A View from MIT TR Editors

Pentagon Nixes Internet Voting

The Department of Defense has canceled plans to allow Internet voting in this year’s elections by members of the military serving overseas, the New York Times reports. The decision was made “in view of the inability to ensure legitimacy of…

  • February 6, 2004

The Department of Defense has canceled plans to allow Internet voting in this year’s elections by members of the military serving overseas, the New York Times reports. The decision was made “in view of the inability to ensure legitimacy of votes, thereby bringing into doubt the integrity of the election results,” according to a Defense Department spokeswoman. The news comes two weeks after members of a panel of computer scientists who were asked by the government to assess the project recommended that it be canceled because of the inherent insecurity of any system using standard personal computers and today’s Internet.

The experts felt that the system, developed by Accenture under a $22 million contract with DoD, was vulnerable to a number of different cyberattacks, such as the viruses and worms that routinely disrupt the Internet.

The report and decision are yet another blow to the move toward Internet voting, as experts continue to question the security of such efforts. Stanford computer scientist David Dill recently told TR that online voting was “the only idea worse than electronic voting in precincts.”

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