Tuesday, June 19, 2007

MSFT is a Force for Good?

by Ken Houghton

While Robert Barro fellates MSFT (though not Bill Gates) in the WSJ (h/t Mark Thoma via DeLong), saner heads note that arguing a Consumer Surplus requires making a positive contribution to the commonweal:
Over the last two months Microsoft and a cadre of high paid lobbyists have been working a full-court press in Albany in an attempt to bring about a serious weakening of New York State election law. This back door effort by private corporations to weaken public protections is about to bear fruit....

In an earlier blog I wrote about Microsoft's unwillingness to comply with New York State's escrow and review requirements. Now the software giant has gone a step further, not just saying “we won't comply with your law” but actively trying to change state law to serve their corporate interests. Microsoft's attorneys drafted an amendment which would add a paragraph to Section 1-104 of NYS Election Law defining “election-dedicated voting system technology”. Microsoft’s proposed change to state law would effectively render our current requirements for escrow and the ability for independent review of source code in the event of disputes completely meaningless - and with it the protections the public fought so hard for.

But there's a lot of productivity created by the Blue Screen of Death Crew, so what's a few votes?

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