Anonymity vs. traceability: revocable anonymity in remote electronic voting protocols

Smart, Matthew James (2012). Anonymity vs. traceability: revocable anonymity in remote electronic voting protocols. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.


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Remote electronic voting has long been considered a panacea for many of the problems with existing, paper-based election mechanisms: assurance that one’s vote has been counted as cast; ability to vote without fear of coercion; fast and reliable tallying; improvement in voter turnout. Despite these promised improvements, take-up of remote electronic voting schemes has been very poor, particularly when considering country-wide general elections.
In this thesis, we explore a new class of remote electronic voting protocols: specfically, those which fit with the United Kingdom’s requirement that it should be possible to link a ballot to a voter in the case of personation. We address the issue of revocable anonymity in electronic voting. Our contributions are threefold. We begin with the introduction of a new remote electronic voting protocol, providing revocable anonymity for any voter with access to an Internet-connected computer of their choice. We provide a formal analysis for the security properties of this protocol. Next, we are among the first to consider client-side security in remote electronic voting, providing a protocol which uses trusted computing to assure the voter and authorities of the state of the voter’s machine. Finally, we address revocable anonymity more generally: should a user have the right to know when their anonymity has been revoked? We provide a protocol which uses trusted computing to achieve this.
Ultimately, the work in this thesis can be seen as a sound starting point for the deployment of remote electronic voting in the United Kingdom.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Computer Science
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
T Technology > T Technology (General)


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