In the Know: Source code | Inquirer News

In the Know: Source code

/ 01:38 AM April 26, 2013

The source code refers to the human-readable instructions that define how a computer functions.

Created by programmers, the source code contains the master blueprint that reveals how a machine operates.

In determining the accuracy and quality of a source code, a common industry practice is the source code review, in which someone, other than the original creator, analyzes it and checks for security breaches and bugs, among others.


Under the Poll Automation Law, the source code to be used for the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines should be certified by a third party of computer experts.


In a March resolution, the Commission on Elections stated that accredited parties, independent candidates running for national posts and organizations with technical expertise may conduct a source code review.

For its part, the Comelec said that SLI Global, a US-based company that conducts voting systems certification testing, had certified the source code.

However, the source code has not been available for other parties to review because of a legal battle between Smartmatic, the supplier of the PCOS machines, and its corporate partner, Dominion Voting System, whose approval was needed for the release of the code.

Several groups raised concerns over the lack of a source code, saying the failure to review it will deny interested parties the chance to ascertain the credibility of elections.—Inquirer Research

Sources: Inquirer Archives; Comelec; Center for People Empowerment in Governance

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TAGS: Election, Laws, PCOS machines, Philippines, Source Code, technology

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