Denial of service attack mars Canadian party balloting

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An online election of new New Democratic Party leadership in Canada on March 24 was slowed by a denial of service attack, according to various media reports.

NDP President Rebecca Blaikie said three Internet protocol addresses have been identified as involved in the attack, according to the Vancouver Sun. Canadian television network CTV says servers used to record votes were unaffected. Nonetheless, reports the Sun, some are questioning the integrity of the final ballot, which propelled Thomas Mulcair to victory.

A spokesman for Elections Canada, the governmental agency that conducts federal elections, says his organization will not investigate the matter, since their mandate doesn't address party leadership contests except with respect to financial transparency.

Elections Canada has stated it wants to undertake an Internet voting pilot, but it has yet to approach parliament with a proposal, said spokesman John Enright.

"We're on the record saying we are looking at options with respect to iVoting. It's very much long term, it's not a short term initiative for us," Enright added.

However, the NDP balloting disruption has caused the Halifax Regional Municipality to review a decision to award a contract for October elections to Spanish company Scytl, the firm responsible for the NDP internet balloting, reports the Metro Halifax.

Opposition against Internet voting is a rare point of agreement by most cybersecurity experts, who contend that it is too vulnerable to attack and manipulation to guarantee accuracy and privacy.

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