Friday, August 19, 2016

Get Informed about Online Voting Before You Answer the #ERRE Survey

The background information provided by the Special Committee on Electoral Reform is wildly inadequate in the context of online voting.  It provides only four short paragraphs.  There is no direct citation of computer scientists or computer security experts in the background paper.  I had considered this a problem, but not an insurmountable one, but now that background paper is the only information provided to inform citizens completing the committee's online survey.

The background paper does not draw upon sufficient evidence, and its "on the one hand, on the other hand" conclusion is weak.  See my previous blog post Online voting section of Background Paper 2016-06-E on Electoral Systems.

Before you complete the online voting section of the Electoral Reform survey, I encourage you to review the evidence provided below.

Make It Short

The Canadian government has already been cyberattacked by nation-states, computer security experts warn that online voting is not secure, national security experts warn that online voting is not secure, and online voting won't increase turnout.

Here's the evidence: As further quick background I recommend:

I Want To Know More

Beyond that, there are 12 years worth of material in this blog itself


and 6 years worth of material in my Twitter


I'm happy to respond to specific requests for particular evidence related to Internet voting. 

Take the Survey

Now that you've had a chance to get a proper briefing with relevant evidence, I encourage you to complete the online survey (deadline unknown; presumably before deadline October 7, 2016) or use any of the other methods to contribute to the Special Committee on Electoral Reform.

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Canadian government departments have been hacked before

Intrusions into computer systems by sophisticated attackers ("hacks") have already happened multiple times for multiple Canadian government departments. Some of these attacks have been attributed to other nation-states. This means the risk of attack to online voting is far from theoretical.

Quote from the CIO of Canada, July 29, 2014:

Government of Canada computer networks, like those of other governments and the private sector, are under increasing threat of cyber-attack.

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Secret Ballot privacy report in the news

Verified Voting, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, and Common Cause have released a report: The Secret Ballot at Risk


It describes how US voters often have to waive (sign away) their right to a secret ballot in order to vote online.

It's being widely reported in the media, including:

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Internet voting video of the week - J. Alex Halderman for Slashdot 2012

The video can't be embedded, but you can watch it at


Find out more about J. Alex Halderman at https://jhalderm.com/

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