National: Paper: Great promise for online voting if security, verification challenges met | FierceGovernmentIT
Without a vast improvement in security, privacy and verification protocols, broad adoption of online voting – which has the potential to make voting easier and more accessible, improve turnout and reduce costs – is unlikely to take off, a new paper argues. For example, if a hacker steals money from a bank, retailer or another company, then the theft can be easily discovered and customers compensated for any loss. “Online voting poses a much tougher problem: lost votes are unacceptable,” writes the paper’s author, Peter Haynes, a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security. “And unlike paper ballots, electronic votes cannot be ‘rolled back’ or easily recounted. The twin goals of anonymity and verifiability within an online voting system are largely incompatible with current technologies,” he adds. The paper (pdf), which was released Oct. 8 and sponsored by Internet security company McAfee, spells out the pitfalls and advantages of online voting.