West Virginia is to use the blockchain to test mobile phone voting for members of the U.S. military; however, one cybersecurity expert thinks it’s a bad move.
No to Voting with Mobile Phones
In what is a first-of-its-kind pilot, West Virginia is to test the blockchain for mobile phone voting. According to a previous report from Yahoo! Finance, venture capitalist Bradley Tusk argued that the idea was to increase voter participation in the U.S.
However, in a follow-up report from Yahoo! Finance, one cybersecurity expert is against it. Joe Hall, chief technologist and director of internet architecture at the Center for Democracy & Technology, said:
West Virginia has taken the ridiculous step of deciding that they’re going to not only vote on a mobile device, which in and of itself is just a bad idea, but use a blockchain mechanism, something associated with crypto-currency or Bitcoin.
According to Hall, the risks outweigh the benefits. He cites the insecurity of the internet as one reason against it, adding:
You’re fundamentally sending electronic ballot information over the internet to some other system. The phones we use, the desktop computers we use, the networks in between them, the servers on the other side, every single one of those things is fundamentally insecure.
He believes that, unlike banks which have large budgets to tackle fraud, the voting system doesn’t. If and when a vote is misplaced or altered, there’s no way to detect that, Hall argues. He goes on to state that within 20 years, with the aid of quantum computers, how someone acts online, including how a person votes, will be transparent.
In his opinion, he doesn’t think this is right. “It would be really unfortunate if in 20 years you’d be able to walk up to that soldier and say, ‘Hey, is this how you voted in the 2018 midterms?’ That’s just unacceptable to me,” he said.
Accepting Political Crypto Donations
A recent survey has found that 60 percent of eligible voters in the U.S. believe that it should be legal to donate cryptocurrency in federal elections under the same rules that apply to donations in U.S. dollars.
What do you think? Should it be allowed? Let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.