Even manufacturers cannot manipulate EVMs, says EC
New Delhi, April 9 :Countering allegations that the machines are unreliable, Election Commission on Sunday said that the EVMs are robust and tamper- proof and even the manufacturers cannot manipulate them at the time of production.
With the opposition's questions on the reliability of the electronic voting machines getting louder, the Commission has come out with a list of 'frequently asked questions' to put across its views in public domain.
Recently, the Commission had issued two statements defending the machines. The FAQs are the third attempt by the poll watchdog to counter the doubts on the machines' reliability. One of the first questions the FAQ addresses is whether the machine can be hacked? No, asserts the Commission. The model one, M1 of EVM was manufactured till 2006 and had all necessary technical features it "non-hackable contrary to claims made by some activists", it said.
The M2 model of EVM's produced after 2006 and up to 2012 incorporated additional safety features. It can detect "malicious sequenced key presses". "Further, the ECI-EVMs are not computer controlled, are stand alone machines and not connected to the Internet or any other network. Hence, there is no chance of hacking by remote devices.
The manufacturers ECIL and BEL would not know several years ahead which candidate will contest from a particular constituency and what will be the sequence of the candidates on the ballot unit," hence it is not possible for the manufacturers to manupulate the machines.
Commission also asserted that the new M3 EVIN produced after 2013 have additional features like tamper detection and self diagnostics. The tamper detection feature makes an EVM inoperative the moment anyone tries to open the machine. The self diagnostic feature checks the EVM fully every time it is switched on. Any change in its hardware or software will be detected. It said contrary to "misinformation and as alleged by some".
Ruling out the possibility of manipulation of the machines at the place of storage, the Commission said that different level of stringent checks and balance are in place to see that such a possibility does not arise.