Open Letter on Freedom and Internet Voting to Estonia's National Electoral Committee
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press at fsfeurope.org
Fri Feb 21 17:58:33 CET 2014
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= Open Letter on Freedom and Internet Voting to Estonia's National
Electoral Committee =
[Read online: http://fsfe.org/news/2013/news-20130730-01.fi.html ]
FSFE has sent anopen letter to Estonia's National Electoral Committee
(NEC) regarding the country's Internet voting system. We ask the NEC to
release the software used in the election process asFree Software.
"Our aim is to safeguard the freedom and privacy of Estonia's
citizens, and to improve the security of the election process," says
Karsten Gerloff, FSFE's President.
Estonia has used Internet voting for general elections since 2005.
Unfortunately, the system's technology remains proprietary. Local
activists have recently managed to convince the NEC to release source
code for some of the software under a non-free licence, but this licence
does not permit distribution of derivative works or commercial use.
These arbitrary restrictions on software developed with public funds
hinder security research.
"Important system components remain completely unknown to the general
public. One of those components is the client side voting application
that must be loaded and executed on the voter's computer," says Heiki
Ojasild, Fellowship representative in FSFE's General Assembly. "There
is no guarantee that thiswidely distributed black box functions
according to voters' expectations, or that it will respect their
privacy or will."
Due to the unavailability of the source code and the fact that the
client side voting application is not built onOpen Standards, the voter
is also forced to use one of the operating systems supported by the
National Electoral Committee.
FSFE has drawn the NEC's attention to these remaining problems and
possible solutions. FSFE has offered the NEC its assistance and is
looking forward to helping them ensure that freedom, privacy, and
credibility of the elections are not forsaken in the pursuit of
== About the Free Software Foundation Europe ==
The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is a non-profit
non-governmental organisation active in many European countries and
involved in many global activities. Access to software determines
participation in a digital society. To secure equal participation in
the information age, as well as freedom of competition, the Free
Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) pursues and is dedicated to the
furthering of Free Software, defined by the freedoms to use, study,
modify and copy. Founded in 2001, creating awareness for these issues,
securing Free Software politically and legally, and giving people
Freedom by supporting development of Free Software are central issues
of the FSFE.
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