The US Defense Department’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded a $10 million contract to design and build a secure voting system, Motherboard reports.
The details: DARPA has handed the project to Oregon-based tech firm Galois. DARPA promises the system will be fully verifiable and transparent, allowing people to check that their own vote was recorded correctly, although it hasn’t disclosed precisely how. It says the system will use open-source hardware made from DARPA’s own secure designs and techniques, developed over the last year. It will also run on fully open-source software, unlike the proprietary systems that most voting machines run on.
The logic: This means external researchers and developers will be able to examine its source code and check for bugs or vulnerabilities. Notably, there is no mention of any online element to the system—which should make it easier to secure.
Why is DARPA doing this? Building voting systems is not something you’d expect a defense research agency to be working on. However, the real goal is to demonstrate a secure hardware program. DARPA picked voting because it’s an issue “people would care about and understand,” Joe Kiniry, principal scientist at Galois, told Motherboard.
A lofty goal: It will be impressive if the project succeeds. Electronic voting has been criticized as one of US elections’ weakest links. Researchers have managed to hack into many of the systems in use today.
Sign up here to our daily newsletter The Download to get your dose of the latest must-read news from the world of emerging tech.
AI-powered 6G networks will reshape digital interactions
The convergence of AI and communication technologies will create 6G networks that make hyperconnectivity and immersive experiences an everyday reality for consumers.
The power of green computing
Sustainable computing practices have the power to both infuse operational efficiencies and greatly reduce energy consumption, says Jen Huffstetler, chief product sustainability officer at Intel.
Using data, AI, and cloud to transform real estate
AI can enable business transformation to deliver positive outcomes for clients and propel sustainability goals, according to Sandeep Davé, chief digital and technology officer at CBRE.
How this Turing Award–winning researcher became a legendary academic advisor
Theoretical computer scientist Manuel Blum has guided generations of graduate students into fruitful careers in the field.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.