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"Like toaster...": Rajeev Chandrasekhar responds to Elon Musk, says EVMs have no connectivity with internet; can't be hacked

New Delhi: In a sharp response to Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk's claims about the possibility of hacking electronic voting machines (EVMs), BJP leader and former Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, stated that the billionaire CEO was factually incorrect.
Speaking to ANI, Chandrasekhar said, "I think he is factually incorrect in saying that anything can be hacked. A calculator or toaster cannot be hacked. Therefore, there is a limit in terms of where this paradigm of hacking can extend. Elon Musk does not understand what the Indian EVM is. Indian EVMs do not lend itself to being hacked because it are precisely very limited intelligence devices."
"This was not so much about an argument as much as we are clarifying to somebody who is sitting in the US and does not know what the Indian EVM is. I think Elon Musk has not understood what Indian EVM is," he said
Musk had advised against using Electronic Voting Machines and said that these machines should be eliminated.
The remarks of the Tesla CEO came amid a growing debate on the security of EVMs around the world that gained momentum particularly after allegations of irregularities in the recent primary elections in Puerto Rico.
In his post on X, Musk stated, "We should eliminate electronic voting machines. The risk of being hacked by humans or AI, while small, is still too high."
In his response, Chandrasekhar, the former Union Information and Broadcasting Minister had on Sunday taken to X to state saying that India "would be happy to run a tutorial," for the same.
"This is a huge, sweeping generalisation statement that implies no one can build secure digital hardware. Wrong. @elonmusk's view may apply to the US and other places - where they use regular compute platforms to build Internet-connected voting machines," Chandrasekhar said in the post.
Chandrasekhar said, "He made this very sweeping comment that all EVMs can be hacked, of course, I am nobody to get into the argument with somebody like Elon Musk, but certainly that the generalisation was far too sweeping to be left unchallenged. There fore I pointed out to him that Indian EVMs are very different from what the Americans know of EVMs because the US and Western world use connected devices. They are using connected traditional devices that are connected to the internet as EVMs"
Elaborating on his reply to Musk Chandrasekhar today said, "I pointed out that Indian EVMs are architected and designed to be safe and secure because if there is no connectivity with the Wi-Fi, 5G or internet, in general, then there will be no way to get into the EVM."
The BJP leader said that while everything that Musk said are technically feasible, however, the EVMs in India are very secure, mainly because it is completely isolated from connectivity and a large number of these machines are kept under physical security.
Chandrasekhar reiterated that he is happy to give a tutorial on what the Indian EVM looks like and why it is most secure and certainly not, as he says EVMs are hackable.
Attacking the Congress party he said the Congress leaders who have joined the debate are so happy with the narrative that the EVM can be hacked.
"They don't want to understand the underlying logic and technology. About 80-90 per cent of people including Rahul Gandhi and his cronies who are jumping into this debate have no sense of what EVM as a system is or what Elon Musk is talking about," Chandrasekhar said.
Rahul Gandhi had his post on X said, "EVMs in India are a "black box," and nobody is allowed to scrutinize them. Serious concerns are being raised about transparency in our electoral process. Democracy ends up becoming a sham and prone to fraud when institutions lack accountability."

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