Microsoft Says – We Won’t Escrow
Posted Monday, April 16, 2007
to Bo Lipari’s web log
Software giant tells New York – “Forget about it”

On Friday, April 13, 2007, the New York State Board of Elections notified vendors hoping to certify voting systems in the state that Microsoft would not comply with the source code escrow requirements of state election law. Microsoft Windows operating systems and applications are used by several DREs, Ballot Marking Devices, and all Election Management Systems (EMS) currently submitted for New York State certification. With Microsoft unwilling to place source code in escrow, voting systems which use Microsoft products are not eligible for certification and use in the state.

The State Board had been holding discussions with Microsoft in order to determine how compliance with State Election Law would be met. In these discussions and answers, the software giant indicated that it does not and will not put its source code in escrow accounts, and it does not and will not escrow source code through any third parties or the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
In other words, the Redmond behemoth is telling New York State, and any other states that have a high legal bar for escrow and review of software source code, “Forget about it.” Microsoft, which has only recently begun to weigh in on voting system software proprietary claims, is taking the same stance that voting machine vendors have always taken – the public cannot have access to the software we vote on…

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