Switzerland: Superior Voting Security?

Switzerland has announced its upcoming national election results will be encrypted with an allegedly "unbreakable" code.

While such claims are always invitations to opposition, this method of encryption essentially self-destructs the key in the event of an attempted interception.


The Swiss may be attempting to avoid problems like those experienced here in the US. American voting machines have been scrutinized since the 2004 presidential elections when it was found that all of Diebold's machines used a 56-bit DES encryption key that was hacked 7 years prior to the election. That discovery raised many concerns over the security of the voting process.

Quantum encryption, as it is known, relies on photons traveling over a fiber optic connection between discrete points. The system differs from regular fiber optic connections because it observes specific traits at the quantum level. Attempts to hijack the "entangled photon-encrypted" transmission are impossible because any alteration that takes place to a single bit will affect all the others, and alert operators.

This will be one of the first public uses of quantum cryptography, and will take place in Geneva on October 21st. The transmission will travel 62 miles.

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