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Cryptographically Secure, Distributed Electronic Voting

TitleCryptographically Secure, Distributed Electronic Voting
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsDold, F
AdvisorGrothoff, C
Academic DepartmentComputer Science
Number of Pages49
Date Published08/2014
UniversityTechnische Universitaet Muenchen
Thesis TypeBachelor's
KeywordsGNUnet, secure multiparty computation, voting

Elections are a vital tool for decision-making in democratic societies. The past decade has witnessed a handful of attempts to apply modern technology to the election process in order to make it faster and more cost-effective.
Most of the practical efforts in this area have focused on replacing traditional voting booths with electronic terminals, but did not attempt to apply cryptographic techniques able to guarantee critical properties of elections such as secrecy of ballot and verifiability. While such techniques were extensively researched in the past 30 years, practical implementation of cryptographically secure remote electronic voting schemes are not readily available. All existing implementation we are aware of either exhibit critical security flaws, are proprietary black-box systems or require additional physical assumptions such as a preparatory key ceremony executed by the election officials. The latter makes such systems unusable for purely digital communities.
This thesis describes the design and implementation of an electronic voting system in GNUnet, a framework for secure and decentralized networking. We provide a short survey of voting schemes and existing implementations. The voting scheme we implemented makes use of threshold cryptography, a technique which requires agreement among a large subset of the election officials to execute certain
cryptographic operations. Since such protocols have applications outside of electronic voting, we describe their design and implementation in GNUnet separately.

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