Hacking the papal election

I have to admit to being fascinated with the Vatican, and the ancient, elaborate traditions and rules that surround the papacy.

Bruce Schneier, in his (excellent) monthly newsletter had a really interesting discussion about the rules and procedures that have been set down (and fairly recently updated) for the papal election:

"As the College of Cardinals prepares to elect a new pope, people like me wonder about the election process. How does it work, and just how hard is it to hack the vote?" (from Crypto-Gram)

Did you realize that the Vatican publishes the complete election rules online? It is quite interesting, if nothing else, to see how detailed they are, and that they are in (the Pope's) first person:

"After careful reflection I have therefore decided that the only form by which the electors can manifest their vote in the election of the Roman Pontiff is by secret ballot, in accordance with the rules set forth below. This form offers the greatest guarantee of clarity, straightforwardness, simplicity, openness and, above all, an effective and fruitful participation on the part of the Cardinals who, individually and as a group, are called to make up the assembly which elects the Successor of Peter." (from UNIVERSI DOMINICI GREGIS)
Posted on April 20, 2005 and filed under Life, Technology.