Blockchain-Based Elections Would Be a Disaster For Democracy
An nameless reader quotes a document from Ars Technica: If you communicate to professionals on election safety (I studied with a number of of them in graduate college) they are going to inform you that we are nowhere just about being in a position for on-line vote casting. “Mobile voting is a horrific idea,” mentioned election safety knowledgeable Joe Hall after I requested him about a West Virginia experiment with blockchain-based cell vote casting again in August. But on Tuesday, The New York Times printed an opinion piece claiming the other. “Building a workable, scalable, and inclusive online voting system is now possible, thanks to blockchain technologies,” writes Alex Tapscott, whom the Times describes as co-founder of the Blockchain Research Institute. Tapscott is mistaken — and dangerously so. Online vote casting can be a massive danger to the integrity of our elections — and to public religion in election results.
Tapscott specializes in the concept that blockchain era would permit other people to vote anonymously whilst nonetheless being ready to make sure that their vote used to be integrated within the ultimate overall. Even assuming that is mathematically conceivable — and I feel it almost definitely is — this concept ignores the various, many ways in which international governments may compromise an internet vote with out breaking the core cryptographic algorithms. For instance, international governments may hack into the pc programs that governments use to generate and distribute cryptographic credentials to citizens. They may bribe election officers to offer them with copies of citizens’ credentials. They may hack into the PCs or smartphones citizens use to forged their votes. They may ship citizens phishing emails to trick them into revealing their vote casting credentials — or just trick them into pondering they have got forged a vote once they have not.