Elon Musk & Rajeev Chandrasekhar Debate On EVM Risks, Rahul Gandhi & Akhilesh Yadav Also Join

New Delhi: Tesla chief Elon Musk’s post on X questioning EVMs’ reliability in reference to alleged voting irregularities in hundreds of EVMs referring in Puerto Rico’s elections has led to a debate between him and former Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar.

The BJP leader and Musk are debating on X whether the world should discard electronic voting machines (EVMs) over possible risks of being hacked and switching to paper voting. They have been also also joined by Congress MP Rahul Gandhi and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav.

The debate started with Musk suggesting that they should be eliminated due to risk of being hacked by humans or artificial intelligence. “We should eliminate electronic voting machines. The risk of being hacked by humans or AI, while small, is still too high,” Musk wrote reacting to American Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s concern over issues with EVMs in Puerto Rico.

To this Chandrasekhar wrote, “This is a huge sweeping generalisation statement that implies no one can build secure digital hardware. Wrong,” he said and added that it may not apply to India.

“Indian EVMs are custom designed, secure and isolated from any network or media – No connectivity, no bluetooth, wifi, Internet. ie there is no way in. Factory programmed controllers that cannot be reprogrammed.”

Chandrasekhar even offered to provide a tutorial on how to properly design and build secure electronic voting machines. “Electronic voting machines can be architected and built right as India has done. We would be happy to run a tutorial Elon,” she wrote.

Responding to him, Musk said, “Anything can be hacked.”

The former Union Minister agreed and said but that’s a different kind of conversation and anything is possible at least in theory. “… With quantum compute, I can decrypt any level of encryption. With lab-level tech and plenty of resources, I can hack any digital hardware/system including the flight controls of a glass cockpit of a jet, etc. But that’s a different type of conversation from EVMs being secure and reliable…,” he wrote.

Amid this, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi responded, “EVMs in India are a ‘black box,’ and nobody is allowed to scrutinise 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.”

Samajwadi Party MP Akhilesh Yadav demanded that all future elections be conducted using ballot papers. “We reiterate our demand that all future elections be conducted using ballot papers,” he said.


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