From The Sip Trunking Experts

TMCNet:  Could Online Oscar Voting Lead to Online Public Elections?

[February 25, 2013]

Could Online Oscar Voting Lead to Online Public Elections?

Feb 21, 2013 (Government Technology - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- If online voting is good enough for the Oscars, why isn't it good enough for public elections A panel of experts assembled on Feb. 14 to consider whether the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' decision to capture votes online for this year's Oscars means that technology has matured to the point where public elections can be held online.

According to an article in The Hollywood Reporter, voting to determine who would receive a nomination for an Academy Award began Dec. 17 and ended Jan. 3. While a majority of Academy members registered to take advantage of the online voting option, the process was not without its snags. Many confessed to password trouble, while others worried about hackers jeopardizing voter intent.

Limited Email Voting Post-Sandy Because Hurricane Sandy hit on the eve of the 2012 presidential election, New Jersey election officials were motivated to allow voting by email from those whose ability to vote was affected by the storm. Officials in two New Jersey counties told Government Technology that they were inundated by requests to vote online even from residents outside of the storm's path. Election officials in New York, however, decided not to allow email voting. Citing oft-repeated concerns about the reliability and security of voting without a paper ballot as backup, New York instead relocated 60 polling places impacted by flooding and other storm-related damage.

In a November 2012 press briefing, New York State Board of Elections Co-Chair Doug Kellner explained the decision. "There is a consensus among the senior election officials in New York that procedures that allow delivery of voted ballots by fax or email are completely insecure -- that they're hackable and that they're not verifiable," Kellner said.

The fact that casting votes online has made its way into the process for this year's Academy Awards has again raised the issue of the viability of conducting U.S. elections online. Voting rights advocates and computer security experts are highlighting some reasons why they believe that what works for Oscar won't necessarily work for elections.

Susannah Goodman, director of the Voting Integrity Program at Common Cause, explained that when things go wrong at a polling place, e.g., a malfunctioning voting machine, supervisors rely on a paper trail to verify election results.

But with online voting, there are no auditing options. "That is why we are so concerned about Internet voting," Goodman said. "There is no non-digital record of the votes that can be used to reconstruct the vote count in the event of a failure or a cyberattack, and there is no way to properly audit the vote count to ensure that votes weren't lost or corrupted online." David Jefferson, a computer scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and chairman of the board for the nonprofit Verified Voting, outlined several major differences between private elections, like those conducted for the Academy Awards, and public elections.

Public elections, Jefferson said, inherently have much higher standards for security, privacy and transparency. "Just because this works for private elections or is useful for private elections, we don't want people thinking ... it is appropriate for public elections." Three Types of Attacks Threaten Elections Experts warned of three distinct types of attacks that threaten the integrity of public elections: --Client side attacks -- malicious software on the voter's computer or smartphone --Server side attacks -- cyberattacks waged on the servers that collect and count votes --Denial of service attacks -- disruption attacks that keep people from voting in the first place "These problems are fundamental." Jefferson added. "They have been inherent in Internet services since the beginning of the Internet, and we aren't expecting any fundamental solution to these problems in the foreseeable future." According to panelists, many vendors claim to have created secure voting systems that have successfully tabulated private elections. But for a public election, they argue, the threshold is much higher. Major global companies, news outlets and government agencies, all with significant resources invested in cybersecurity, have had their networks compromised by attacks waged via the Internet.

"Until we resolve these unsolved problems in the technology," said Pamela Smith, president of Verified Voting, "attempting to use the Internet for transmitting a vote is a little bit like putting your valuables into an armored truck and sending it on a road made of quicksand." / ___ (c)2013 Government Technology Visit Government Technology at Distributed by MCT Information Services

[ Back To SIP Trunking Home's Homepage ]

Subscribe here for your FREE
SIP TRUNKING enewslettter.

Featured Partner

Featured Whitepapers

SIP Security for the Enterprise
Voice over IP (VoIP) is incorporated into a variety of computer networks, both public and private, and used for everyday transactions and communications among carriers, businesses, government agencies...

Making A Broadband Purchase Decision
Businesses today have many options for broadband connectivity. Clarifying your particular business needs prior to selecting a broadband provider will ensure an optimal match of broadband service to your requirements.

Voice-Optimized Network Delivers Premier Call Experience
Customers equate call quality with business quality. Real-time communication, interpersonal interaction, and the cordial tone of a call center representative can create a positive impression of your business that no email can match.

Featured Case Studies

Business Telecom Expenses Reduced 50%
A small to medium sized company in the midwest was interested in migrating to IP Communications, but in today's economy, they were hesitant to upgrade their communication system due to their perception that the cost would outweigh the benefits.

Multi-State Company Cuts Telecom Costs 50%
A multi-site, multi-state company with extensive monthly long distance fees and toll-free charges did not have adequate broadband for Broadvox SIP Trunking requirements, nor did they have a SIP enabled telephone system.

Discover Leisure Connects Remote Users to its IP-PBX
Discover Leisure is one of the largest resellers of caravans and motor homes in the UK. With 15 branch of?ces all over the country, the company spent a great deal of money every month just on internal phone calls.

Featured eBOOKS

Internet+: The Way Toward Global Unified Communication
Connecting the telephony of the enterprise PBX or Unified Communications (UC) system using SIP trunks instead of conventional telephone lines has been very successful in recent years.

What is SIP Trunking? Edition 2
SIP trunking is becoming more of a focus for service providers. One key issue many service providers face when deploying SIP trunks is NAT, or Network Address Translation, traversal.

What is SIP Trunking? Edition 1
A vast resource for information about all things SIP - including SIP, security, VoIP, SIP trunking and Unified Communications.

Featured Videos

Broadvox VAR Testimonial VAR 1:
Part 1 of the VAR (Value Added Reseller) Partner Program Testimonials for Broadvox...

E-SBCs AS The Demarcation Point:
Ingate's Steve Johnson talks to Erik Linask about the role session border controller plays as the demarcation point at...

Demystifying DPI
How can deep packet inspection protect your SIP traffic as well as your entire network?

Featured Resources

Partner Program Overview:
Over 4,000 VARs, Master Agents, Solution Providers, and Independent IT Professionals trust Broadvox. We offer customized services and solutions to fit seamlessly into any company's business model. And when you partner with Broadvox, every member of our team stands behind you and your customers 100%...

SIP Trunk UC Summit

What's New

Presenting the New Ingate/Intertex Website:
Internet+ is an extended Internet access allowing high quality SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) based real-time person-to-person communication, everywhere and for any application. It applies to both fixed and mobile networks ...

Featured Blogs

Featured Webinars

Secure SIP Trunking:
What You Need to Know

Successfully Deploying Enterprise SIP Trunking:
Tools and Techniques for Overcoming Common Roadblocks

Featured Podcasts

Getting the Most Out of Your SIP Trunks:
Ingate's Steve Johnson and TMC's Erik Linask discuss how best practices forgetting the most out of SIP Trunking services and common pitfalls to avoid.

Featured Datasheets

Ingate SIParator E-SBCs
Adopting SIP is a simple process with the Ingate SIParator, the secure enterprise session border controller (E-SBC). The SIParator makes secure SIP communications - including VoIP,SIP trunking and more - possible while working seamlessly with your existing network firewall.

Ingate Firewalls
Everyone is talking about enterprise usage of VoIP, instant messaging and other types of realtime communications including presence and conferencing.

SIP Trunk Solutions for Service Providers
The award-winning Ingate Firewall and Ingate SIParator deliver a high quality, reliable SIP trunk connection between the customer's IP-PBX and the service provider network, and solve interoperability issues to simplify deployments and support for remote diagnosis of reported issues.