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Botswana Invites Hackers to Break Into India-made EVM: Reports

Aishwarya Kumar | News18.com

Updated: May 13, 2017, 8:02 PM IST
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Botswana Invites Hackers to Break Into India-made EVM: Reports
Image of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) with EVM (Image: PIB)

New Delhi: The raging debate in India over the possible tampering of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) has, it seems, spill over to the African continent.

The election commission in Botswana has reportedly invited experts to hack into India-made EVMs, which are being considered for use in the general elections in the country in 2019. The move comes in after opposition leaders in Botswana rejected the introduction of the machines, citing allegations of security breaches, especially after the recent controversy in India.

According to the journalist who broke the story in the African nation, the Botswana government is set to enter into an agreement with an Indian public sector company which manufactures EVMs.

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"The Indian company will demonstrate how secured the EVMs are. The session is to be held on May 18. The Botswana government has also invited hackers in the country," said Ismail Akwei, a journalist with africanews.com, adding that the opposition coalition has decided to boycott the demonstration process, citing allegations made in India and by some other researchers.

While News18 could not verify the authenticity of the account, but a Facebook page, said to be the official account of the Botswana government says, “The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) with a team of experts from Bharat Electronics Limited of India will conduct a demonstration session on how the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) with the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) works on the 18th May 2017 at 08:30hours at Fairground Holdings. The session will be attended by Political Parties representatives, Information Technology (IT) experts, Political Analysts and Academics with expertise on IT, Media and Civil Society. The demonstration session will offer an opportunity for those with the knowhow to disrupt, hack and compromise the secure performance of the machines to do so. All those with the technical capability to hack the EVM are invited to come forward and register with the Project Coordinating Unit.”

In India, only two Indian PSUs manufacture EVMs – Bharat Electronic Limited (BEL) and Electronics Corporation of Indian Limited (ECIL).

ALSO READ | Prototype EVM Used By AAP, Let Them Prove at Hackathon: EC Source

First Published: May 13, 2017, 7:54 PM IST
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