1. EC EVM challenge: CPI-M satisfied, NCP opts out; all you need to know in 10 points

EC EVM challenge: CPI-M satisfied, NCP opts out; all you need to know in 10 points

Back to back two detailed 'hackathons' that were organised today by the Election Commission of India for various political parties to prove allegations that the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) can be tampered ended up with no big revelations and also fell short of the hype.

By: | Published: June 3, 2017 6:46 PM
hackathons, EVM hackathon, hackathon by EC, Election Commission, Electronic Voting Machines, Nasim Zaidi, ECI EVMs, Aam Aadmi Party, AAP Only NCP and CPIM agreed to participate in the challenge out of the 7 national parties and 49 state parties invited initially. (Image: IE)

Back to back two detailed ‘hackathons’ that were organised today by the Election Commission of India for various political parties to prove allegations that the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) can be tampered ended up with no big revelations and also fell short of the hype. The hackathons began in the National Capital earlier today with a detailed demonstration of the security features of the voting machines. As per an Indian Express report, Only NCP and CPIM agreed to participate in the challenge out of the 7 national parties and 49 state parties invited initially. Here are the top 10 developments that has took place on the entire EVM hackathon initiatives so far:

Back to back two detailed sessions of ‘hackathons’ that were organised today by the Election Commission of India for various political parties to prove allegations that the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) can be tampered, ended up with no big revelations and also fell short of the hype. The hackathons began in the National Capital earlier today with a detailed demonstration of the security features of the voting machines. As per an Indian Express report, Only NCP and CPI-M agreed to participate in the challenge out of the 7 national parties and 49 state parties invited initially. Here are the top 10 developments so far:

1) Speaking to ANI, EC official Nasim Zaidi said, “CPM told they don’t want to participate in the challenge, but wish to understand the EVM process. A detailed demonstration was given to them.” CPM team expressed complete satisfaction and suggested that commission should hold such demonstration and awareness sessions proactively, informed EC.

2) EC also informed that the NCP team too don’t want to participate in any challenge, but were only interested in participating in an academic exercise. The party has mentioned that source of their doubts has been alleged problems with EVMs during municipal elections in Maharashtra.

3) The polling body clarified that the EVMs used by the state EC for urban body polls do not belong to the EC. NCP team expressed willingness to opt out requesting ECI should evolve the system which clearly distinguishes ECI EVMs from State EC EVMs.

4) Calling it to be a flop show, Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), appeared to revise its own programme. The party declared that what was widely reported as its ‘counter-hackathon’ today was only the launch.

5) AAP had announced its own parallel hackathon with prototype EVM machines, asserting that it wants to prove the machines can be gamed. The party has also invited other political counterparts, people and even Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi to take a shot.

6) For the hackathon challenge, the election body had brought in 14 random sealed EVMs from a dozen constituencies in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Uttarakhand.

7) Hackers were given four hours to try their hands by tampering the machines and try to prove that the EVMs used in the five states during elections were tampered before or on the day of voting. None of the parties took the challenge.

8) As per EC’s condition, the participant would be considered ‘failed’ if the EVM stopped functioning as a result of its inbuilt defence mechanism against tampering attempts.

9) However, the hackers can use a combination of keys on EVMs or over the air communication devices including mobile phones and Bluetooth to hack with the machine to change the results.

10) As per EC, the parties will have to alter the results in the control units used during the elections in exactly the same scenario where EVMs remain under technical and administrative surveillance of the EC.

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