Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Google Will Reveal All Advertisers; EVMs Hacked In London?

A US-based hacker claimed that EVMs used in India are not tamper-proof.

Lok Sabha Elections 2019 Updates
Lok Sabha Elections 2019 Updates

With elections around the corner, a new controversy has appeared which challenges the ethics and morals of the election process. A self-proclaimed cyber expert Syed Shuja declared that EVMs (Electronic Voting Machine) used for elections in India can be hacked.  

At a London press conference, Shuja claimed that the EVMs are not tamper-proof and that the poll results of the Lok Sabha elections from 2014 were a result of cleverly hacked EVMs. He added that he was a part of the team that designed EVMs and that he is able to hack the machines.

Syed Shuja, Hacker or Rumourmonger?

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has requested the Delhi police to lodge an FIR against the ‘cyber expert’, Syed Shuja, who is based out of US. The Commission has also asked the police to investigate the statement made by Shuja.

The poll body has asked the police to charge Shuja under section Section 505(1)(b) of the IPC and other relevant provisions of the law for engaging in public mischief by spreading rumors.

On the other hand, BJP refuted all the allegations and accused Congress of building this conspiracy to tarnish the reputation of Indian democracy and the Election Commission of India too.

Google Will Verify The Identity of Political Advertisers

Google, probably taking precautions against any legal mishaps, has announced that it will verify the identity of the advertisers before allowing their ads to run on its platform.

“In addition to the Transparency Report and Ads Library, election ads on Google platforms will also disclose who has paid for the ad. Advertisers can refer to the India election ads policy for more details,” said Chetan Krishnaswamy, Director-Public Policy, Google India.  

Verification Steps By Google

To feature an ad on Google, a political ad campaigner will require a pre-certificate issued by the Election Commission of India or anyone who is authorized by the Commission. One certificate is necessary for each ad is featured.

This verification process will start on Feb 14, 2019. In addition to this, Google has also announced that it would now be easier for users to see how much money is spent on political advertisements in India. This will be done with the help of India-specific Political Advertising Transparency Report and searchable Political Ads Library.

Google is clearly following Facebook’s footsteps – Facebook recently declared that whoever wants to run an advertisement in India will first have to disclose their name and location and provide details about who placed the ad.

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