We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

It's curtains for net voting

Mowlam says UK is not ready for online democracy

Mo Mowlam, minister for the Cabinet Office, which oversees much of the so-called e-government plans, yesterday condemned the idea that the UK should move to voting online.

In a debate examining online politics, hosted by the Guardian, Mowlam expressed her scepticism about whether the internet can be an effective conduit for the voice of the people.

"The internet takes out interaction [in person], and politics is about people," said Mowlam.

Andy Robson, web editor at democracy pressure group Charter 88, agreed the UK wasn't ready, but denied the internet was bad for democracy.

"Anything which potentially opens up the democratic process is a good thing," said Robson. "[But] we could not have online voting in the current climate," he added. "Not only are there massive security issues, [but] all users would have to own and run the necessary software. We are a long way off that."

Local authorities in London are developing an online voting system developed by software company Entranet. The system lets people vote using any connected device, from mobile phones and digital TVs to Sega Dreamcasts.

"Allowing citizens to cast their vote online makes the democratic process easier for them to access and more relevant to modern life," said Entranet's managing director Nick Spooner.

But Spooner admitted security was a major issue.

"There are problems with identifying individuals and worries over the security of home computers which have not been resolved," said Robson.

IDG UK Sites

Can flip phones make a comeback? LG announces Ice Cream Smart

IDG UK Sites

Race to claim thinnest smartphone is pointless: Let's focus on the important things

IDG UK Sites

Floating hard drive offers safe storage for daredevil filmmakers

IDG UK Sites

Apple Q1 2015 financial results: Analysts predict Apple's holiday quarter sales ahead of Tuesday's...