Frederick Noronha on Wed, 15 Dec 2010 13:34:14 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> US prof behind EVM study deported on arrival

US prof behind EVM study deported on arrival

An American computer scientist, J Alex Halderman, who had co-authored
a study titled âIndiaâs EVMs are vulnerable to fraudâ, was not allowed
to enter the country after landing at the Indira Gandhi International
(IGI) Airport here on Sunday evening. Airport sources said he would be
deported, but offered no reason for the action.

Speaking to The Indian Express from the airport, Halderman said: âI am
about to be thrown out of this country and there is no reason anyone
is giving me. There is just no explanation, they are not letting me

Halderman, an assistant professor of electrical engineering and
computer sciences at the University of Michigan, was here to attend a
technical conference in Gujarat.

In February this year, top researchers from India, US and Netherlands,
had come up with a study which said that EVMs are prone to tampering.
Halderman and his Indian co-author, Hari K Prasad, were part of the

Earlier, the Election Commission had challenged Prasad to demonstrate
how EVMs could be tampered with. The EC, however, withheld access to
the EVMs.

In his blog about the study, Halderman wrote: âDespite widespread
reports of election irregularities and suspicions of electronic fraud,
the Election Commission has never permitted security researchers to
complete an independent evaluation. Hari and others in India
repeatedly offered to collaborate with the Election Commission to
better understand the security of the machines, but they were not
permitted to complete a serious review.â

He added: âIndian election authorities have repeatedly claimed that
the machines are âtamperproof,â but we demonstrated important
vulnerabilities by studying a machine provided by an anonymous source.
The story took a disturbing turn when my co-author, Hari Prasad, was
arrested by Indian authorities demanding to know the identity of that

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