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Doubts over EVM security again as RTI reveals theft of 70 voting machines

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has repeatedly claimed that EVMs are unhackable and tamper-proof.

August 16, 2017 / 12:57 PM IST
Voting polling EVM election

Voting polling EVM election

Question marks have once again been raised over Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) after a Right to Information (RTI) response revealed 70 instances of voting machines being stolen in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh across multiple elections, according to The Economic Times.

The information provided under RTI states that during a training programme in Gujarat, a trainer handed over the EVMs to another person and went for lunch. “When he returned, the machine was found missing,” reads the RTI response. Investigations are still ongoing in the matter and lie detector tests have been conducted.

Activist Tehseen Poonawalla, who has made complaints in different states over EVM malfunctioning, said the RTI proves that EVMs have been regularly stolen – which means the source code can be gained through reverse engineering and results manipulated.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has repeatedly claimed that EVMs are unhackable and tamper-proof. The Commission says it follows strict protocols to protect EVMs which stipulates that stolen machines are censured and do not make it back into the system.

Earlier this year, the ruling Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi demonstrated in the Assembly how EVMs can allegedly be hacked. In response, the Election Commission conducted a hackathon in June. However, AAP was not among the two participating parties, who did not attempt to hack the machines but only watched a demonstration and declared they were satisfied with the security.
first published: Aug 16, 2017 12:57 pm

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