Security Market Segment LS
Friday, 12 October 2007 10:38

Quantum tech secures Swiss election count

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Quantum encryption will be used to protect the security and integrity of the Swiss national election on October 21.

CypherNet Cerberis quantum encryption hardware developed by Melbourne, Australia based Senetas and Geneva, Switzerland based id Quantique.

Geneva State Chancellor Robert Hensler said the use of quantum encryption aims to alleviate the concerns raised since online voting began in the canton in 2001.

"We would like to provide optimal security conditions for the work of counting the ballots," said Hensler. "In this context, the value added by quantum cryptography concerns not so much protection from outside attempts to interfere as the ability to verify that the data have not been corrupted in transit between entry and storage."

When applied to fibre-optic networks, quantum encryption works at the level of individual photons, so any attempt to intercept the signal can be detected.

According to quantum cryptography pioneer Professor Nicholas Gisin, the project is the first stage of a more ambitious plan to build SwissQuantum, a pilot quantum communications network in Geneva.

"SwissQuantum will showcase Geneva and the Lake Geneva region as the unchallenged digital security capital of the world," said id Quantique CEO Grégoire Ribordy. The network should be ready for demonstration during ITU Telecom World 2009.

"On the eve of our Federal election and now that New South Wales has announced its intention to introduce electronic voting, we intend to actively pursue the business opportunity of securing Australia’s electoral process, alongside marketing efforts to ensure the integrity of information in transmission for government, banking, insurance and critical national infrastructure," said Senetas CEO John DuBois.


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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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