Democratic process and electronic platforms: concerns of an engineer

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Digital technology and computer science are more and more widespread, and they are set to become a major player in the democratic process. Some valuable tools that allow for such decision process to happen already exist. However, several concerns typical of the engineering process remain apparently uncovered. For instance, in a classic software engineering process, one or more artifacts are produced in the analysis phase that represent a formal, possibly machine understandable, model of the domain. Looking at the most common e-democracy platforms, this step is seemingly missing, along with others that concur at building a solid engineering process. This talk arise questions (and provide no answers) about the current status of the e-democracy under a software engineering point of view: how can a democratic process get formally modeled? Is the democratic process shaping the tools we have, or viceversa? Is there a trade-off between transparency and security? And if so, how to determine which level of observability should the system allow?