Hackathon By Election Commission To Determine Whether Electronic Voting Machines Can Be Hacked Or Not
In the recently concluded state elections across 5 states in India, there was considerable debate on the security features of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), which were used for voting.
After landslide victory of BJP in a politically sensitive state like UP, opposition parties raised the issue of hacking the EVMs, and they simply refused to believe that BJP won such a massive majority.
In fact, ex-CM of UP, Akhilesh Yadav, recently said, “When petrol can be stolen with the help of a remote through a chip without having any internet connection than through EVMs too. Need to stop the wrong use of technology,”
Interestingly, Congress, which has been blaming faulty EVMs for BJP victory in UP and Delhi’s Municipal Corporation Elections, has been silent in Punjab, where they won.
Election Commission of India’s Hackathon For EVMs
Election Commission of India has been vehemently denying about any security issues or hacking in EVMs, all this while.
In order to prove such accusations wrong, Election Commission of India has announced a unique hackathon in the last week of May, wherein anyone can participate, and try to hack the EVMs.
It is an open challenge for anyone, who assumes that EVMs can be hacked.
Election Commission of India has welcomed ‘experts, scientists, technocrats, and representatives of political parties’ to hack EVMs, which, according to Election Commission officials, are tamper-proof.
Besides, an all-party meet will be conducted on May 12th, to hold meetings with all those political leaders, who think that EVMs can be hacked.
Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi said, “We will soon hold an all-party meeting in which they will be told how our EVMs are non-temperable and secured as per our administrative and technical safeguard system,”
History of EVMs and Hacking
In 1993, EVMs were first introduced in India, when at some polling stations in the by-election of North Paravur Assembly Constituency in Kerala, Election Commission introduced them for electronic voting.
During 1999 general elections (in some parts of India), EVMs were used across various states, in a phased manner, thereby making its first usage nationally.
Ever since then, the losing political side always blamed EVMs for their losses. Their accusations that EVMs can be hacked has been fought in Courts, numerous times.
In 2009, a similar hackathon was conducted by Election Commission of India, to prove that EVMs cannot be hacked. And it was true because no one was able to hack an EVM.
The same year, a former adviser to Election Commission of India K J Rao had famously said, “The EVMs cannot be tampered with…It is impossible (to tamper with EVM). EVMs cannot be tampered with unless it is opened,”
In 2010, a famous ‘International Conference on EVMs’ was held in Chennai, which was presided by Subramanian Swamy, President of the Janata Party and former Union Cabinet Minister for Law, Commerce and Justice.
Despite several analysts, hackers and activists trying to prove that EVMs can be hacked, nothing concrete or substantial has been proven till date.
We will keep you updated as we receive more information on this development.
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