E-voting in French elections raises problems

By EDRi · July 4, 2012

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: [Frankreich: Probleme mit dem E-Voting | https://www.unwatched.org/EDRigram_10.13_Frankreich_Probleme_mit_dem_E-Voting?pk_campaign=edri&pk_kwd=20120704]

During the French 2012 parliamentary elections, the citizens that were
not in the country had the possibility to vote online. However, the
transparency of the procedure was far from the desired one.

While, according to the law, the delegates of the candidates can check
the electronic vote operations, the Pirate Party delegates could not
verify the source code of a virtual urn monitored by a private company.
With the exception of a candidate from the Left Front, the other parties
have not even asked to check the electronic voting process meant for
700 000 voters.

At the end of the election exercise and the closure of the virtual urn,
the delegates of the Pirate Party have found significant security
faults. The generation of the electronic keys allowing the opening of
the urn was done by means of unwarranted information tools. In some
cases, the keys which were supposed to be unique could be duplicated by
any person with access to the computer on which the keys were generated.
Therefore, the Pirate Party delegates have asked to have access to the
source code of the e-voting software but they were refused.“We have
witnessed a ceremony staged to give the impression of security and to
put the officials at rest, while there is a total opacity of the key
points”, said Philippe Blanc, one of the delegates.

The French Pirate Party has also submitted a complaint to the
Constitutional Court asking the annulment of the electronic vote made by
the abroad French citizens due to the problems encountered in the
e-voting process, its transparency, lack of security and its possible
biased results.

On 21 June 2012, Numerama revealed an internal document issued by Atos
Worldline and Scytl, the two companies chosen by the government to
create the software solution and host the electronic voting, detailing
the security measures for the election scrutiny. The document was
showing that certain measures required by the Minister of Foreign
Affairs and ANSSI (l’Agence Nationale de Sécurité des Systèmes
d’Information) had not been foreseen by Atos.

Atos has required right away Numerama to delete the article, threatening
with a lawsuit, but with this action the document just got more
publicity then expected, with its copies already available on various
servers on the Internet.

The Party Pirate lacking the right to check the scrutiny for 700 000
voters (only in French, 21.05.2012)

À lire sur Numerama : Le Parti Pirate privé du droit de contrôler le scrutin pour 700 000 électeurs

The Pirate Party demands the annulment of the Internet vote (only in
French, 28.06.2012)

ATOS requires Numerama to suppress its document on electronic voting
(only in French, 22.06.2012)

À lire sur Numerama : ATOS met en demeure Numerama de supprimer son document sur le vote électronique

Atos or the unavoidable Streisand effect of the censure (only in French,

À lire sur Numerama : Atos ou l’inévitable effet Streisand de la censure

Document from Atos trying to be blocked (only in French)