Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Pioneer > Online Edition : >> There’s a Trojan in the EVM!

  • tags: no_tag

    • A Surya Prakash
    • Among these experts was Mr Rop Gonggrijp, a computer hacker from the Netherlands who hacked a machine on a live television show and became instrumental in the banning of EVMs in his country; Mr Alex Halderman, professor of computer science at the University of Michigan and an authority on electronic voting security; and, Mr Till Jaeger, the attorney who argued against the use of EVMs before the German Federal Constitutional Court leading to the order banning of these machines in Germany. The Indian viewpoint on the vulnerability of EVMs was offered by Mr Hari Prasad, a noted ‘hactivist’ from Hyderabad, who first raised the red flag about the integrity of the EVM-based election process.
    • According to Mr Gonggrijp and Mr Halderman, EVMs can be tampered with either at the manufacturing stage or when they are stored in State capitals for deployment in elections or at the polling booths. They are convinced that Indian EVMs are no different from those that were deployed in the Netherlands, Germany or Ireland, before they were discarded in those countries. One of the ways to rig an election is to introduce a Trojan in the display section of the control unit. This chip would give ‘fixed’ results on the EVM screen. In other words, whatever the voters’ preference, the control unit would display numbers as per the hacker’s plan.
    • The lack of transparency appears to be the Achilles heel of electronic voting. Nobody knows what goes on inside these machines. This is the point on which the German Constitutional Court has held the deployment of EVMs as un-constitutional. It says the Constitution emphasises the public nature of elections and requires all essential steps to be open to public scrutiny.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.