Feeds

Dutch ban voting computers over eavesdropping fear

Back to basics

The Power of One Infographic

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?" ®

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

More from The Register

next story
Sit back down, Julian Assange™, you're not going anywhere just yet
Swedish court refuses to withdraw arrest warrant
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
British cops cuff 660 suspected paedophiles
Arrests people allegedly accessing child abuse images online
LightSquared backer sues FCC over spectrum shindy
Why, we might as well have been buying AIR
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
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.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.