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Security Analysis of a Thirteenth-Century Venetian Election Protocol

is a comprehensive 5 paragraph article discussing the security analysis of a thirteenth-century Venetian election protocol. The protocol used for electing the Doge of Venice between 1268 and 1797 is examined, highlighting its useful properties that suggest its potential application to leader election protocols in computer science. The protocol offers opportunities to minorities while ensuring popular candidates are more likely to win and provides resistance against voter corruption. The article also explores the complexity of the protocol and proposes a simplified version with similar properties.

The conclusion of the article discusses the concept of “security theatre,” which refers to public actions that may not increase security but are designed to give the impression that security is being taken seriously. In the context of the Doge election, the complexity of the protocol served as a demonstration to the oligarchs of their responsibility to elect a suitable Doge and submit to their rule. It also had a positive effect on Venice’s reputation, reassuring customers and trading partners of the city’s stability and business-friendly environment. The article also mentions evidence of security theatre outside the election period, such as a lavish parade featuring the balotino, a key element of the election protocol.

The author appreciates that the paper discussing the Venetian election protocol has been accepted at a cybersecurity conference. Additionally, the author mentions having previously written about the positive aspects of security theatre.

The key points of the article are the analysis of the thirteenth-century Venetian election protocol, its useful properties applicable to computer science, the complexity of the protocol and its role in demonstrating responsibility and stability, the positive impact on Venice’s reputation, and the author’s appreciation for the paper’s acceptance at a cybersecurity conference.

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