Quantcast
  • Register
PhysicsOverflow is a next-generation academic platform for physicists and astronomers, including a community peer review system and a postgraduate-level discussion forum analogous to MathOverflow.

Welcome to PhysicsOverflow! PhysicsOverflow is an open platform for community peer review and graduate-level Physics discussion.

Please help promote PhysicsOverflow ads elsewhere if you like it.

News

New printer friendly PO pages!

Migration to Bielefeld University was successful!

Please vote for this year's PhysicsOverflow ads!

Please do help out in categorising submissions. Submit a paper to PhysicsOverflow!

... see more

Tools for paper authors

Submit paper
Claim Paper Authorship

Tools for SE users

Search User
Reclaim SE Account
Request Account Merger
Nativise imported posts
Claim post (deleted users)
Import SE post

Users whose questions have been imported from Physics Stack Exchange, Theoretical Physics Stack Exchange, or any other Stack Exchange site are kindly requested to reclaim their account and not to register as a new user.

Public \(\beta\) tools

Report a bug with a feature
Request a new functionality
404 page design
Send feedback

Attributions

(propose a free ad)

Site Statistics

146 submissions , 123 unreviewed
3,953 questions , 1,403 unanswered
4,889 answers , 20,761 comments
1,470 users with positive rep
506 active unimported users
More ...

End to end auditable voting?

+ 0 like - 1 dislike
108 views
The recent meta questions show the suspicions of users regarding voting. These suspicions are hard to allay when the votes are anonymous, as they must be for scientific reviews. There are cryptographic ways of verifying voting while still maintaining anonymity, which can be found on the Wikipedia link here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/End-to-end_auditable_voting_systems . I don't know anything about this, but it would help allay suspicions if we had such a system. In the particular case brought up just now, a vote on an administrator, I think it is extremely unlikely there could have been any tampering, as all the obvious voters made their position public first before voting, and the results are consistent with the public position. But a system such as this can reassure academics that votes on their publications will not be maliciously tampered with by any administrators, including competitors, and it never hurts to pander to paranoia by making the site more secure. In a separate issue, can we disable vote modification, at least on meta, completely? Meta certainly doesn't need it--- it's another never-used feature. Serial downvoting is not necessarily philosophically bad on meta (or even on the main site), it's just political disagreement. This step, even if the first were infeasable, would reassure users a lot that the site is fairly aggregating votes, even if there is no real need at all yet, as we know everyone's position.
asked Feb 5, 2015 in Feature Request by Ron Maimon (7,535 points) [ revision history ]
recategorized Feb 6, 2015 by dimension10

1 Answer

+ 4 like - 0 dislike

I have knowledge about auditable voting from two sources:

First, as I am Swiss, I may participate on popular votes and elections online, although I live in Germany. Every vote has to stay anonymous, while the voter must be able to be sure, that his vote was counted. I do not know exactly how this has been implemented, I just know that it is very complicated, and that external trusted servers are included. The last days I got the material for the next popular vote by postal mail and it includes two PIN codes that will be used for verification. So to implement such a system, we would have to distribute PIN codes for the voting of all users in a secure way.

Secondly, a group of colleagues at my university (placed 30m from my office) have been specialized on such systems. They have been involved in the development and assessment of the Swiss system. As we often had long discussion about such systems and their cryptographic realization, I got the same impression, it is complicated matter. To implement an existing system (should I find one) would block me for at least half a year.

However, I am convinced that our system is secure. Every click on a vote button generates a record in the event log of the system. All these events are also displayed in the history of everyones user profile. In a questionable case, the voting result may be checked and it is possible to see that no plugin has been used.

Although I understand the reason for this feature request, I would propose that we do not realize it.

answered Feb 6, 2015 by polarkernel (0 points) [ no revision ]

Your answer

Please use answers only to (at least partly) answer questions. To comment, discuss, or ask for clarification, leave a comment instead.
To mask links under text, please type your text, highlight it, and click the "link" button. You can then enter your link URL.
Please consult the FAQ for as to how to format your post.
This is the answer box; if you want to write a comment instead, please use the 'add comment' button.
Live preview (may slow down editor)   Preview
Your name to display (optional):
Privacy: Your email address will only be used for sending these notifications.
Anti-spam verification:
If you are a human please identify the position of the character covered by the symbol $\varnothing$ in the following word:
p$\hbar$ysicsOverfl$\varnothing$w
Then drag the red bullet below over the corresponding character of our banner. When you drop it there, the bullet changes to green (on slow internet connections after a few seconds).
To avoid this verification in future, please log in or register.




user contributions licensed under cc by-sa 3.0 with attribution required

Your rights
...