Podcast 🎧: What makes online voting secure?

27.01.2021 | Anu Vahtra-Hellat

Do you know how old is the concept of online voting? It comes back to the 19th century when Thomas Alva Edison introduced it to the US congress. Why then, even two centuries later, are there so few countries that use online voting to ensure equal access for their citizens to express their democratic rights? Even in today’s world, where due to pandemic it would be safer to vote remotely, staying at home?

In this episode, cyber security experts Liisa Past and Jan Willemson from Cybernetica Ltd talk with Federico Plantera about the historical and cognitive aspects of online voting and explain how technology and maths ensure the requirements of voting freedom and competitiveness, thus making online voting a secure and trustworthy solution.

Liisa Past introduces the talk as the followings: “Historical experience and constant practice make relatively static paper elections predictable and therefore safe. The dynamic digital world requires new approaches to the elections and a new risk assessment. Election organisers alone cannot operate in a much more dynamic digital world; they must be supported by scientists as well as cyber security guards and communicators.

According to Jan Willemson: “The reason why we consider paper elections to be safe is due to historical experience, but not always due to rational risk analysis. The danger here is that the historical experience is valid in a historical environment, but the environment is currently changing very rapidly. Therefore, the security level of paper elections should also be reassessed in the context of current rapid technological development. The benefit of mathematics is that it allows us to make stronger claims for online voting, than what you possibly have about paper voting.

What are these claims? What makes online voting secure? Tune in to find out!