Sen., Experts Say Blockchain App Voatz Needs More Auditing

Voatz, a blockchain-based mobile app for online voting, has given places like Utah County, Utah, more confidence that it can secure votes from overseas citizens in a timely and reasonable manner. Critical questions about the security of Voatz, however, have been raised by multiple experts since its first use in official U.S. elections during the 2018 West Virginia midterms.

A recent letter from Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., brings such concerns to a head. In the letter, which was released two days after a pair of Oregon counties utilized Voatz for Nov. 5 elections, Wyden asks the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and the National Security Agency (NSA) to conduct a cybersecurity audit of Voatz.

“While Voatz claims to have hired independent experts to audit the company, its servers and its app, it has yet to publish or release the results of those audits or any other cybersecurity assessments,” Wyden wrote in his letter. “In fact, Voatz won’t even identify its auditors. This level of secrecy hardly inspires confidence.”

Voatz responded to Wyden’s letter in a blog post, welcoming audits from DoD and NSA.

“We are confident that all additional audits will come to the same conclusions that the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office, the Denver Elections Division, the Utah County Elections Office and independent security organizations such as ShiftState Security have: that all our elections to date have been conducted safely and securely, with no reported issues with the accurate tabulation and recording of ballots, and that the overall system is very robust,” the blog read.

Voatz CEO Nimit Sawhney also recently told Government Technology

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