Scytl

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Scytl
Private
IndustryElectronic voting, Information Technology
Founded2001; 18 years ago (2001)
Headquarters,
Websitescytl.com

Scytl Secure Electronic Voting, S.A is a Spanish provider of electronic voting systems and election technology. Founded in 2001 in Barcelona, its products and services are used in elections and referenda across the world.

History[edit]

Scytl was founded in 2001,[1] and grew out of a cryptography research project[2] at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. The name is a reference to the scytale, an ancient cryptographic tool.[3]

It became profitable in 2006, and in 2014, it reported 70% annual revenue growth.[4] It bought SOE Software in 2012.[1] It intended to go public in 2016, but delayed the IPO because of poor performance in developing markets and decided to focus on developed country markets as well as on election solutions for non-government customers.[5]

In 2017, Scytl reported having 600 employees, of which a third were in Barcelona. In 2016, it divided itself into three companies:[6]

  • the original Scytl Secure Electronic Voting, which develops voting software,
  • Scytl Voting Hardware SL, which develops voting hardware, owned by Scytl and an anonymous Dubai-based investor, and
  • Civiti (formerly OpenSeneca), which focuses on civic participation services.

Scytl is funded by venture capital. It raised $9 million in 2006 from investors including Balderton Capital and Nauta Capital, and $104 million in 2014 in multiple funding rounds from investors including Vulcan Capital, Sapphire Ventures, Vy Capital, Adams Street Partners and Industry Ventures.[4]

The company's systems have been implemented in numerous countries,[7][8] but problems have cropped up over the years in some of its solutions and voting systems, including those used in Australia, Ecuador, Norway and Switzerland.[9]

Products[edit]

Scytl's products cover the entire election process, including election planning, online voter registration, poll worker management, electronic ballot delivery, online voting, results consolidation and election night reporting.[1][4]

Customers[edit]

In 2014, Scytl reported having customers in more than 35 countries.[4] Their products have been used in the following jurisdictions, among others:

Australia[edit]

In 2018, the authorities of New South Wales selected Scytl to provide the software for the state's "iVote" online voting system until 2022 for $1.9 million.[10] The iVote system is an internet and telephone voting solution that allows persons with disabilities and voters with accessibility problems to vote remotely.[11] During the 2015 election, researchers uncovered vulnerabilities in the iVote system which could be used to manipulate votes, violate ballot privacy and subvert the verification mechanism.[12] However, in a public statement, the NSW Electoral Commission clarified that the vulnerability was not related to the online voting system but to the publicly accessible SSL certificate on the Piwik website, the web analytics tool used by the Commission.[13][14]

Ecuador[edit]

Scytl ran voting machines in several parts of Ecuador in 2014. They were supposed to produce results within 72 hours, but ran into a variety of problems and took over a month.[15][9]

European Union[edit]

In 2014, a consortium created by Scytl and TNS opinion provided real-time electoral projections and results consolidation and dissemination across the 28 EU Member States for the European Parliament Elections held on May 22-25, 2014. The consortium collected and processed election results from all Member States providing a multi-lingual website in 24 official languages for the publication and dissemination of the European parliament election results.[16]

Malta[edit]

Scytl and idox provide the Maltese "eCount" electronic vote counting system that is to be used beginning in 2019.[17]

Norway[edit]

Scytl deployed electronic voting in Norway in 2011 in partnership with the government. A flaw in their cryptography was discovered in 2013, and 0.75% of all voters managed to vote twice in 2013, once online and once in a polling station.[18]

In 2014 Norway abandoned Scytl's Internet Voting project, due to security failures, lack of increase in turnout, and high costs.[19][20]

Spain[edit]

Scytl partnered with Tecnocom to provide results consolidation and publication technology in the 2015 Spanish General elections.[21] In May 2019, Scytl will partner with Vector ITC to consolidate and publish the preliminary results of the municipal and European elections in Spain.[22][23]

Switzerland[edit]

In a joint venture with Swiss Post, Scytl provides its sVote e-voting system to several cantons that allow Swiss citizens who live abroad to take part in cantonal and federal elections and referenda electronically.[24] After the Canton of Geneva decided in 2018 to abandon the continued development of its own e-voting system, Swiss Post and Scytl remain the only e-voting providers certified to provide e-voting services in Switzerland by the Swiss Federal Chancellery.[25]

Scytl says its sVote system used in Switzerland is "universally verifiable", but its system has been criticized as overly complex, difficult to audit and not sufficiently transparent.[9] After Swiss authorities launched a public code review, a group of researchers of the University of Melbourne, Université catholique de Louvain, and the Open Privacy Research Society reported in March 2019 that they discovered a deficiency in the code that would allow the system's operator to alter votes undetected.[26][27] Because of the deficiencies, Swiss authorities disallowed the use of Scytl's e-voting system in the Swiss referenda of 19 May 2019.[28]

United States[edit]

In the 2016 United States elections, Scytl's technologies were used statewide in 12 U.S. states, and in another 980 local jurisdictions in 28 states.[1]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Heilweil, Rebecca (2 December 2017). "Nine Companies That Want To Revolutionize Voting Technology". Forbes. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  2. ^ "Russia fears have election vendors feeling the heat". POLITICO. 24 February 2018. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  3. ^ "Company Overview". Scytl. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d Lomas, Natasha (5 August 2014). "Scytl Closes $104M To Step Up Growth Of Its Electronic Voting Platform". TechCrunch. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  5. ^ "Scytl remodela su cúpula: Pere Vallés asciende a presidente y nombra a un nuevo consejero delegado". kippel01 (in Spanish). 5 March 2018. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  6. ^ Galtés, Marc (20 June 2017). "Scytl se divide en tres". La Vanguardia. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  7. ^ "El Gobierno rechaza el recurso de Indra y adjudica las elecciones del 20D a Scytl". El Confidencial (in Spanish). 2016-05-13. Retrieved 2019-04-04.
  8. ^ "Indians Vote Via Web with Scytl Technology | Asia-Pacific Business and Technology Report". www.biztechreport.com. Retrieved 2019-04-04.
  9. ^ a b c Republik. "The Tricky Business of Democracy". www.republik.ch (in German). Retrieved 2019-02-22.
  10. ^ Hendry, Justin (30 April 2018). "NSW Electoral Commission picks Scytl to upgrade iVote". iTnews. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  11. ^ Dennis, Alex (2019-03-04). "NSW Voters can now apply for iVote ahead of the 2019 State Election". Ausdroid. Retrieved 2019-03-20.
  12. ^ Halderman, J. Alex; Teague, Vanessa (2015). Haenni, Rolf; Koenig, Reto E.; Wikström, Douglas (eds.). "The New South Wales iVote System: Security Failures and Verification Flaws in a Live Online Election". E-Voting and Identity. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer International Publishing: 35–53. arXiv:1504.05646. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-22270-7_3. ISBN 9783319222707.
  13. ^ www.elections.nsw.gov.au https://www.elections.nsw.gov.au/About-us/Public-interest-information/iVote-reports/Response-from-the-NSW-Electoral-Commission-to-iVot. Retrieved 2019-03-20. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ "NSW iVote IT chief plays down FREAK risk". iTnews. Retrieved 2019-03-20.
  15. ^ dijo, Alfons Gonzalez (2014-04-24). "¿Por qué falló la automatización de Scytl en Ecuador?". Voto digital (in Spanish). Retrieved 2019-02-22.
  16. ^ "Results of the 2014 European elections - Results by country - Luxembourg - European Parliament". Results of the 2014 European elections - Results by country - Luxembourg - European Parliament. Retrieved 2019-03-20.
  17. ^ Galea, Albert. "Waiting time for election results to be drastically reduced with new electronic vote counting system - The Malta Independent". Independent. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  18. ^ "E-voting experiments end in Norway". 2014-06-27. Retrieved 2019-02-22.
  19. ^ "Norway axes online voting experiment over security threats". VentureBeat. 2014-06-27. Retrieved 2019-02-22.
  20. ^ "E-voting experiments end in Norway". 2014-06-27. Retrieved 2019-02-22.
  21. ^ "El Gobierno rechaza el recurso de Indra y adjudica las elecciones del 20D a Scytl". El Confidencial (in Spanish). 2016-05-13. Retrieved 2019-03-20.
  22. ^ "Scytl y Vector realizarán el escrutinio de las elecciones locales y al Parlamento Europeo del 26 de mayo". La Vanguardia. 2019-01-28. Retrieved 2019-03-20.
  23. ^ Villar, Ernesto (2019-02-21). "Así se evitarán ataques informáticos en las elecciones del 26-M". www.larazon.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 2019-03-20.
  24. ^ "Swiss Post, Scytl to develop e-voting system". swissinfo. 23 August 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  25. ^ Wälti, Simon. "Bern muss auf private Firma bauen". Der Bund. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  26. ^ Zetter, Kim; Maiberg, Emanuel (12 March 2019). "Researchers Find Critical Backdoor in Swiss Online Voting System". Motherboard. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  27. ^ Lewis, Sarah Jamie; Pereira, Olivier; Teague, Vanessa. "Trapdoor commitments in the SwissPost e-voting shuffle proof". University of Melbourne. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  28. ^ "Swiss Post's e-voting system pulled for May votes". Swissinfo. 29 March 2019. Retrieved 5 April 2019.