Electronic voting machine maker Diebold Systems has backed down from its threats against people who publish details online about flaws in its machines, and 'irregularities' with certifying the systems for elections.

It's also agreed to send retractions of its earlier legal threats to the ISPs who received them.

“We’ve made the decision not to move forward on pursuing copyright infringements,” Diebold spokesman David K. Bear is quoted as saying in The Harvard Crimson here.

And, "We continue to seek a court order to protect posters, linkers, and the ISPs who host them," says EFF lawyer Wendy Seltzer.

Computer programmers, ISPs like the Online Policy Group (OPG) and students at least 20 universities, including the University of California, Berkeley, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, received Diebold C&D notices and some of them removed links to Diebold documents.

However, some, such as San Francisco's OPG, refused and instead sued Diebold.

The EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) and Center for Internet and Society Cyberlaw Clinic at Stanford Law School are representing OPG and Swarthmore students Nelson Pavlosky and Luke Smith.

Bear said Diebold wouldn't rule out the possibility of litigation in the future and, “We certainly reserve our right to protect our proprietary information,” the Crimson states.

US District Court Judge Jeremy Fogel ordered the case to mediation and set out a schedule to finalize remaining issues in the case with motions due on January 12 and January 30 and a hearing scheduled for February 9, 2004.