Why internet voting is a very dangerous idea

by - August 29, 2014

No doubt — nationwide internet voting has an intuitive appeal. It would decrease the costs of elections. It would dramatically increase turn-out. It would allow marginalized communities to avoid harassment at polling sites. It would speed the vote count. A majority of voters regularly endorse the idea. There are two main reasons, though, why internet voting is, at best, a dream best realized 20 years in the future — if ever. The internet is not secure. It does not matter whether results are sent to an air-gapped system, because there's plenty of technologies that jump air-gaps, and we know that big governments (like ours) use them to spy. It does not matter whether complicated identification schemes involving fingerprints and complex PINs are used to verify identities. Every end of the system is vulnerable to cyber-attack; the browsers, the software, the processing, and even the commands you type into the computer to register to vote. Man-on-the-side attacks, spoof ballots, denial-of-service attacks — there is absolutely no way to create a closed system that would filter out bad code. It does not matter whether previous (small-scale) experiments have been successful. An American internet election would be a ripe target for hackers belonging to nation-states, criminal gangs, and all sorts of people who spend their days looking for the latest vulnerability to exploit.(How many times has Microsoft had to update Internet Explorer to fix a major bug in the past two years? What confidence could you possibly have?)

Source: Why internet voting is a very dangerous idea - The Week

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