Friday, April 17, 2015

Internet voting risks

(And risks associated with other types of voting technology.)

I have been tweeting many links about Internet voting risks on the account @papervote
but now it is time to put them together in a blog post.

You can also find links in my bookmarks (which are drawn from many of my accounts, not just @papervote) under tag voting_tech_risks (click link for full list).

Also see extensive materials at http://www.verifiedvoting.org/resources/internet-voting/

Statements from Computer Scientist Organisations

Computer scientists are best positioned to understand the risks related to the use of computers for voting.  They have made clear statements against the use of Internet voting at this time.

✭ US Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) - Internet voting
Internet voting adds additional concerns about security, verifiability and auditability to those already known about electronic voting. ...
At the present, paper-based systems provide the best available technology to [preserve the ability to audit and/or recount the votes].
Computer Technologists' Statement on Internet Voting
Several serious, potentially insurmountable, technical challenges must be met if elections conducted by transmitting votes over the internet are to be verifiable.

Government Reports / Tech Reports

✭ US Office of the Director of National Intelligence - Opening Statement to Worldwide Threat Assessment Hearing (PDF) - February 26, 2015

Remarks from the Honorable James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence:
I'll start with cyber threats.  Attacks against us are increasing in frequency, scale, sophistication and severity of impact.
✭ Foundation for Information Policy Research - Response to The Speaker’s Commission on Digital Democracy (PDF) - September 27, 2014
this technology still has very significant issues with security, privacy, coercion resistance, auditability and comprehensibility, which preclude its use in high-stakes contests where capable and well-resourced actors (political parties, lobby groups and even foreign governments) may have an incentive to manipulate the system
✭ Parliament of Australia - Inquiry into... 2013 General Election - Second Interim Report: An assessment of electronic voting options

This excellent report, licensed in the Creative Commons for reuse (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 Australia) covers many risks related to Internet voting, with very clear language.

Full report (PDF) can be downloaded; individual sections also available.

✭ NISTIR 7770 - Security Considerations for Remote Electronic UOCAVA Voting (PDF) - February 2011

✭ UK Electoral Commission - Key issues and conclusions: May 2007 electoral pilot schemes (PDF; copy from Archive.org) - August 2007
issues with the security and transparency of the solutions

Expert Analysis

Independent Report on E-voting in Estonia

Audio and Video

Security Analysis of Estonia's Internet Voting System by J. Alex Halderman - published to YouTube Dec 28, 2014

From the Chaos Communication Conference (31c3) in 2014.  You can also see the video on their website.

Why electronic voting is a BAD idea - published to YouTube Dec 18, 2014

The above video is a fantastic clear explanation of why electronic voting machines are a security risk and why Internet voting is even worse.

Presented by Tom Scott for Computerphile, filmed by Sean Riley.

Videos from online course Securing Digital Democracy by J. Alex Halderman

SRI International - Podcast (audio) - Internet voting - October 10, 2010

Interviewing Jeremy Epstein.

Articles, Blog Posts, etc.

✭ Freedom to Tinker - Decertifying the worst voting machine in the US - by Jeremy Epstein - April 15, 2015

Remarkable Virginia IT Agency Report Details Reasons for WinVote Decertification - by Doug Chapin - April 15, 2015

✭ Sydney Morning Herald - International experts warn of the risks of Australian online voting tools - March 24, 2015

✭ Communications of the ACM - Security Risks, Privacy Issues Too Great for Internet Voting - March 12, 2015

Above article reports on a presentation by computer scientist David Jefferson.

✭ CBC - Internet voting isn't a big draw for younger voters, researcher says -  February 11, 2015

Note that Nichole Goodman is a social sciences researcher, not a computer scientist.

Analyst opinion: Don’t take online voting for granted - by Nick Wallace - January 30, 2015
Government should consider alternatives to online voting.  ... Preventing fraud is a tall order. ... An additional challenge is preserving the secret ballot...
✭ USA Today - Online voting rife with hazards - November 4, 2014

Above article by computer scientist Barbara Simons.


Learn more about the issues.

... more to come

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