[Fsfe-ie] perspective on e-voting

Niall Douglas s_fsfeurope2 at nedprod.com
Tue Mar 2 01:56:18 CET 2004

Hash: SHA1

On 1 Mar 2004 at 10:51, Fergal Daly wrote:

> Unless you take out the bit that actually cares about the signature.
> Maybe not possible in a single chip custom listening device but quite
> possible in a machine built from off the shelf chips and building
> voting machines from anything except off the shelf chips is not going
> to change any time soon.

Why? You can get a military hardened CPU from Atmel or even Intel for 
less than a x86 CPU. It just won't run Windows.

> Something(s) on the board must be the key to the trust system, usually
> the processor but maybe there are multiple chips that check the
> signatures. You only need to replace these with look-a-likes that will
> also trust your switched image. No one can discover this without
> examining the chip layout under an electron microscope, rather
> impractical.

You're wrong on this. There are these key generating boxes which spit 
out encryption keys for use in X509 certs and such and they usually 
live inside a fire proof safe. They're very very tamper proof, you 
can't even let them get too hot or cold or else they reset themselves 
and you lose the key sequence. You could have something similar for 
voting machines.

I know them from having to go through the rigmarole of accessing one. 
You had to sign this log book and two people had to be present at all 
times to make sure you didn't drop it etc.

> I don't think technological security is the issue here, personal
> security is much more important. Mobile phone voting in the North
> would be a good laugh, where the bloke looking over your shoulder,
> watching you vote, wears a balaclava for a bit of petrol bombing fun
> at the weekend. Even taking threats and violence out of the mix,
> remote voting allows vote selling.

No more so than a fellow paying you a tenner to vote a certain way. 
Of course you could vote differently anyway - however under a mobile 
phone voting system, I see no problem with being able to change your 
vote later.


Version: idw's PGP-Frontend / 9-2003 + PGP 8.0.2


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