The future of voting should not involve your cellphone, according to a leading cybersecurity expert. In a first-of-its-kind pilot program, West Virginia will test blockchain encrypted mobile phone voting for members of the U.S. military. But Joe Hall, chief technologist and director of internet architecture at the Center for Democracy & Technology, warned that the plan presents a host of risks. “West Virginia has taken the ridiculous step of deciding that they’re going to not only vote on a mobile device, which in and of itself is just a bad idea, but use a blockchain mechanism, something associated with crypto-currency or bitcoin,” Hall told Grant Burningham, host of the Yahoo News podcast “Bots & Ballots.” In a September interview with Burningham, venture capitalist Bradley Tusk argued that his foundation’s plan to test cellphone voting was a way to boost voter participation in the U.S. However, Hall believes the risks outweigh the possible benefits.
“They’re not the thing you want to use for voting in public elections for a few different reasons. One is you’re voting on the internet. You’re fundamentally sending electronic ballot information over the internet to some other system,” Hall said. “The phones we use, the desktop computers we use, the networks in between them, the servers on the other side, every single one of those things is fundamentally insecure.”
At the Center for Democracy & Technology, a nonprofit that fights for online civil rights, Hall has worked on projects ranging from helping computer scientists create unbiased algorithms to advocating for online privacy and freedom of expression. He believes that there’s already enough evidence to dismiss the idea that our technology is secure enough to experiment with casting ballots over cellphones.
Full Article: Blockchain voting too risky, cybersecurity expert says.