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Wednesday, July 06, 2016

The Economist - Online voting could transform Britain’s electorate - comment

Here is the comment I posted on The Economist article Online voting could transform Britain’s electorate - April 18, 2015

COMMENT

Considering that The Economist itself reports "Companies, markets and countries are increasingly under attack from cyber-criminals, hacktivists and spies", it seems extraordinarily unwise to open up voting to these kinds of attacks. (Economist quote from Defending the digital frontier http://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21606416-companies-markets-...)

Sophisticated and in some cases state-sponsored attackers have broken in to White House computers and the Canadian National Research Council. We know this because some of the breaches have been detected and (to the extent possible) repaired. (BBC News - White House computer network 'hacked' http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-29817644 ; BBC News - Canada National Research Council 'hacked by Chinese spies' http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-28548925)

Elections cannot be "repaired" after the fact, and they shouldn't have to be. Online voting increases risk enormously, without providing any benefits. Even if online voting security were extremely good, there would still be the issue of coercion. But time and again when voting technology is examined, the security is inept at best. For example, the recent analysis of a voting system in Virginia revealed multiple serious, exploitable flaws. (The Guardian -
Voting machine password hacks as easy as 'abcde', details Virginia state report http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/apr/15/virginia-hacking-voting-m...)

This is in addition to the specific issues with Internet voting that Barbara Simons reports in her comment.

I trust the Economist to have a high standard of research and evidence in its articles. I do not see the usual standard of care applied in this fallacious article about online voting.

ENDCOMMENT

Comment permalink http://www.economist.com/comment/2714876#comment-2714876

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