Daily Archives: November 2, 2007

Quantum crypto in elections? To what end?

From Network World:

Swiss officials are using quantum cryptography technology to protect voting ballots cast in the Geneva region of Switzerland during parliamentary elections to be held Oct. 21, marking the first time this type of advanced encryption will be used for election protection purposes.

For the Swiss ballot-collection process, the quantum cryptography system made by id Quantique will be used to secure the link between the central ballot-counting station in downtown Geneva and a government data center in the suburbs.

“We would like to provide optimal security conditions for the work of counting the ballots,” said Robert Hensler, the Geneva State Chancellor, in a statement issued today. “In this context, the value added by quantum cryptography concerns not so much protection from outside attempts to interfere as the ability to verify that the data have not been corrupted in transit between entry and storage.”

Got that? Swiss officials will be using quantum crypto to encrypt the communication channel between a central ballot counting station and a government data center. It’s only used for a small part of the election process and, to the best of my knowledge, the information that is being transmitted along this channel ought to be public information anyways.

So I see nothing of value here. Standard communication techniques like SSL would have worked fine. I’m not alone in my assessment.

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