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Arne Schönbohm: BSI chief wants digitalized elections

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017 | Gadgets

Despite the ongoing discussion about the security of electoral computers and the catastrophic security of the program PC election used in Germany to vote, the head of the Federal Office for Information Security, Arne Schönbohm, has been asked to be able to vote electronically in the future.

In an interview with Handelsblatt (Paywall) the official said: "If we take the issue of digitization seriously, we can not hide individual areas," says Schönbohm. "The electronic choice should be a topic in the next legislature." The decisive factor, however, is that the security of the vote is guaranteed at all times.
Therefore, two-factor authentication should be used when voting. As an example of a second factor, Schönbohm mentioned the hardly used eID functions of the new ID card.
Constitutional judges have prohibited electoral computers
It is unclear how such an election could be implemented in Germany if the political will existed at all. In 2009, the Federal Constitutional Court had prohibited the use of electoral computers. The verdict stated: "When using electronic voting machines, the essential steps of the electoral process and the determination of the results must be able to be verified by the citizen reliably and without special expertise."

In Estonia, citizens can choose digitally using their ID card. However, the system there should not be able to withstand the requirements of the BVerfG. In addition, a security breach has recently been discovered, but the upcoming election in Estonia will still be possible online.

Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel had recently stated that she did not go out of the right votes within the coming decade. Merkel also mentioned the negative verdict of the constitutional judges. "Under no circumstances" would the vote on Google be possible, Merkel answered a corresponding question.


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