Norway Scraps Plans for Internet Voting

Some say voting via the internet is the future of democracy. But Norwegians' fears relating to security and anonymity have caused the government to end its e-voting experiment.

What's the Latest?

Fears surrounding security and anonymity, coupled with poor turnout among young voters, caused the Norwegian government last week to scrap development of an internet voting system. According to a BBC report, the Scandinavian nation has long wanted to modernize the way votes are cast. But after poor results from two e-voting experiments, the government has decided the project is no longer worth the money spent on it. One major reason: the effort was expected to boost voter turnout, especially among the young. That those results weren't produced contributed to the decision.

What's the Big Idea?

For free and open elections to work, voters need to have a guarantee that their anonymity won't be compromised. Such a guarantee came into question when software experts expressed doubts about the Norwegian system's encryption scheme. Hacking has always been a concern when it comes to e-voting -- whether via electronic voting devices located at polling places or via internet-based platforms. The possibility of fraud inevitably enters the equation.

As the BBC report notes, part of the appeal of a designated polling place is that it exists as a controlled environment where voters are safe to vote without the pressures of outside influence or coercion. This is a theoretical democratic bedrock that current proposed forms of internet voting can't guarantee. Until they do, it's difficult to foresee the advancement of a web-based democracy.

Read more at The BBC

Photo credit: Adstock / Shutterstock

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

The dos and don’ts of helping a drug-addicted person recover

How you talk to people with drug addiction might save their life.

  • Addiction is a learning disorder; it's not a sign that someone is a bad person.
  • Tough love doesn't help drug-addicted people. Research shows that the best way to get people help is through compassion, empathy and support. Approach them as an equal human being deserving of respect.
  • As a first step to recovery, Maia Szalavitz recommends the family or friends of people with addiction get them a complete psychiatric evaluation by somebody who is not affiliated with any treatment organization. Unfortunately, warns Szalavitz, some people will try to make a profit off of an addicted person without informing them of their full options.
Keep reading Show less

4 anti-scientific beliefs and their damaging consequences

The rise of anti-scientific thinking and conspiracy is a concerning trend.

Moon Landing Apollo
  • Fifty years later after one of the greatest achievements of mankind, there's a growing number of moon landing deniers. They are part of a larger trend of anti-scientific thinking.
  • Climate change, anti-vaccination and other assorted conspiratorial mindsets are a detriment and show a tangible impediment to fostering real progress or societal change.
  • All of these separate anti-scientific beliefs share a troubling root of intellectual dishonesty and ignorance.
Keep reading Show less

In a first for humankind, China successfully sprouts a seed on the Moon

China's Chang'e 4 biosphere experiment marks a first for humankind.

Image source: CNSA
Surprising Science
  • China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander touched down on the far side of the moon on January 3.
  • In addition to a lunar rover, the lander carried a biosphere experiment that contains five sets of plants and some insects.
  • The experiment is designed to test how astronauts might someday grow plants in space to sustain long-term settlements.
Keep reading Show less