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BJP Leader Counters Elon Musk’s ‘Anything Can Be Hacked’ Claim With Defense Of India’s EVM Security

Elon Musk suggested that EVMs pose a hacking risk, prompting the BJP leader to argue that secure digital hardware is achievable.

Edited By : Swechchha | Updated: Jun 16, 2024 13:58 IST
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Elon Musk
Elon Musk

On Sunday, BJP leader and former Union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar firmly rejected the tech mogul’s proposal to eliminate electronic voting machines (EVMs) by Elon Musk, asserting that achieving secure digital hardware is feasible. Musk ignited a debate on EVM security when he posted on X that “We should eliminate electronic voting machines because the risk of being hacked by humans or AI, while small, is still too high.” He made this statement in response to American politician and conspiracy theorist Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s concerns about the issues with EVMs in Puerto Rico’s recent primary elections.

Chandrasekhar, who served as the Minister of State for the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology in the previous government, criticized Musk’s assertion as a “huge sweeping generalization” that overlooks the potential to create secure digital hardware. He wrote, “This statement makes a sweeping generalization implying that no one can build secure digital hardware. That is incorrect.”

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The BJP leader emphasized that Musk’s concerns apply to countries where voting machines are built using standard computing platforms with Internet connectivity, but they do not apply to India. Indian EVMs are custom-designed for security and isolation from any network or media – they lack connectivity, Bluetooth, WiFi, or Internet access. They employ factory-programmed controllers that are non-reprogrammable.

Chandrasekhar also extended an offer to provide a tutorial on properly designing and building secure electronic voting machines. He stated, “Electronic voting machines can be architected and built correctly, as India has demonstrated. We are willing to conduct a tutorial, Elon.”

Musk responded to Chandrasekhar’s statements by stating, “Anything can be hacked.”

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First published on: Jun 16, 2024 01:58 PM IST

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