West Virginia: Voting by Smartphone: Quick and Easy, Just Not Very Secure | Der Spiegel

A small number of Americans will be able to vote in the midterm elections this November by taking a selfie-style video and downloading an app. West Virginia is the first and only state to test out Voatz, a voting app for smartphones. The experiment, which is largely directed at military personnel serving overseas, will allow the soldiers to cast their votes digitally as an alternative to cumbersome absentee ballots. … Ultimately, no one can say with certainty whether Voatz’s app is secure. Nimit Sawhney’s startup launched the software several years ago, and it went on to win a number of awards. But there is very little proof that it is invulnerable.

• To start with, the infrastructure that Voatz uses cannot be secured — i.e., the voters’ smartphones and the networks used to transfer the data. Marian K. Schneider, president of the U.S. advocacy group Verified Voting, lobbies to make voting in the digital era transparent and secure. She has profound reservations about smartphone voting: “Even putting aside the authentication and verifiability issues, nothing in these systems prevents malware on smartphones, interception in transit or hacking at the recipient server end.” She also thinks it wouldn’t be too difficult to tamper with the identity authentication process. And even a targeted interruption of the connection could be enough to influence an election.

Full Article: Voting by Smartphone: - SPIEGEL ONLINE.

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