Our CTO is keeping his day job, but Gregory has a very intriguing night gig he has been tending for the past 7 years. His "gig" made the news at WIRED earlier this week, but not for the purpose of the project per se.
Greg has been toiling away in spare time with Silicon Valley colleagues on a project to restore trust in America's voting machinery. We all know, and he'll be the first to go on at length about the troubles with computers in elections.
So, a team of his peeps from previous gigs at Sun Microsystems, Apple, Netscape, and elsewhere decided it was time to do something about it. They're working to make voting systems open source and freely available. Which is hugely important, as we think you'd agree.
Of course, the logical thing to do was to build a non-profit to work on that laudable goal. Everyone was pretty stoked about this... that is everyone except for the IRS.
And that leads us to this week's WIRED article online. You should check it out. Of course, we're proud of our CTO; not only of what he does here at C[IQ], but for his patience and perseverance in what he believes. You see it took the IRS 6 years and 4 months to relent and grant the Open Source Digital Voting Foundation their 501(c)(3) tax exempt status.
In the course of all of this, Gregory's Foundation became a poster-child of sorts warning of the IRS scandal "BOLO-Gate" whereby granting nonprofit status meant putting some applicants (those with terms in their name to be flagged like "Tea Party or "Open Source") through an extensive paper-chase. Some cynics say to exhaust the organization of energy and resources leading to abandonment as appears to have happened to several. It may not be too far from the truth. However, Greg's team at the OSDV Foundation and TrustTheVote Project remained undaunted (and hired some pretty powerful D.C. legal guns who also represent the Mozilla Foundation to help).
Amidst the scandal and unfavorable visibility on the IRS Exempt Division, the WIRED magazine article may have proved to be the tipping point, because the IRS granted them their public charity status days before the article appeared--we can't say for sure. Of course, this will allow the Foundation to resume fund raising and stop draining the personal pockets of the team, including our CTO. So they're good to go, and we think you should consider supporting them.
In fact, C[IQ has been for years--not only in Gregory's divided attention, but actually helping their project. You see, one of the important elements to trustworthy voting systems is accountability and verification. This involves intelligence, but not customer intelligence, rather voter and elections intelligence. And we've helped them shape data models for that. This way audits can be performed to ensure ballots are counted as cast; that polling places are well behaved; and that processes do not disenfranchise. All good stuff we think. And we hope you do too.
At C[IQ] we encourage all of our team to pursue their pet projects and remain active and engaged in their respective areas of expertise. We are relieved Gregory and the OSDV Foundation's ordeal has come to a end, and anticipate great strides in voting technology from the project and real (positive) change for democracy.