To counter EC, AAP now plans own hackathon

The Aam Aadmi Party has called the Election Commission's EVM challenge as a "farce".

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:June 4, 2017 3:34 am
Saurabh Bhardwaj, AAP, EVM Challenge, EC. Indian Express News Saurabh Bhardwaj at a press conference called by the AAP on Saturday. Express Photo by Amit Mehra

The Election Commission’s EVM challenge is a “farce”, the AAP said on Saturday, while opening the registration for a parallel challenge, inviting people to hack a “voting machine” as per the poll panel’s guidelines.

AAP MLA and Delhi spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj said that participants can register at a link on the AAP website, and added that following a week-long registration period, the hackathon will be organised. “We are launching our EVM challenge today and people can register themselves through a link on our website. Any hacker can participate in this challenge and hack our machine under the conditions set by the EC. Each participant will be given a four-hour slot to tamper with our machine,” Bhardwaj said.

The AAP also invited the poll panel and Bharat Electronics Limited — the company that makes EVMs — to take part in the challenge along with their technical expert teams. The point of the AAP hackathon, Bhardwaj explained, was to prove that the challenge by the EC was pointless. The party had decided not to take part in the EC’s challenge after its request for a change in the terms and conditions was shot down. On the party website, AAP called the EC challenge a “pure eyewash which will achieve nothing”.

The AAP’s hackathon will be held on an EVM prototype, under the same conditions as EC has proposed. “Only visual inspection and press of keys will be allowed. No other hardware or software experiments will be allowed,” the party said. A senior leader said, “It is simply not possible for a hacking like this to take place without providing access to the inner workings of the machine.What the EC is doing right now is claiming that they’re protected because their doors are locked, while ignoring the fact that their walls have been scaled and intruders are inside.”

“I have proven earlier the way in which an EVM machine can be hacked. I did this in the Delhi assembly. There are over a dozen methods to hack EVMs but one cannot hack an EVM under the EC’s guidelines. One has to be given access to the EVM to hack it. Why is the EC so afraid of giving us EVM access?” Bhardwaj said. He also wrote on Twitter, “Nobody participating in EVM challenge of ECI. This vindicates our stand that EVM challenge under current conditions was a farce, an eyewash. AAP has invited hackers to test the EVM — the same one used by Bhardwaj in the Delhi Assembly — to ‘prove’ his allegations of tampering.”

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  1. D
    Dr Vinod Kumar Morthati
    Jun 4, 2017 at 10:29 am
    Saurabh ji Atleast now accept that the EVMs were not hacked instead of asking for a parallel hacking session. Please note that earlier you understand the writing on the wall that YOU & AAP HAVE LOST THE MANDATE OF THE ELECTORATE RATHER THAN TRY AND DECISE FACE SAVING MEASURES TO PROVE TO YOURSELVES THAT YOU STILL ARE A FORCE TO RECKON WITH. Face the reality rather than live in fools paradise !!!
    1. J
      Jun 4, 2017 at 8:39 am
      Election commission is foo Indian voters.
      1. G
        Jun 4, 2017 at 8:28 am
        EC keep repeating that EVMs cannot be tampered as they are kept in tight security. EC is ru out the possibility of EVM tampering by influencing officials of BEL/ECIL or the chip manufacturer, even before EVMs are given to the field. EC is also ru out the possibility of EVM tampering by influencing EC officials. However what the EC fails to acknowledge is that the BEL/ECIL/EC officials are human beings, who cannot for long withstand the pressure from top officials or directly from the ru party. In BEL/ECIL or in EC itself, specific people may get appointed in specific posts to carry out activities as required for the ru party. People may also be bribed by promising huge amounts of money or be threatened with dire consequences including kil or wiping off family.
        1. G
          Jun 4, 2017 at 8:29 am
          Any human being however upright he is, would finally suc b to sustained pressure. However i won’t say that all EC or BEL/ECIL officials are corrupt. However few corrupt officials are more than enough to get secretive things done which can turn the results of an election upside down. For winning election parties don’t even hesistate to kill hundreds of people, or incite riots, or arouse communal passions, or make castes fight each other. They will do any thing possible and will take any risk to win elections. So it is obvious that even if slightest of chance is available, parties will not let go the opportunity to do EVM tampering. For winning elections, parties buy out the media and spends thousands of crores of rupees for propa a. It is foolish to think that they will not spend this amount to corrupt some EC people or EVM manufacturers technicians.
        2. P
          p M
          Jun 4, 2017 at 8:20 am
          AAP first, it should know that we hate parties , where is recal power to voters? We want adhaar based voter recal power to withdraw vote at any time if voter feels he is cheated. We voters never like these many representatives to gnaw public money. No transferency is felt in AAP promises and deeds. Better to resign and seek voter verdict . Do that immediately rather than blaming EVMs