Feeds

Dutch ban voting computers over eavesdropping fear

Back to basics

Mobile application security vulnerability report

The risk of eavesdropping has driven the Dutch government to ban electronic voting computers from future elections.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs says that the development of safer voting computers has "insufficient added value over voting by paper and pencil". Dutch election officials will return to using paper ballots instead.

The decision is a victory for the obliquely-named Dutch We Don't Trust Voting Computers Foundation, which in the past demonstrated that many Dutch e-voting machines could be easily intercepted from 20 to 30 metres away.

Dutch intelligence service AIVD tested over 1200 Sdu e-voting machines in October, and deemed them totally unreliable. The radio signals used by the computers to record votes could be intercepted without difficulty. Minister for Administrative Reform Atzo Nicolai immediately withdrew the permit for the use of the computers in the provincial elections in March 2008.

The Dutch government had decided last year to pull the plug on its e-voting venture, citing the lack of a paper trail as its biggest shortcoming. With no automated paper counting solution deployed, the Dutch will have to revert back to the humble pencil.

A group of experts headed by professor Bart Jacobs told Dutch site Webwereld that "even with meticulous testing it would have been almost impossible to safeguard printers against eavesdropping".

Voting machine manufacturer Nedap says it is disappointed by the decision. "It would have been technically possible to prevent eavesdropping altogether," the company says. "And now that we return to paper voting, isn't there a risk voters can be filmed with webcams?" ®

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.