Posted by: jonkatz | March 23, 2011

Quantum crypto for secure voting?

From here:

The Swiss national elections on October 21 will mark a world first for Geneva as the canton employs quantum cryptography to protect the dedicated line used for counting its ballots…

Anyone know more information about this? I simply don’t understand what they are hoping to gain by using quantum crypto. (Of course, I don’t really understand the general motivation for using quantum crypto in practice, but that’s another matter…)

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Responses

  1. Of course, I don’t really understand the general motivation for using quantum crypto in practice, but that’s another matter…

    I don’t believe there is any compelling motivation for it. Of course, the underlying reason is simple: people enjoy making money by selling cryptography, governments like to be able to say they are supporting local companies that are accomplishing amazing things, and the general public thinks it sounds very cool. We would see far more of this if using untested crypto weren’t such a profoundly terrible idea that even the incompetent can generally be convinced not to use it for anything important. As it is, quantum crypto slips through the cracks because it’s not nearly as appalling an idea as “let’s use a cryptosystem some random engineer just invented, because it has a really long key and nobody has broken it yet”, so it looks reasonable by comparison.


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