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Media Advisory

Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
3003 N. Charles Street, Suite 100
Baltimore, Maryland 21218-3843
Phone: (410) 516-7160 | Fax (410) 516-5251

August 17, 2003
Contact: Phil Sneiderman
(410) 516-7907

Statement of Avi Rubin on Relationship
with VoteHere Inc.

I am writing to bring to your attention an important detail about the continuing e-voting story.

People in my position, established computer scientists, are often asked onto technical advisory boards of companies. I have been involved in many of these and currently serve on the advisory boards of Gilian Technologies, Netscaler Inc, Bodymedia Inc, Arbor Networks, Indigo Technologies and Reefedge. In addition to these, I am on the advisory board of VoteHere Inc.

Had I considered my relationship with VoteHere, I would have disclosed it at the time that the report on the Diebold software was released. However, I had not had any contact with VoteHere since I signed on to their board over two years ago, and I simply did not remember nor think about it. In hindsight, that is very unfortunate. I should mention that my research on the Diebold code was not funded by any corporate support, and to the extent that it was funded at all, it was internal Johns Hopkins funding.

Effective immediately, I am resigning from the technical advisory board of VoteHere, and I am returning all stock options. They have never been exercised and are not entirely vested. I have never profited in any way from my affiliation with VoteHere, and by returning my stock options in their entirety, it is assured that I never will.

Everyone in the field is aware that I come to the issue of e-voting as a strong skeptic about whether there is any viability in it. I am known for suggesting that there are very difficult problems for any company to overcome, and I have not in any public or private forum suggested that any company is closer to resolving those very difficult problems than any other.

Here are some facts that I would like to state with respect to VoteHere:

  • I was never in touch with anyone from VoteHere about the Diebold report prior to its release.

  • I have never been to an advisory board meeting nor any other meeting with VoteHere.

  • From the time I joined their advisory board until well after our report was published, the only contact I had with anyone from VoteHere was receipt of their occasional press clippings, which they sent to a wide distribution.

  • I have no detailed knowledge of their product line or service offerings.

  • I have had no role in testing nor reviewing their products.

  • I have no access to or familiarity with their software code and am not now, and never have been, in a position to subject it to the kind of analysis that I did with the Diebold code.

  • I intend to ask Johns Hopkins University to review this and all of my outside consulting activities.

  • None of my collaborators, Dan Wallach, Adam Stubblefield or Yoshi Kohno, have any relationship with VoteHere Inc. or any other e-voting company.
  • I believe it was careless of me to engage in a study of a software system of a company in the same space as another company in which I had a financial interest. Had it occurred to me at the time, I would have disassociated myself from them. I am now doing just that.

    Avi Rubin
    Associate Professor, Computer Science
    Technical Director, Information Security Institute
    The Johns Hopkins University

    Related Links
    Information Security Institute at Johns Hopkins
    Avi Rubin's Web Page
    Electronic Voting System is Vulnerable to Tampering
    Johns Hopkins Researchers Respond to Diebold Analysis [08/01/03]

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