A thorough research into the technicalities of Electronic voting machine systems in India, it has been discovered that false information has been conveyed from the Election Commission of India to the Indian public and even to the Supreme Court.

Details of possible EVM hacking take its roots from the information from the microchip manufacturer of Indian EVMs. According to the microchip maker, Microchip Inc., their items are prone to hacking. According to the developer’s statement in the US Court of Law, sharing of machine code is must which is similar to sharing source code of a PC program. Hence, EC’s claims that the source code is encrypted is a false claim.

To further elaborate details on possible EVM hacking, let us tell you some details to the security features claimed by Election Commission of India. In its official document, EC claims:

  1. EVM used by the Commission is a stand-alone non-networked, one time programmable (OTP) machine, which is neither computer controlled, nor connected to the internet or any network; and hence, cannot be ‘Hacked’.
  2. The machine is electronically protected to prevent any tampering/manipulation. The programme (software) used in these machines is burnt into a One Time Programmable (OTP)/Masked chip so that it cannot be altered or tampered with.
  3. After successful completion of such evaluation, machine code is given to the micro controller manufacturer for writing in the micro controllers. From this machine code, the source code cannot be read. Source code is never handed over to anyone outside the software group of PSUs.
  4. The source code for the EVM is stored under controlled conditions at all times. Checks and balances are in place to ensure that it is accessible to authorized personnel only.

In contrast, let us also show you the official report by the microchip manufacturer:

Microchip products meet the specification contained in their particular Microchip Data Sheet. Microchip believes that its family of products is one of the most secure families of its kind on the market today, when used in the intended manner, to the stated specifications and under normal conditions. There are dishonest and possibly illegal methods used to breach the code protection feature. All of these methods, to our knowledge, require using the Microchip products in a manner outside the operating specifications contained in Microchip’s Data Sheets. Most likely, the person doing so may be engaged in theft of intellectual property. Microchip is willing to work with the customer who is concerned about the integrity of their code. Neither Microchip nor any other semiconductor manufacturer can guarantee the security of their code. Code protection does not mean that we are guaranteeing the product as “unbreakable.”

Now as we contrast these two statements, it can clearly be noted that all the claims made by election commission, specifically the first statement is out rightly false. EC’s claims of EVM being a “stand-alone” system clearly shows the amount of falsification in claims regarding EVM hacking made by Election Commission.

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