No government in the world today, not even the United States, is prepared to fight hackers, a cybersecurity expert declared at a forum on cybersecurity, PilipinasCon 2018, in Taguig City this week. Elections worldwide are being hacked. “Every single counting machine is hackable,” said cybersecurity expert Marc Goodman. At a recent underground hacking conference, he said, 25 different counting machines were broken into remotely and directly. Filipino hackers, he added, committed the biggest government data breach in history when they broke into the Comelec’s voter database and published it online in April, 2016, a month before the election that year.
The US today is in the middle of a hacking controversy, with Russian hackers reportedly invading the computers of US election officials in the last presidential elections. While the focus of a probe by an independent special counsel appointed by the Department of Justice is on possible collusion between the Russians and Trump campaigners, probers are also looking into election results in some states.
Electronic voting has already been banned in Germany and other countries in Europe. The German Federal Constitutional Court ruled in 2009 that electronic voting is unconstitutional because it does not allow any meaningful public scrutiny.
The Philippines shifted to electronic voting in the presidential election of 2010 and the innovation of knowing election results within a few days – in contrast with weeks and even months in previous elections – was widely welcomed.