Quantum Cryptography to be used in Swiss Election

According to Wired, one of id Quantique‘s quantum cryptography systems will be used to transmit votes securely from voting machines in Geneva in the upcoming national election.  This is certainly good PR for quantum crypto, especially given the security issues surrounding the use of automated voting machines.  Maybe I’m missing something though, because I thought that the main security problems had to do with the possibility of hacking the machines themselves rather than with the transmission of votes.  Public key crypto would probably have been just as good in practice, unless the Swiss government believes that someone in the locale has built a quantum computer.

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3 Comments on “Quantum Cryptography to be used in Swiss Election”

  1. Robin Blume-Kohout Says:

    After reading through the news I could find, I concluded that it’s almost exclusively a PR stunt. It’s also an opportunity to work the kinks out of the system — presumably id Quantique will benefit from having another opportunity to test their reliability — but this isn’t a practical application.

    For this purpose, you might as well put a copy of the results in the back of a station wagon and drive them to the central collection agency. It’s a one-time deal, there’s no obstacle to physical transport, and latency isn’t a problem (within reason).

  2. Ian Durham Says:

    That’s pretty funny. I could see them trying it for remote voting, but not machine voting. In fact, if I recall, one of the EU QCrypto research programs was ostensibly started as a means of developing a foil to the AUSCANZUKUS Echelon spy project since 99% of long-distance communication is via fiber optic cables these days. Maybe they’re planning remote voting of some sort in the future in this is just a demonstration of the technology.

  3. […] this could be done (copying information off of a hard drive, for example) and is the basis of the argument many critics made concerning the use of quantum cryptography in the Swiss elections since, in this sense, copying a […]

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