Thursday, February 26, 2015

TerraSwarm PI Alex Halderman Weighs in on the Future of Online Voting

TerraSwarm PI Alex Halderman was recently interviewed on AM Australia, regarding the future of online voting.

An electronic voting system called iVote has recently been implemented in New South Wales, Australia, to give those with low vision, blindness or a disability an alternative way to vote. It’s currently only available to those who are unable to vote in person on election day:  those people living more than 20 km from a polling place or those travelling outside of the electorate.

A researcher in Australia is assessing the feasibility of opening up mobile voting to the rest of the Australian population, not just to those with special circumstances.  They are looking at other countries, including Estonia, that have implemented online voting.

Alex Halderman, Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan, was part of a team of international security experts that evaluated the Estonian system. They found it could be breached. AM Australia interviewed him about his research.

Halderman is quoted in the interview:
Quite surprisingly to me, it would be extremely easy for a foreign power to compromise Estonia's system to hack into the system and either alter the results of an election or, short of that, just cause the election to fail and be discredited. 
In my view it's going to be perhaps a decade - if ever - before we're able to secure internet voting against these powerful threats. And for now the absolute safest course of action is not to vote online at all or, at least, to limit as much as possible the number of votes that are cast with online systems.
To read more from the ABC News Australia interview, reported by Alice Matthews, go to:


TerraSwarm PI Alex Halderman Selected for Sloan Research Fellowship

TerraSwarm PI Alex Halderman was selected for a Sloan Research Fellowship by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for his work in the science of computer and network security with an emphasis on problems that broadly impact society and public policy.  His research interests span software security, network security, data privacy, anonymity, electronic voting, censorship resistance, digital rights management, computer forensics, ethics, and cybercrime, as well as the interaction of technology with law, governmental regulation, and international affairs.  

To read more about Professor Halderman’s research and this award, go to the University of Michigan CSE news announcement:

Halderman was one of two University of Michigan professors and TerraSwarm PIs awarded the prestigious Sloan Fellowship in 2015. His colleague, Prabal Dutta, was also selected:

Sloan Research Fellowships honor early-career scientists and scholars whose achievements and potential identify them as rising stars.  These two-year fellowships are awarded to 126 researchers in the US and Canada annually.  

TerraSwarm PI Prabal Dutta Awarded Sloan Research Fellowship

TerraSwarm PI Prabal Dutta (Univ. of Michigan) has been selected for a Sloan Research Fellowship for his for his work in developing energy-scavenging sensors and wireless communications, mobile-sensor-interfaces, and "Smart Dust" system architecture, according to the University of Michigan CSE website.

Sloan Research Fellowships are awarded to early-career scientists in recognition of distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field. These two-year fellowships are given to 126 researchers annually.

To learn more about Prabal Dutta’s research, go to: