Digital voting is not safe yet

Ronald Prins gives his opinion on the plan of the mayor of Rotterdam to have a digital referendum

Digital voting is not safe yet

Already several years attempts and investigations are being conducted in the area of digital voting. Two Dutch committees (Korthals Altes and-Van Beek) came to the same conclusion in both 2007 and 2013: electronic voting is possible if the vote isn’t recorded digitally. In other words, yes to electronic voting, but the manual counting of votes should remain possible. Otherwise a check afterwards is not an option.

Risks

In an interview with the Dutch newspaper Volkskrant, Ronald Prins, CTO and co-founder of Fox-IT and chairman of the Dutch expert group Electronic Voting, gives his opinion on the plan of the mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb, to have a digital referendum. “It isn’t safe, even though Aboutaleb says it is.”

Prins gives three essential points. “First, there is the risk of malicious software on computers. For example, with a DDOS attack the voting process can be frustrated or the entire voting procedure can be manipulated by digital attackers. Then there is a more fundamental point. A home computer does not reflect the privacy of a voting booth. There is no insight into the conditions on which a vote has been given.” Finally, Prins mentions post control as a major risk. How do you determine whether it has been done correctly? “If there is no paper, it is difficult to find out.”

Read the full article (in Dutch) on the website Volkskrant.nl

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