Securing digital democracy

May 19, 2015Byens Lys Copenhagen
Digital Democracy
Doors open: 19:00
Start programme: 20:00
Byens Lys
Fabriksområdet 99

If we had online elections, how would it change democracy? We can bank online, why can't we vote online securely?

Over the last four decades, information technology has begun to transform the electoral process - perhaps the most foundational process upon which democratic societies are built. Computers are gradually replacing manual parts of the democratic process by, for example, tallying results in Excel spreadsheets, predicting exit polls, or by computing seat assignments to parties in parliament (since 1962 in Denmark).

With every such transformation, the overall process becomes more efficient, informative, and economical. However, there is a risk of the process becoming less trustworthy. The deployed technology tends to be complex and therefore prone to programming error and vulnerable to malicious attacks. These problems have an adverse effect on the very foundations of democracy. Voters are less likely to trust the electoral process, which inevitably leads to lower voter participation and cynicism.

Issues of cyber security and data privacy will be discussed by Alex Halderman, who has hacked the electronic voting system planned for Washington, and Carsten Schürmann, leader of the DemTech project.

Afterwards, the duo Brödre /w. Michael Rexen will take the stage and create a comfortable and interesting atmosphere while chilled cocktails are being served.

Talk by

Alex Halderman

Alex Halderman is Morris Wellman Faculty Development Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan and Director of the Center for Computer Security and Society at University of Michigan. His research focuses on computer security and privacy, with an emphasis on problems that broadly impact society and public policy.

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Talk by

Carsten Schürmann

Associate Professor at the IT University of Copenhagen, member of the Programming, Logics, and Semantics group. He is the The DemTech project leader, which has the main objective of assisting electoral management bodies with the development of digital election systems, the evaluation of threats and challenges, and the analysis and management of risks.

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Music by

Brödre /w. Michael Rexen

Copenhagen - Nashville - Copenhagen. That’s the journey behind Brödre's current single "Prophets". Brödre is based on Rasmus Skov's concise songwriting and Michael Rex's unique lyrics and vocal excesses. A debut album is in the pipeline and the band will be giving a series of concerts in several parts of Denmark in the month of May 2015