Internet Voting: The Great Security Scare
William J. Kelleher, Ph.D., INTERNET VOTING NOW!, Chapter 1, 2011
41 Pages Posted: 21 Jun 2009 Last revised: 2 Jan 2013
Date Written: June 15, 2009
This paper will present a social science paradigm for critically evaluating the security concerns most often expressed by opponents of Internet voting. In 2003, these concerns were so effectively expressed that they resulted in the US government ceasing all efforts to even experiment with voting from overseas via the new technology. However, when examined within a context of social scientific reasoning, the arguments that stopped the progress of Internet voting in the US appear as mere appeals to fear, bereft of rationality.
First, the problem of how to think about e-crime in general will be discussed. Secondly, the framework that emerges from that discussion will be applied to the arguments against Internet voting. The conclusion will suggest that Internet voting can be conducted with a degree of security similar to an online purchase, a million dollar bank transfer, or a secret military communication. As shown in the essay, the technology already exists, and has been honed over many years of use. While there are differences between the military uses of the Internet, e-commerce, and Internet voting, this paper will argue that the degree of security for each need not vary significantly.
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