you could press a button for Trump and the vote goes to
   Biden." ... [for full text see link 1 below]

The above statement was made in the absence of supporting evidence.
Trump's aides worked hard to find that evidence.  In order to
demonstrate that the machines were not secure, they sought hardware
and software details.  Officials in Coffee County, Georgia offered
cooperation and allowed specialists working for Trump's team to
study the machine.  The softare was copied without permission and
made available for review on a password-protected site.  Government
authorities consider this an illegal "breach" which can potentially
hamper the integrity of future elections.

Former president Trump will face a fourth indictment as early as
Tuesday August 15 in Georgia for alleged charges of trying to overturn
election results in the southern state.  Prosecutors are aware of the
above-mentioned code leak and are likely to include it in the
indictment.  Although removed from the crucial charges, the crime of
unauthorized copying and distribution of software is known to be a
difficult one to refute, especially so with clear evidence in the
hands of prosecutors.

Donald Trump is not much of an ally to FSF and supporters.  In this
particular instance he noticed that he could a exploit a vulnerability
of nonfree software to his advantage.  His aides eventually
"emancipated" the source code and made it available for download,
which I believe is not a course of action most of us would endorse.

Yet this issue is likely to generate much attention and should
be an opportunity for us to get people discussing about software in
election machines and government systems in general.

For a start; Proprietary software always has an owner.  Who owns the
software in the voting machines?  The company that made the machines?
The government which runs the elections?


[1] Donald Trump Speech on Election Fraud Claims Transcript December 2


[2] What happened in Coffee County, Georgia, with voting equipment?
The Washington Post

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