Talks by Sri Hari K Prasad in USA, the Technologist who proved the Tamperability of EVMs; Pioneer Award Winner in USA
Each man must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, which course is patriotic and which isn't. You cannot shirk this and be a man. To decide against your conviction is to be an unqualified and excusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let men label you as they may. ~Mark Twain
Hari K Prasad
Hari Prasad is one of a kind hero who is passionately interested in bringing transparency, verifiability and accountability in the voting proves in India. Election results in 2009, ground realities, pre-election results, complaints from voters, and few opposition leaders statements raised few eyebrows to prompt Hari Prasad to look into the security and integrity of the Electronic Voting Machines. Having a background in the security systems in the computer technology, he realized that there is a potential to tamper the EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines) that may compromise the election results. If one has to protect democracy where every body’s vote is counted, the officials at the helm have to make sure that there is a method in place to recount the votes so that suspicion of tampering with the EVMs is eliminated. Further more efforts have to be made that the EVMs are designed in such a way that they cannot be hacked to change the voting count.
In May 2010 Prasad had appeared on a TV channel in Hyderabad and demonstrated how an EVM could be tampered with. In his demonstration, Prasad claimed a small component (chip) could be replaced with a lookalike and instructed to silently steal a percentage of votes in favor of a chosen candidate. In his interview, he alleged the machine could be rigged up to enable a device, such as a mobile phone, to tamper with the machine and track it. Prasad claimed a pocket-sized device could be used to change votes stored in EVMs between the elections and counting of votes.
Hari Prasad Arrested
The Police arrested Hari K Prasad, the technical coordinator of VeTA (Citizens for Verifiability, Transparency and Accountability in Elections) on the allegation that he stole an EVM from Mumbai. According to the police, the EVM was stolen from godown number 21 in Old Customs House in south Mumbai in April, following which a police complaint was registered. The question being asked is whether an attempt by Hari Prasad to play the role of a whistle blower proving that EVMs can be tampered can be termed as theft.
Denying that he had stolen the EVM, Hari Prasad said, "Someone came to me and asked me to show how an EVM could be tampered with." He said he handed back the machine to that person within 3-4 hours after showing him how to tamper with it. This was filmed and telecast on a private news channel, he added. "We deliberately displayed the EVM number on the television in order to show that the original machine was tampered with. Until that time, ECI had been claiming that their EVMs were in safe custody," he said.
Satya Dosapati who is equally passionate to protect the democratic principles in India started an organization entitled “Save Indian Democracy” (SID) in USA. Satya has been working with Hari Prasad, has reacted sharply to the sudden turn of events. Had this happened in the US, Hari Prasad would have been a hero since they would have accepted that he was only trying to fix a flaw in the system, says Satya Dosapati a key activist with Save India Democracy. In this interview, Dosapati speaks about Hari Prasad's arrest and the need to replace the EVM technology since it will only lead to more rigged elections (please visit his website for complete details: http://saveindiandemocracy.wordpress.com/)
In Feb 2010, Save Indian Democracy based in US took the best international experts Dr. Alex Halderman from US (Michigan University Computer Security research professor who hacked US EVMs and did work for CA state on US EVMs), Rop Gongrijjp from Netherlands (who was instrumental in banning EVMs in Netherlands after 2 decades of use) and Dr. Till Jaeger from Germany (attorney who argued the German Supreme Court case that banned EVMs in Germany) to India and held different conferences and addressed media.
Save Indian Democracy headed by Satya Dosapati consults with team of professionals on a regular basis across the World. He work closely with VeTA (Citizens for Verifiability, Transparency and Accountability in Elections whose members include Hari Prasad of Net India who recently went on Indian TV showing tamperability of EVMs, GVL Narasimha Rao, a psychologist who wrote the book on EVM “Democracy at Risk,” VV Rao of NGO Jana Chaitanya Vaidika who filed lawsuit in Supreme Court, Omesh Saigal IIT Delhi alumnus and retired IAS official who challenged ECI about vulnerability of EVMs, Satinath Chaudhary who filed lawsuit with Supreme Court, Mr. Sanjay Parikh, Supreme Court attorney and several others such as Rahul Mehta who showed ways that elections can be manipulated and Ajay Jagga an attorney very active on raising EVM issues. There are several other activists such as Hanuman Chaudhary, Sameer Jalnapurkar, Jagadish Setty, Kirit Somaiya and others who are working to raise the consciousness of the country on the danger of using stand-alone EVM machines, which many countries are discarding. Our work complements the work of those like Dr. Subramanian Swamy who is pursuing this issue legally.
NRIs have the rare opportunity to strengthen and protect DEMOCRACY in INDIA
We request all NRIs to look into implications of the flawed EVMs and how they can be hacked to change the count. We all need to support the movement to ban the existing EVMs and replace with verifiable EVMs with paper trail so that the integrity of the democracy is maintained. The famous author Mark Twain describes India as 'the cradle of the human race' and 'birthplace of human speech.' William Durant declares 'India was the motherland of our race' and 'Sanskrit the mother of European Languages.' Voltaire and Schlegel are convinced that everything has come down to us from the river Ganges. In fact Max Muller declares that 'the Vedas are the oldest book in existence and carries us back to times of which we have no records anywhere.' All these achievements are due to the freedom and independence enjoyed by the great Rishis and our forefathers. Irrespective of party affiliation, every individual’s vote should be counted.
There is indeed a close connection between religious beliefs of a people and their system of government. According to Madan Lal “Absolutist religions give rise to absolutist regimes and pluralistic religions give rise to pluralistic regimes.”
Realizing the gravity of the consequences, most of the parties met with the Election Commission of India in October 2010. Most parties seemed to favor the creation of a ‘paper trail’ in addition to the EVM system. They felt this would inspire more confidence in voters. In fact, both winners and losers should have confidence in the election process.
Hari is Honored with prestigious PIONEER Award
On October 19, 2010, The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) announced four winners of its 2010 Pioneer Awards: one of them is e-voting researcher Hari Krishna Prasad Vemuru, who was recently released on bail after being imprisoned for his security work in India.
“Hari Krishna Prasad Vemuru is a security researcher in India who recently revealed security flaws in India's paperless electronic voting machines. He has endured jail time, repeated interrogations, and ongoing political harassment to protect an anonymous source that enabled him to conduct the first independent security review of India's electronic voting system. Prasad spent a year trying to convince election officials to complete such a review, but they insisted that the government-made machines were "perfect" and "tamperproof." Instead of blindly accepting the government's claims, Prasad's international team discovered serious flaws that could alter national election results. Months of hot debate have produced a growing consensus that India's electronic voting machines should be scrapped, and Prasad hopes to help his country build a transparent and verifiable voting system.”
The award ceremony will be held at 7:30 p.m., November 8, at the 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco. Author, blogger, and digital rights activist Cory Doctorow will host. A VIP event with Cory and the Pioneer winners -- as well as EFF founders, board members, and other luminaries -- will begin at 6:30 p.m.
Hari's US tour details – Please attend his lectures
Save Indian Democracy (SID) and Global Hindu Heritage Foundation (GHHF) invite you to attend the lectures in the following centers. Please encourage all your friends and relatives to attend. The Venues for the lectures are being selected as you read this email. We will notify them soon.
Let us stand up for dharma and freedom, let us save Indian Democracy.
- Oct 28th (Thu) Princeton, NJ: lecture at 4pm, Dr. Alex Halderman (609-558-2312) -- Done with good participation
- Oct 30th (Sat) Edison, NJ; Community Program; Contact: Satya Dosapati (732-939-2060), Gunjan Mishra (732-200-5839), Ramesh Yalamanchili (732-423-8291)
- Nov 3rd (Wed) Bay Area, CA Google Lecture, Google headquarters; Dr. Alex Halderman (609-558-2312)
- Nov 4th (Thu) Bay Area, CA U.C. Berkeley Guest Lecture ;Dr. Alex Halderman (609-558-2312) UC Berkeley
- Nov 8th (Mon) San Francisco, CA; Receive PIONEER award conferred by EFF (Dr. Alex Halderman (609-558-2312); Mr. Jim Tyre; 111 Minna Gallery, 111 Minna Street, San Francisco, CA
- Nov 12th (Fri) Boston MIT Event; Dr. Alex Halderman (609-558-2312)
- Nov 14th (Sun) Atlanta, GA Atlanta; EventVinay Boppana (248-842-6964), Pavan Neti (630-338-9364) Amitabh Sharma (248-434-7480), Dhiru Shaw (770-664-8779), Subhash Razdaan (770-333-9781)
- Nov 15th (Mon) Atlanta, GA; Meet Jimmy Carter Center; Dr. Dill, Satya Dosapati (732-939-2060)
- Nov 17th (Wed) Ann Arbor, MI; University of Michigan lecture, Dr. Alex Halderman (609-558-2312) University of Michigan
- Nov 19th (Fri) Detroit, MI Community Event at Detroit; Prasad & Vinay
- Nov 20th (Sat) Chicago, IL; Community Event at Chicago; Prasad Yalamanchili 630-418-1122), Madhu Patel (847-699-8800), Amarji (847-226-4929)
- Nov 21st (Sun) Dallas, TX Community Event at Dallas; Venue to be decided, contact: V. V. Prakasa Rao (601-918-7111); Ram Yalamanchili (214-663-6363); Rajesh Veerapaneni (773-704-0405); Krishna Athota (214-912-3724); Gopal (214-868-7538); Kalyan Viswanath (614-668-1668);
For further details, please visit:
For additional Information, Contact:
Satya Dosapati (732-939-2060), V. V. Prakasa Rao, PhD, 601-918-7111 (cell), 601-856-4783 (home); Prasad Yalamanchi (630-832-2665; 630-359-5041), Vinay 248-842-6964: Srinivas Murthy 212-538-8716: Dr. K. R. Venkatramaiah (Canada) 416-925-8167. Nemana Satya 732-762-7104, Sekhar Reddy 954-895-1947, Tulasichand Tummala 408-786-8357, Raju Polavaram 919-959-6141; Pavan Neti 630-338-9364.