Peter Y A Ryan, University of Luxenbourg
Title: Securing the Foundations of Democracy
Democracy is under threat. This has been high-lighted by the recent US presidential election which was fraught with suspicions of hacking of voting technologies, the campaign processes, media bias and fake news, information bubbles in social media etc. Many of these problems arise from insecurities in digital technologies. The partial recounts conducted, against fierce legal opposition, in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin did not produce evidence of vote manipulation, but they did serve to expose the serious vulnerabilities in many US voting technologies, in particular the pure electronic, paperless (DRE) devices.
In this talk I focus on the technologies surrounding the conduct of elections, a small but important aliment in the problem, but one in which significant progress has been made in recent years. I argue that elections should be "evidence based", that is to say they should be conducted in such a way as to produce sufficient evidence to convince even sceptics, e.g. the losers, that the announced result is a true reflection of the legitimately cast votes. But we must of course balance such transparency against requirements of ballot privacy and coercion resistance. I will overview recent advances in “end-to-end verifiable” schemes and risk-limiting audits.
Peter Ryan is full Professor of Applied Security at the University of Luxembourg. He has over 20 years of experience in cryptography, information assurance and formal verification. He pioneered the application of process algebras to modelling and analysis of secure systems
Ryan has published extensively on cryptography, cryptographic protocols, mathematical models of computer security and, most recently, high assurance voting systems. He is the creator of Prêt à Voter, Pretty Good Democracy (with Vanessa Teague) and OpenVote (with Feng Hoa) and Selene (with P Roenne and V Iovino) verifiable voting schemes. With Feng Hao he proposed the Password Authenticated Key Establishment Protocol J-PAKE.
Peter Ryan has been on program committees of numerous prestigious security conferences, notably: IEEE Security and Privacy, IEEE Computer Security Foundations Workshop, the European Symposium On Research In Computer Security (ESORICS), WITS (Workshop on Issues in Security). He was Chair of WITS’04 (Workshop on Issues in the Theory of Security) and Co-chair of ESORICS in 2004 and 2015, co-chair of Frontiers of Electronic Elections FEE 2005, Chair WOTE 2007 (Workshop On Trustworthy Elections). From 1999 to 2007 he was the Chair of the ESORICS Steering Committee. He founded and co-chaired the new workshop series Voting’16 and Voting’17 in association with Financial Crypto.
He is a Visiting Professor at the University of Surrey and the ENS Paris.