Feeds

E-voting as secure as an insecure thing

No hostages to fortune here

New hybrid storage solutions

Twelve councils are piloting voting over the internet in the local elections on Thursday, and the government has accepted there may be security problems with the system.

The Department of Constitutional Affairs (DCA) says it is aware of security holes, but still reckons it will be secure enough.

A briefing note from the DCA says: "We will not roll out anything that is not at least as secure as traditional channels."

In the wake of allegations that some 20,000 postal votes have disappeared from the register in Birmingham after investigations into postal vote fraud, this seems a quite brilliant piece of arse-covering.

The problems in Birmingham would have "shamed a banana republic", according to one High Court Judge. In some wards the number of postal votes has fallen by 80 per cent.

Jason Kitkat, evoting co-ordinator at the Open Rights Group, said: "Evoting is far more high risk - it's done at home so you need to secure the person's home PC - which is difficult, you need to secure the internet connection and secure the servers too. We're taking a wait and see approach but anyone with any knowledge of computer science would tell you it is less secure."

The 12 councils piloting the technology* are: Bedford Borough Council, Breckland District Council, Broxbourne Borough Council, Dover District Council, Gateshead Council, Rushmoor Borough Council, Sheffield City Council, Shrewsbury and Atcham Borough Council, South Bucks District Council, Stratford-on-Avon District Council and Warwick District Council, Sunderland City Council, and Swindon Borough Council.

If you live, and vote, in any of these wards please let us know how the voting goes - email the usual address by clicking on the byline at the top of this story, or leave a comment below.

*: Tim Atkinson from the Electoral Commission sent us the following email:

Just seen your article - to clarify, only five areas are piloting electronic voting (South Bucks, Rushmoor, Shrewsbury & Atcham, Swindon and Sheffield).

The Electoral Commission has a statutory obligation to evaluate the pilot schemes and is encouraging electors, candidates, agents and anyone else with an interest in the e-voting trials to tell us what they think.

Details of our consultation process (including downloadable questionnaires) can be found here: http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/elections/pilotsmay2007.cfm

Yours sincerely

Tim Atkinson Policy Advisor ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Heavy VPN users are probably pirates, says BBC
And ISPs should nab 'em on our behalf
Former Bitcoin Foundation chair pleads guilty to money-laundering charge
Charlie Shrem plea deal could still get him five YEARS in chokey
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.