- The support meetings in Iowa recently were highly reported on throughout both the crypto world and mainstream media.
- The caucuses were thrown into chaos with news coming out that an opaque app was used to collect the results and send it back to the Democratic party.
The support meetings in Iowa recently were highly reported on throughout both the crypto world and mainstream media. The caucuses were thrown into chaos with news coming out that an opaque app was used to collect the results and send it back to the Democratic party. The app was only reporting half a story for the data required in question.
Such an application had been developed in order to improve efficiency in communicating the final tally for the caucus rally. However, it ended up causing more damage than good. According to many security experts, the incident served as a way to highlight the risks of relying on digital systems and the lack of transparency in them. Would blockchain be the answer to this?
Earlier this week on Tuesday, the Democratic party chair of Iowa, Troy Price, released a statement in defending the chaos that happened at the meeting. Price said that the underlying data recorded was accurate and that due to paper records, party officials were able to look at the data and doublecheck on it.
Some of the issues reported were, “due to a coding issue in the reporting system. This issue was identified and fixed. The application’s reporting issue did not impact the ability of precinct chairs to report data accurately.”
Going off the report published by Veramatrix in 2019, it was considered acceptable for there to be up to 50 errors for every 1,000 lines of code. When you take into consideration that the average application comprises of 50,000 lines of code, this would result in around 2,500 mistakes. The chief operating officer (COO) of Veramatrix, Asaf Ashkenazi went on to add:
“The error rate or bug density varies between apps. It depends on the security education the app developers have, the quality of code testing and reviews. For example, in the Iowa Democratic Party case, based on reports, it seems the testing process was not adequate.”
There is a big debate in this. I don’t mean literally in the politics side of it either. There is a massive level for risk in errors such as this such as these and if there is a massive level of risk to happen in applications. And when it comes to something as important as democracy and politics, these things can’t just go disregarded. Novelty games that your children play are able to get away with it but when it comes to handling election data, you aren’t going to get away so easily. The Democratic Party of Iowa has refused to reveal the name of the application though. What we do know is that the app was developed by a democratic technology firm, Shadow. Speaking in a statement the company has said: “the underlying data and collection process via Shadow’s mobile caucus app was sound and accurate, but our process to transmit that caucus results data generated via the app to the IDP was not.”
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