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:


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