Into the (open) source


M5S: we need an open source software


This article was written in the 2013, there may have been some developments in the subject matter.
If in doubt please leave a comment in the bottom of the article.


With today's article I'm going a bit 'out of the sow, but do not want to open a flame with the subject Movement 5 Location, I just simply observe the facts. I see today that expelled through an online vote, with the 65% majority, Adele Gambaro, a senator of M5S with which I have no ties of any kind. Perhaps not everyone knows that if the Gambaro did not want to resign could continue to occupy the chair that already occupies, although consistency wants you to resign.

My purpose is to be political judgment will not, but only a reflection that drives us (me first, as a sympathizer of the Movement) to strive for the best, to transparency. And that is why I state that I write this article as a citizen free, not tied to political parties, not bound to memberships of various nature, currently sympathizer of the Movement and (alas, given my limited finances) not subsidized in the preparation of this article.

I'm going straight to the point of the matter, I think should be a point of central importance within the members of the M5S: How many and which people have access to software used for online voting? We are confident that voting takes place in a transparent? We are confident that the votes should really anonymous?

I'll answer the last two questions.

Voting will take place in a transparent manner?

Not. We are not sure about the transparency of the vote because the source code back-end system of online voting is accessible only to insiders di casa Grillo. No one guarantees that voting not strictly a red herring, that the system registers the vote but then the preference be diverted of a different from that expressed. Among the other is not provided a mechanism for terzializzazione. One way to ensure the transparency of the vote would be terzializzare software control (association, a team of professionals, better or more associations, more professionals) not related to cricket or Casaleggio that analyze software and attesting to their transparency. Any professionals who would control software would not have access to sensitive data, nor to data on the vote, but only to the software that takes care of the vote. In practice could analyze the machinery that manufactures the product, but not the product.

Another solution (I'd rather) would release the source code to the community, maintaining its intellectual property but making open source and possibly subsidize the community that would address the development of software. There would be exposed in this way to several security risks, inquanto anyone could discover new security holes and groped by analyzing the code of "bucarlo", but updates would still be timely (being the public domain code) and security flaws could be solved in a short time. Where a vote is corrupted you may call votes in the short term, however, new (these being at zero cost).

We are sure that votes are truly anonymous?

Not. This response is directly related to the previous. Because the software is kept secret, we can not know if the system registers each time, for each voter the relative preference within the database. Logic would dictate that the software is "forget" the preference of each voter after the vote the same, and I hope that it is so, but doubts remain. Solutions? The same as before. An organism, better or more control bodies disconnected from Grillo and his entourage, or the software is released under open source license, so that anyone (programmers obviously) can observe how it performs the mechanism of voting. Not the votes, but the processes that run the program to assign and account preferences.

I conclude.

As far as I can remember Beppe Grillo has always come out in favor of open source software, promoting it always (this is. after the 2006 - after the 2013) . All we would save on the high costs of licenses, would use open formats with the guarantee of backward compatibility, and we could devote part of the resources previously allocated to licenses, development teams contributing the growth of this godsend.

I had already come this doubt when we were voting in the presidential candidate of the republic, but I thought that someone within the Movement to raise the issue. Today I see a different movie, but with the same story and I hope that someone passing on these pages may bring the matter to the attention of those who may decide. I repeat: transparency is not an option for a movement that has made transparency its flag, is required.


I keep this blog as a hobby by 2009. I am passionate about graphic, technology, software Open Source. Among my articles will be easy to find music, and some personal thoughts, but I prefer the direct line of the blog mainly to technology. For more information contact me.