Month: November 2016

Aleksander Essex on Internet Voting in Canada

Aleksander Essex’s submission to the ERRE Special Committee on Electoral Reform is now available:

Some key areas of concern he identifies include:

  • Vote selling and Coercion
  • Phishing
  • Automation bias
  • Denial of Service
  • Client-side malware/spyware
  • Network attacks
  • Server penetration
  • Insider influence
  • State-level actors

He cites the recommendations in the 2015 Utah iVote Advisory Committee Report (PDF), specifically the call for public trials (white hat hacking) of any proposed Internet voting system. Here’s the relevant paragraph from the Utah report:

We recommend that Utah build requirements for an open, public trial for any proposed voting system. The requirements should clearly state the level of integrity and auditability that is required for acceptance along with the overall security and integrity goals for the system. Be aware that even with open, public penetration trials, an Internet voting system would still be subject to malware, phony voter, DDoS, phishing, and insider attacks. So we further recommend that any requirements for an Internet voting system address these concerns specifically and require that vendors satisfy them. In addition, Utah should strongly consider that source code for the entire voting system be made open source so that it can be subjected to review, build, and test by computing professionals not under the influence or supervision of the vendor.

For more about Aleksander Essex see my list of computer science experts

https://papervotecanada2.wordpress.com/2016/11/19/internet-voting-and-computer-security-expertise/#AleksanderEssex

Online course about Internet voting security risks

The free online Coursera course Securing Digital Democracy is about “the security risks–and future potential — of electronic voting and Internet voting”.

The next session starts November 28, 2016.

https://www.coursera.org/learn/digital-democracy

The course is taught by J. Alex Halderman.  You can find out more about him in my list of computer science experts

https://papervotecanada2.wordpress.com/2016/11/19/internet-voting-and-computer-security-expertise/#JAlexHalderman

ERRE Electoral Reform Committee – MP reports, Briefs, Witnesses, Meetings

The ERRE Special Committee on Electoral Reform has a page that has MP reports (“Members Reports”), Briefs submitted by Canadians, a list of Witnesses including direct links to their testimony (click on the microphone icon), and Meetings.
It’s a very useful page, but unfortunately kind of buried unless you know about it.
You can find it at
http://www.parl.gc.ca/Committees/en/ERRE/StudyActivity?studyActivityId=9013025


Copied from original post on legacy blog http://papervotecanada.blogspot.ca/2016/10/erre-electoral-reform-committee-mp.html

New Brunswick electoral reform consultation including Internet voting

You can submit comments or submit your name to be an expert witness e.g. by email to Consultations.ECO-BCE@gnb.ca
The deadline is November 30, 2016.

The New Brunswick Commission on Electoral Reform consultation page states

The commission has been given the following mandates:

  • Assess commitments made by the provincial government in 2014 to contribute to making a more effective Legislature by:
    – eliminating barriers to entering politics for underrepresented groups; and
    – investigating means to improve participation in democracy, such as preferential ballots and online voting.
  • Assess other electoral reform matters that have been raised recently, namely:
    – the voting age;
    – political contribution rules; and
    – political spending rules.

To its credit (and unlike the Federal electoral reform consultation) the NB government has issued a discussion paper, which includes two pages covering Internet voting reasonably well.

The discussion paper is called “Strengthening New Brunswick’s Democracy” and is available from the Government of New Brunswick website (GNB.ca) at
http://www.gnb.ca/legis/business/currentsession/58/58-2/LegDoc/Eng/58-2July/SNBD.pdf
The Internet voting section is pages 18-19.

For the French version of the discussion paper, see
Vote par Internet – de la page 20 à la page 21 dans « Renforcer la démocratie au Nouveau-Brunswick » (PDF)

The discussion paper is also available in print bilingual and in PDFs in both official languages, here are the ISBNs
ISBN 978-1- 4605-1033-9 (Print Bilingual)
ISBN 978-1- 4605-1034-6 (PDF English)
ISBN 978-1- 4605-1035-3 (PDF French)

The Commissioners have been announced in a November 9, 2016 press release

The individuals are Carolyn MacKay, Bev Harrison, Gaétane Johnson, Jason Alcorn and Constantine Passaris.

None of the commissioners has a technical (computer science) background.

According to a July 2016 news release

It is expected that hearings will take place in the fall [2016] with a report due by early 2017. The plan is to allow for any changes to be implemented in advance of the 2018 general election.

However the November 9, 2016 press release makes no mention of hearings, and says just

The public has been encouraged to participate in the process by reading the discussion paper Strengthening New Brunswick’s Democracy and submitting comments. The information received will be compiled and analyzed by the commission. Recommendations will be submitted to the clerk of the Executive Council by March 1, 2017.

This posting adapted and expanded from original on legacy blog http://papervotecanada.blogspot.ca/2016/07/new-brunswick-launches-voting.html