France E-voting blunder as portal requires out-of-date Java Mozilla Firefox plugin
Voting fail from the French government as they use insecure Java plugin for e-voting portal
We’re all for bringing voting to the 21st century – as long as
it is done right and retains the sanctity of the voting box.
It’s a swing and a miss for France, as it updates its voting
system, with the
introduction of an online voting portal for overseas citizens
in the upcoming legislative elections. The UK is comparatively
neanderthal in its approach towards new voting methods to encourage
a high turnout, but perhaps the trepidation has a reason behind
Benoit Jacob recently pointed out in a blogpost, the team at
the French government haven’t exactly done the best job, as it
doesn’t support Java 1.7, with the portal requiring an out-of-date
Java plugin. This has been blocked by Firefox for security reasons,
potentially putting voters at risk when at the voting
Rather than fix the problem, the French government have instead
brushed the entire thing under the carpet, encouraging voters to
use another browser to avoid using the old Java plugin. Rather
than recommending users to download the latest Firefox supported
version of Java 1.6.32, keeping the insecure option of Java 1.6.30
and below is apparently the best choice.
Jacob adds that:
It seems that Firefox doesn’t
block the newest revisions of Java 1.6 (only 1.6.30
and below are blocked). Assuming that’s correct, the French
government’s message asking users to switch to a different browser
Nothing like voter choice is there? To add further insult to
injury, Jacob says that Oracle’s Java is supported, yet OpenJDK
isn’t. So, to vote in the French leglislative elections, you need
to expose yourself to older unsupported Java plugins.
Well, at least it’s a start towards modern voting, but this
should have been done so much better.