[E-voting] [colm@stdlib.net: [letter to the editor] ICTE and E-voting]

Colm MacCarthaigh colm at stdlib.net
Mon Mar 8 10:40:03 GMT 2004

Here's my response anyway

----- Forwarded message from Colm MacCarthaigh <colm at stdlib.net> -----

From: Colm MacCarthaigh <colm at stdlib.net>
Reply-To: colm at stdlib.net
Date: Mon, 8 Mar 2004 10:38:45 +0000
To: independent.letters at unison.independent.ie
Subject: [letter to the editor] ICTE and E-voting

				  			Colm MacCárthaigh
				  Irish Citizens for Trustworthy E-voting
							[address sanitized]
						  Phone:	[number]


	In response to the letter of Mr. Derek Mooney regarding Irish
Citizens for Trustworthy E-voting (ICTE), I would like to answer Mr. 
Mooney's questions regarding our group. Firstly, ICTE is a non-aligned 
group of over one hundred independent citizens, technical and legal 
experts. Mr. Mooney is fully welcome to join and partipate in our 
discussions. Anyone may do so by joining our open e-mail list available 


I take issue with the statement that ICTE are misrepresenting the truth,
ICTE's position has always been that Electronic Voting is categorically
unsafe and unverifiable without a paper record of our votes; verified by
us as voters. This position is endorsed by the Irish Computer Society
(the professional body for Irish Computer Professionals), the
Association for Computing Machinery and, at the last count, over 200
Irish Computer Science Academics. I can assure Mr. Mooney that we are
not luddites, but that we are experienced computer professionals fully
aware of the risks inherent in any computer-based system.

Mr. Mooney claims that our calls for a paper record would lead to the
"old" problems of human error and random surplus tranfers - perhaps Mr.
Mooney is not aware that the Electronic Voting system to be used in June
will use randomised surplus distribution and, like any excercise of
computer programming, is critically prone to human error. Additionally,
it is our belief that the system has not been tested adequately - for
example, there have been no end-to-end tests involving all components to
be used in the summer.

While we genuinely regret our concerns coming to notice so late in the
day, members of ICTE have been highlighting the concerns surrounding
E-voting for over 3 years. We have had questions asked of the Department
in the Houses of the Oireachtas, theses researched and written and
related issues raised with our elected representatives. 

As responsible I.T. professionals, it is difficult for us to criticise a
technical system about which there is little information available. It
should be noted that, to date, over 18 months and Euro 1300 has been
spent on Freedom of Information requests and appeals to the Information
Commissioner in efforts to obtain the information neccessary to analyse
the system. 

ICTE would fully welcome transparency and democratic accountability, and 
we invite Mr. Mooney and your readership to ask the simple question;
How will I be sure that my vote has been recorded accurately? Paperless
Electronic Voting affords us no opportunity to verify that for
ourselves; is this transparent and democratically accountable?

				Colm MacCárthaigh
				Irish Citizens for Trustworthy E-voting

Colm MacCárthaigh                        Public Key: colm+pgp at stdlib.net

----- End forwarded message -----

Colm MacCárthaigh                        Public Key: colm+pgp at stdlib.net

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