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May 13, 2004
Another Reason to Support the DMCRA
Doing so would help safeguard the ability of computer scientists to test the integrity of electronic voting machines.
Explains Congressmen Rick Boucher (D-VA) and John Doolittle (R-CA) in an email to fellow representatives:
[C]omputer professors engaged in legitimate scientific research have been threatened with lawsuits ever since enactment of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. We introduced H.R. 107 in part to ensure that scientists can engage in legitimate, important research can do so without having to first hire a lawyer.
When our bill has been enacted into law, it will no longer be a potential violation of Section 1201 of the DMCA:
* for a computer science professor to work with his class to improve scrambling technology designed to block terrorists from accessing sensitive first-responder communications; or
* for a computer science professor and his graduate students to test the encryption technology built into electronic voting machines to ensure that corrupt election law officers cannot alter the choices made by our constituents.
Few of us could have predicted the ways in which Section 1201 of the DMCA would be used to stifle legitimate scientific research that would benefit everyone in society. To help protect our homeland and to ensure the integrity of new electronic voting systems, we urge you to cosponsor H.R. 107.
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