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Government Open Source Politics

E-Voting Source Code Made Public In Estonia 88

Posted by Soulskill
from the but-omg-hackers dept.
New submitter paavo512 writes "Server-side source code used for electronic voting was made fully public by Estonian officials on July 11 (in Estonian). The aim is to encourage more specialists to get involved in the technical analysis of the software. It is hoped that public overview will help to ensure the security of the system. E-voting has been successfully used five times in Estonia since 2007. It facilitates national ID cards which are obligatory for all citizens. In the next municipal elections later this year it is planned to test an experimental feature where the voter can check via a physically separate channel (smart phone) if his or her vote has been registered correctly. The publicized source code is available at GitHub."
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E-Voting Source Code Made Public In Estonia

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  • by zero.kalvin (1231372) on Friday July 12, 2013 @03:16PM (#44264089)
    In other news, sending a copy of yesterday's lecture to a friend magically changes the original copy, news at 11!
  • by i kan reed (749298) on Friday July 12, 2013 @03:20PM (#44264121) Homepage Journal

    The typical answer is the same magic answer that's been a part of democracy since the invention of the secret ballot: oversight. Think the oversight is foxes watching the hen-house? Volunteer!

  • by MarcoAtWork (28889) on Friday July 12, 2013 @03:41PM (#44264301)

    it's a lot simpler to have oversight of paper ballots being counted by hand than of a program running on a computer somewhere: there's no way anybody can be sure the program being actually run is the program that was generated via the source code you are given.

    Not to mention that there is no way you can be sure about the *environment* the software is run on, since it would be trivial to have some kernel/environment exploits that could alter the result arbitrarily.

    The only way one could be sure there are no electronic shenanigans would be redundancy:

    - provide the source code and build instructions for all the software
    - at voting time anybody can come in, get the raw data and run it on their own compiled copy of the software, if there is a discrepancy flags would be raised and the result would not be accepted until at least a certain number of independent computers come up with the same result

  • by dargaud (518470) <slashdot2@gdargaud . n et> on Friday July 12, 2013 @03:42PM (#44264315) Homepage
    I truly do not understand the US aversion for identity papers. (*) There needs to be a way for you to interact with the state / federal government, it's obvious. But how do you prove who you are when you do ? ID papers provide this certification easily. I've heard all kind of 'slippery slope' arguments like 'it's the first step towards a nazi state'. Well duh, every country in Europe has had ID papers since at least WWII and it hasn't changed anything. Instead of that the US relies on driver's license for the same purpose, or much worse, social security number which anybody can figure out and copy at will. Dumb.

    (*) And at the same time I don't understand why most USamericans don't give a flying squirrel about the wholesale spying going on. They don't want a piece of paper to identify them once a year when a cop or a govnmt employee asks for it for a legitimate purpose, but they don't care to have their every word archived to some big brother 5 zetabytes database with sorry consequences years from now. Beats me.

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