Archive for August, 2010
Every time there is some expose, there is an attempt to shoot the messengers. That a research paper prepared by Hari Prasad, Alex Halderman (Asst. Professor, University of Michigan) and Rop Gonggrijp (Dutch expert) et al. on on their EVM demonstration has been chosen for presentation at an international conference on computer security to be held in Chicago is significant. Read the Hindustan Times report here.
Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS) is the one of the world’s most highly rated computer security conferences. Being selected for presentation at this conference is in itself regarded as evidence that the paper has solid research value. Not just that. The paper on Indian EVMs had received the highest score in its rankings thus making it the best paper to be submitted from this year’s submissions. Check it out yourself at the following link.
Does anyone need more to establish that the tamperability demonstration by these technical experts was a [...]
Peeved by the EVM researchers’ research findings that “India’s EVMs are vulnerable to fraud”, Election Commission hit back at the critics with the vengeance unknown to the scientific community around the world. Arrest of Hari Prasad Technical Coordinator of VeTA on charges of theft, house trespass or house breaking etc. under sections 380, 454 and 457 smacks of intolerance and vendetta.
Public Relations exercise
By its vicious actions, the Election Commission of India has earned notoriety worldwide. We are getting messages of solidarity from the scientific community worldwide for this witch-hunt. Why is then the ECI feigning ignorance and innocence in the matter? Flustered by the public outcry, the ECI is indulging in a public relations and damage control exercise to save itself from further embarrassment.
Proof of ECI’s role
What makes the role of the ECI in pressing charges against Hari Prasad is the sweeping nature of allegations in the complaint by the District Collector/ District Election [...]
For most of you concerned about the plight of Hari Prasad, let me give you the good news. He is doing fine. On the legal front, the father-son duo of Ram Jethmalani and Mahesh Jethmalani, India’s ace criminal lawyers whom I met yesterday in Mumbai agreed to defend Hari Prasad in the case. Mahesh Jethmalani will appear in court on behalf of Hari Prasad. Both the lawyers were horrified that a technologist with good intentions of strengthening democracy was being harassed in this manner raising serious question marks about the motives. Watch out for one of the most fascinating battles for saving democracy from one of the country’s finest lawyers.
I made a day’s trip to Mumbai yesterday to have a ‘feel’ of the ground situation, to tie up the legal help and to explore other factors leading to the arrest. Some shocking facts have surfaced.
Hari Prasad: An “ECI” don!!
The kind of attention [...]
Today, at wee hours Maharashtra police landed up at the residence of Hari Prasad in Hyderabad, a technologist and Technical coordinator of VeTA to arrest him. The arrest was made on the flimsy charge of ‘theft of EVM’ used for vulnerability demonstration by Hari Prasad and a team of security researchers that included Alex Halderman, professor of computer science, University of Michigan and Rop Gonggrijp, a security researcher from Netherlands along with a team of their colleagues.
Earlier, police came to Hyderabad in the first week of August and recorded a statement on the EVM they had used for exposing the vulnerability of EVMs. They summoned him to Mumbai for further questioning. Hari Prasad could not go as he was busy with his professional work. Then, the sudden arrest happened this morning.
Over the past one year, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has been lying blatantly and willfully to ensure continued use of EVMs at all [...]
Did you know before that India’s electoral democracy is hostage to three idiots? Lest you think that I am being irreverent to the three election commissioners holding constitutional office, let me inform right away that the three people that I am referring to are junior programmers in the EVM manufacturing companies who have written the EVM software or source code that drive all the functions of the EVMs.
This revelation was made by none other than Prof. P.V. Indiresan, chairman of the expert committee of the Election Commission of India at the Electronic Voting Technology (EVT) workshop in Washington, DC yesterday. He told a stunned audience comprising some of the best voting system security experts and computer scientists that the Election Commission of India believes that these junior programmers are honest and trustworthy as they have been told so by the EVM manufacturers namely, the BEL and ECIL. The Election Commission is told that each [...]
Parties determined to frustrate the ECI and force-exit EVMs
In the Telangana by-polls held last week, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) fielded over 64 candidates in many assembly constituencies forcing the Election Commission of India (ECI) to use paper ballots in 5 of the 12 constituencies that went to polls. TRS had openly declared that it feared manipulation of EVMs by the ruling Congress party to show that the verdict of the people was against the formation of a separate state of Telangana.
In the end, the results proved to be a total sweep for the TRS; in all the 12 constituencies (of which TRS contested 11 and BJP 1). In its thumping success , the TRS sees a vindication of its stand against the EVMs. But for its active stance against the EVMs, the TRS leaders believe they could have been cheated.
Use of paper ballots in Telangana by-polls had instilled a great degree of [...]