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3rd International Conference on e-Democracy

6. August 2009 – 08:36 by CTI

The 3rd International Conference on e-Democracy is taking place in Athens, Greece, on 23-25 September 2009.

This year’s conference, under the title “Next Generation Society: Technological and Legal issues”, will explore the following questions: Is our society ready to adopt the technological advances in ubiquitous networking, next generation Internet, and pervasive computing? To what extent will it manage to evolve promptly and efficiently to a Next Generation Society, adopting the forthcoming ICT challenges? In this respect, several topics will be addressed, covering both technological and legal-sociological aspects.

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Open Source Software and Public Trust in eVoting

14. April 2009 – 09:53 by CTI

Democratic societies of today face the challenge of upgrading public dialogue and reinforcing citizens’ participation in decision making, thus passing from an e-government to an e-governance model. eVoting is an important aspect of this effort, while at the same time is one of the most controversial issues at a technological, political and social level. A basic precondition for the maturity and acceptance of eVoting systems is the establishment of trust for their users. Read the rest of this entry »

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WebSci’09: Society On-Line

24. February 2009 – 11:28 by CTI

Web science is emerging as a standalone, interdisciplinary field encompassing all different aspects related to the web, both social and technical.

Web Science Conference 2009 (, is the 1st international conference on Web Science and is dedicated to the presentation of research into society on the Web.

WebSci’09 will be held on March 18-20, 2009, in Athens, Greece.

During the WWW Forum, which is the opening event of the conference, Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the Web and top agenda setter will discuss with the public and famous scientists and politicians the following themes:

  • Web Science and Research
  • Web Technology and Practice
  • Web for Society

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eVoting: acceptance and challenges

5. September 2008 – 15:42 by CTI

eVoting lies in the heart of eParticipation initiatives as it is related to the citizen’s most fundamental right, the right to vote.

Although significant eVoting initiatives have taken place in several countries (e.g. national elections in Estonia, Switzerland, etc.), eVoting is far from being fully accepted. It is still a highly controversial issue in the minds of politicians and citizens, raising a lot of critique, while several incidents of misconduct (e.g. in USA or in UK) further harm citizens’ trust and increase wariness.

On the other hand, other critical eGovernment applications (such as tax payment applications or financial transactions) seem to be well established and accepted by the public, despite the fact that they also involve sensitive personal data and that they are supported by similar underlying technologies.

Further research on this diverse degree of acceptance of the two electronic services could provide valuable insight on the factors that affect eVoting acceptance and could reveal new approaches towards successful initiatives. This research would be multidisciplinary, involving areas of technology, political sciences, sociology, psychology, etc. Some thoughts are presented here as a starting point for further discussion.

eGovernment applications cover everyday needs of citizens, returning immediate and tangible benefits (time saving, ease of use). As a result, citizens are highly motivated to use them, even putting aside their potential reluctance. On the other hand, in the case of eVoting, the benefits are mostly for the government (cost saving) or the society in general (increased participation), thus only indirectly affecting the citizen.

What is more, eGovernment applications are longer established, more mature, and people are more familiar with them.

Cautiousness against voting (and hence eVoting) procedures is further increased when considering their global impact, affecting the society as a whole and not only individuals.

Another influential factor is that voting procedures occur less frequently and attract huge attention (by people, politicians, media). Cases of misconduct are also highly publicized. On the contrary, eGovernment transactions occur on a daily basis and are smaller-scale by nature.

After all, maybe in the minds of citizens, their vote is more critical and sensitive than financial data.

Bearing these considerations in mind, some approaches towards increasing eVoting acceptance could involve:

  • Wide promotion and dissemination of the proven technological excellence of a system as well as the organizational procedure foreseen, in order to convince the public for the sound operation and running of the whole voting procedure.
  • Emphasis on specific aspects of an e-service that seem to affect the users’ trust, for example clear presentation of privacy protection policy or possibility of direct contact with person responsible.
  • Awareness raising, with a two-fold aim:
  • Familiarization with the concepts of participation in common matters.
  • Familiarization with existing tools and technologies but also existing risks and ways of protection. A first step could involve familiarization with the plethora of eVoting or e-participation tools that are available online.

To conclude, one of the major challenges of successful eVoting initiatives, apart from working on technological solutions to meet voting requirements, is to increase public trust and acceptance. To this end, a gradual and multi-faceted approach should be followed.

by Anastasia Panagiotaki, eGov Sector, Computer Technology Institute

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Research Academic Computer Technology Institute (CTI)

23. April 2008 – 15:37 by CTI

The Research Academic Computer Technology Institute (CTI) is a non-profit National Research Organisation under the supervision of the Hellenic Ministry of Education. The Institute’s goals are:

- to conduct basic and applied research concerning hardware and software technology, networks and the socio-economic impact of Information Society,

- to design and develop products and services, to support all forms of ICT, education and training in relation to the Information Society, – to provide consulting, management and technical support services, – to promote innovation and transfer of know-how.

CTI executes 25 projects annually on average, financed by the EU and national actions. CTI has also worked as a technical consultant for numerous Ministries for information and telecommunication technologies, in the Greek Public Sector, having therefore significant expertise in the use of ICTs in decision-making processes.

CTI has a modern technical infrastructure, a complete organisational set-up and a remarkable scientific staff of 210 people: experienced researchers, faculty members, computer engineers and technicians, other domain experts, postgraduate students and administrative staff.

CTI’s e-Government Sector ( is active in a wide range of areas concerning electronic governance:

- Electronic Democracy and security/trust methodologies with emphasis on electronic voting systems.

- Digitization, documentation, management and promotion of content.

- Language processing infrastructures and tools for effective information management

- Enterprise resource management systems, back-office reorganization and web services

Recently, eGov Sector has designed and developed an internet e-voting system, within a national research project.

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