A Usable Android Application Implementing Distributed Cryptography For Election Authorities

AuthorNeumann, Stephan; Kulyk, Oksana; Volkamer, Melanie
TypeConference Proceedings
AbstractAlthough many electronic voting protocols have been proposed, their practical application faces various challenges. One of these challenges is, that these protocols require election authorities to perform complex tasks like generating keys in a distributed manner and decrypting votes in a distributed and verifiable manner. Although corresponding key generation and decryption protocols exist, they are not used in real-world elections for several reasons: The few existing implementations of these protocols and their corresponding interfaces are not designed for people with non technical background and thus not suitable for use by most election authorities. In addition, it is difficult to explain the security model of the protocols, but legal provisions generally require transparency. We implemented a smartphone application for election authorities featuring distributed key generation and verifiable distributed decryption of votes. In addition, we prepared education material throughout based on formulated metaphors for election authorities in order to explain the security of the application. We evaluated the usability of the application and understanding of the underlying security model, concluding that the application is usable for non-experts in computer science. While the participants were able to carry out the tasks, it became clear, that they did not have a clear understanding of the underlying security model, despite having viewed our educational material. We suggest improvements to this material as future work.
In9th International Workshop on Frontiers in Availability, Reliability and Security - FARES 2014, p.198-207