Home India News Election Commission’s ‘open challenge to hack EVMs’: A case of fake news?

Election Commission’s ‘open challenge to hack EVMs’: A case of fake news?

By Siddhant Mohan, TwoCircles.net

Several media outlets have been running stories since Wednesday that the Election Commission of India has issued an open challenge to opposition political groups to hack the electronic voting machines, EVMs. Outlets are also mentioning that EC has assigned the first week of May for such a  challenge.

This news followed an event after representatives of 16 political parties gone to meet President of India regarding the recent controversy started on EVM.

However, a closer look at the whole situation reveals that neither the Election Commission nor Press Information Bureau has issued any kind of official statement regarding the ‘open challenge’. Also, election commission held no press conference yesterday or day before for the announcement of same.

Several outlets are using wires of Press Trust of India (PTI) and Asian News International (ANI), where it was first announced that Election commission has challenged political groups, tech experts and scientists to show that EVMs are hackable. See the tweet by PTI below –

Many outlets carried this news from the ANI. The first two paragraphs of the news item sent by ANI, which was published on 11:56 PM of April 12 has first two paragraphs as,

“Following concerns raised by the Opposition parties over the alleged tampering of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) post assembly polls, the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Wednesday threw an open challenge to the party leaders and dared them to hack the voting machines.

The invitation, given to political parties, scientists and technicians, will be available from the first week of May to prove whether the EVMs could be hacked or not.”

The story doesn’t mention which official under what power issued the aforesaid challenge. ANI also doesn’t mention the ‘official source’ as other outlets are doing while reporting the same news.

Outlets such as New Indian Express​, India Today, Hindustan Times and Times of India have gone to mention ‘official sources’ as the source of their news. While others are mentioning news agencies for their inputs.

Moreover, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has also questioned the whole ‘Election commission challenge’ with a tweet asking is the story is planted?

Arvind Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party are among the group of opposition parties who claim that EVMs are being tampered in most of the elections.

The truth is that the Election Commission had issued a FAQ through PIB few days back where EC tried to point out that how EVMs are not hackable, question by question.