Electronic Voting

Seminar, Summer 2014

Instructor Prof. Dr. Matteo Maffei
Teaching Assistant Fabienne Eigner
Organizational Meeting Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 16:00
Registration Registration deadline: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 15:00
Place E1.7 (MMCI), room 3.23
Form/Credits Seminar, 7 ECTS
1. Session Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at 16:00
2. Session Wednesday, June 04, 2014 at 16:00
3. Session Wednesday, June 25, 2014 at 16:00
4. Session Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 16:00
Language English
Contact <fabienne's surname> at cs dot uni-saarland dot de,

Latest News

  • 2014-04-08: the website is online

Description

Electronic voting is receiving increasing attention from governments, mass media, and the scientific community. The deployment of electronic voting systems, however, is limited in practice since many open questions still remain. In this seminar we will focus on answering the following questions:

  • Which electronic voting schemes exist and which properties do they fulfill?
  • What vulnerabilities of existing protocols have been discovered? What attacks are there? How can we defend against them and how can we prove the "security" of a voting scheme?
  • How can we achieve "everlasting privacy": even if a voting scheme protects a voter's vote now, what happens twenty years from now, when current encryptions can be easily broken?
  • Which real-life elections use(d) electronic voting? Which protocols are used? What legal requirements are there? Are there recorded attacks?

Topic I. Electronic Voting Schemes

In this session we will have a look at which electronic voting schemes exist and which properties they fulfill.

Topic II. Attacks and Verification

In this session we will discuss vulnerabilities of existing protocols. What attacks are there? How can we defend against them and how can we prove the "security" of a voting scheme?

Topic III. Everlasting Privacy

In this session we will answer the question of how to achieve "everlasting privacy": even if a voting scheme protects a voter's vote now, what happens twenty years from now, when current encryptions can be easily broken?

Topic IV. Electronic Voting in Practice

In this session we will have a look at real-life elections that use(d) electronic voting. Which protocols are used? What legal requirements are there? Are there recorded attacks?

Only temporary list of papers, still subject to change!

Modus operandi

The seminar will consist of four sessions (reading groups) throughout the semester in which you will present and discuss papers. In each session we will discuss three papers. Each student must read all of those and will be assigned to be an expert for one of them (usually 2-3 experts per paper). As an expert you will prepare a short presentation (15-20 minutes) about "your" paper and present it to the class (see this guide). All non-experts (who will also have read the paper) must hand in

to Fabienne in advance. After their individual presentations, the team of experts will then answer those and all questions arising in the discussion. Both the presentations and the summaries should include a short overview of the paper as well as your own thoughts on strengths and weaknesses thereof. Moreover, you should think about the applications and influences that the paper had (or could have) on other works.

Overall each student will:

  • read 12 papers;
  • be an expert for 4 papers;
  • write a short summary for 8 papers;
  • prepare questions for 8 papers (16 in total);
  • actively participate in 4 reading groups.

Participation in the organizational meeting and all the reading group sessions is mandatory.

Each student will have to hand in the slides for their "expert paper" and summaries and questions for their "non-expert papers" to Fabienne ( <fabienne's surname> at cs dot uni-saarland dot de) no later than described in the milestones table below.

Milestone Date
Registration before Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 15:00
Kick-off meeting Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 16:00
Slides, summaries, and questions for Session 1 before Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 23:59
Session 1 Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at 16:00
Slides, summaries, and questions for Session 2 before Sunday, June 01, 2014 at 23:59
Session 2 Wednesday, June 04, 2014 at 16:00
Slides, summaries, and questions for Session 3 before Sunday, June 22, 2014 at 23:59
Session 3 Wednesday, June 25, 2014 at 16:00
Slides, summaries, and questions for Session 4 before Sunday, July 13, 2014 at 23:59
Session 4 Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 16:00

Grading

To pass the seminar you are required to meet all milestone deadlines (see the table above). Your active participation in all sessions is mandatory.
Your final grade is based on the quality of your four expert talks in the reading groups (15% each) as well as your active participation in the reading groups and the summaries and questions you prepare for the other presentations (40%). All grades must be 4.0 or higher.

Requirements

This will be a seminar on advanced security protocols and we expect some background in security and cryptography. You should have attended and passed at least one of the following lectures at Saarland University or during your previous studies somewhere else: "Cryptography", "Security", "Language-based Security", or "Privacy-enhancing Technologies" (or equivalent).

How to register

The registration deadline is Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 15:00.
For registering, please send an e-mail as early as possible to <fabienne's surname> at cs dot uni-saarland dot de, indicating your name and matriculation number and which courses related to security and cryptography you have previously taken. Please also register through PIAZZA.

Note that the number of participants is limited to 9!

As usual, you have to register in the LSF/HISPOS system.