I spoke with David Wagner of UC Berkeley who was on the Florida State University team that examined the ES&S source code used in the Sarasota machines. We played phone tag last week while he was in Washington, DC, giving testimony.
He said he had never seen the ES&S letter until it was posted here on Friday and that his team was not aware that it existed or that ES&S had sent it to the state elections office. He also said that neither ES&S nor the state elections office put pressure on the FSU team about what they could or could not say in their report. The FSU team instead adhered to their own statement of work, which they made publicly available on the state's web site last December.
"All the limitation on our work were set out in the publicly available statement of work," Wagner told me. "My assumption is that ES&S was trying to lobby the state, and the state rejected many of the recommendations. We were never given this letter. We were never instructed verbally about this. We never got any restraints that went beyond our statement of work."
I asked him if ES&S viewed their report before it was published and he said he didn't know.
"Our agreement said we would send the report to Florida state in advance of publication. They had maybe a week or two to review it. What they did with it I don’t know. But we didn’t send it to anyone other than the state. We weren’t allowed to discuss it with anyone."
FSU sent a preliminary draft and a final draft to the state. When I asked if his group was instructed to make any changes to the report either after sending the state the preliminary or final drafts he said the only changes they made were spelling and grammatical. "There were no substantive changes made," he said.
"As far as I know we got no comments or requests for changes or feedback or anything from the state on either of those drafts. So the final report we submitted to the state was what we published exactly."
The FSU team's statement is here.
I've placed a call to ES&S and will update with their response when I hear back from them.