Feeds

Dutch ban voting computers over eavesdropping fear

Back to basics

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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?" ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft
Doesn't much like Apple or Google, either
Super Cali signs a kill-switch, campaigners say it's atrocious
Remote-death button bad news for crooks, protesters – and great news for hackers?
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years
Man jailed for dodgy cinema recording of Hollywood movie
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
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.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?