Interesting article, but I have a problem with the claim that “voting systems” were compromised. The penetration efforts were being seen against voter registration databases. The average reader will take “voting systems” to mean the equipment actually used in casting/tabulating votes. These systems were not the subject of the penetration efforts

Otherwise, this article gets most of the concerns of the cybersecurity communtiy right. It just misses one HUGE problem: The blockchain is not anonymous.

A vote cast and recorded on the blockchain would have to be associated with a digital wallet. The wallet id, along with various metadata generated by ordinary online activity, can be statistically analyzed, identifying the owner of the wallet with a high degree of probability — high enough to support law enforcement efforts against those who launder money using Bitcoin. (Google “Chain Analysis” for more info on this.)

Lastly, to simplify the issue using the blockchain for something like voting, cyber security professional refer to what is called the “threat surface.” The more opportunities that exist for compromising the process of voting, the larger the “threat surface.”

It is for this reason voting should not be something we attempt to do online in any form — be it by way of a website or on the blockchain. To do so would vastly increase the threat surface in ways we do not even fully understand.

Voting is not broken… It simply appears cumbersome and inconvenient in contrast to what we can otherwise do with today’s technology. But when you consider the threat surface — which under the current system is actually quite small — that is a feature, not a bug.

PS: In California’s June 5th primary election, I appeared on the ballot for California’s 52nd Congressional District — as a Cybersecurity Engineer. I did not make the top two, though.

Written by

I am a charter member of the pocket-protector set, but old enough to make fun of them and otherwise have a healthy skepticism of tech. https://goo.gl/2z5Snr

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store