Skip to main content

Gujarat's oneline voting site is "not trustworthy", is "insecure", warn top web browsers Firefox, Chrome

Screenshot of Gujarat's online voting site
through Firefox on Sept 9 morning
By Our Representative
The Gujarat State Election Commission's (SEC's) “offer” a few days back to allow the voters to the state's municipal corporation elections, likely next month, that they could register on its website to avail of the “opportunity” offered by it for online voting, has failed security check on selected, more secure computer devices. As one visited  the website's link for registering on a laptop for online voting, https://onlinevotinggujarat.gov.in/, a security alert declared that the site is not safe.
The SEC is responsible for holding elections to local bodies – municipal corporations, municipalities, and panchayats. It has offered to allow online voting through personal computers sitting at home in major cities such as Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Bhavnagar and Jamnagar. Municipalities have not been “allowed” the facility.
Browsed on Firefox on the highly-secure Ubuntu (Linux) operating system, after visiting the SEC's website, http://www.sec.gujarat.gov.in/index.htm, which prominently displays the photograph of ex-state chief secretary and SEC chairman Varesh Sinha, as one clicks on “Visit for Online Voting”, one is promptly directed to the online voting site link.
However, instead of allowing one to register for online voting, Firefox prominently declares, “This Connection is Untrusted.”
The message from Firefox reads, “You have asked Firefox to connect securely to onlinevotinggujarat.gov.in, but we can't confirm that your connection is secure.” It adds "Normally, when you try to connect securely, sites will present trusted identification to prove that you are going to the right place. However, this site's identity can't be verified.”
Asking the question “What Should I Do?”, the browser replies, "If you usually connect to this site without problems, this error could mean that someone is trying to impersonate the site, and you shouldn't continue.”
As one clicks on “technical details” to find out the SEC's online registration site, the browser declares, “onlinevotinggujarat.gov.in uses an invalid security certificate. The certificate is not trusted because the issuer certificate is unknown.” It adds, “The server might not be sending the appropriate intermediate certificates. An additional root certificate may need to be imported.”
This page section ends with the following remark: “(Error code: sec_error_unknown_issuer).” Then it takes one to another link asking, whether “I understand the risk”, adding with the following remark, “If you understand what's going on, you can tell Firefox to start trusting this site's identification.”
Even then, the browser continues to warn, “Even if you trust the site, this error could mean that someone is tampering with your connection. Don't add an exception unless you know there's a good reason why this site doesn't use trusted identification.” Thereafter it takes one to “Add Exceptions...” and leaves one to take the “risk”.
Opening the site  through a top branded tablet on Chrome browser had a similar result. With a big red icon of a bag having a cross in the middle, the warning says, "Your connection is not private", adding, "Attackers might be trying to steal your information from https://onlinevotinggujarat.gov.in  (for example passwords, messages, or credit cards)."
Chrome underlines, "This server could not prove that it is https://onlinevotinggujarat.gov.in; its security certificate is not trusted by your device's operating system. This may be caused by a misconfiguration or an attack intercepting your connection."
It adds, "Proceed to https://onlinevotinggujarat.gov.in (unsafe)." Opening the SEC site from a desktop computer, however, did not result in the warning both on Chrome and on Firefox. It is suspected that the website developers have not have resolved security issues completely before developing the site.
The SEC's “untrustworthiness” comes days after the Supreme Court stay on elections to Gujarat's municipal corporations on a petition filed by a Vadodara citizen, who questioned the formation of new wards for polls, saying they “violated” the principle of reservation.

Comments

TRENDING

Amit Shah 'wrong': Lack of transparency characterized bank frauds, NPAs, jobs data

Counterview Desk
India's senior RTI activists Nikhil Dey, Anjali Bhardwaj, Venktesh Nayak, Rakesh Reddy Dubbudu, Dr. Shaikh Ghulam Rasool, Pankti Jog and Pradip Pradhan, who are attached with the National Campaign for Peoples' Right to Information (NCPRI), have said that Union home minister Amit Shah's claim that the Government of India is committed to transparency stands in sharp contrast to its actual actions.

Untold story of Jammu: Business 'down', students fear lynching, teachers can't speak

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released report, seeking to debunk the view that people in Jammu, the second biggest city of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) after Srinagar, people had gone “out celebrating” abrogation of Article 370 which took away the state’s special status, has reported what it calls “abominably high levels of fear” across all sections in the town.

132 Gujarat citizens, including IIM-A faculty, others declare solidarity with Kashmiris

Counterview Desk
A week after it was floated, 132 activists, academics, students, artists and other concerned citizens of Gujarat, backed by 118 living in different parts of India and the world, have signed a "solidarity letter" supporting the people of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), who, it claims, have been silenced and held captive in their own land. The signatories include faculty members and scholars of the prestigious Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A).

Kashmiris in a civil disobedience mode, are going against 'diktat' to open shops

Counterview Desk
A team of concerned citizens, including Ludhiana-based psychiatrist and writer Anirudh Kala, Mumbai-based activist and public health professional Brinelle Dsouza, Delhi-based journalist and writer Revati Laul, and social activist Shabnam Hashmi, travelled to Kashmir and Jammu to understand the impact of the abrogation of Article 370 and the subsequent security clampdown and communication blockade on the lives of the people of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

Success of 'political' Hinduism: Kashmiris being depicted as antagonists of rest of India

By Anand K Sahay*
There are times in history when facts call attention to themselves; they assert their independence in all its amplitude and are in no need of the crutch of interpretation. Such a moment is visible in Kashmir now. Merely by being on the table, the facts there taunt the regime’s proclamations.

Gujarat's incomplete canals: Narmada dam filled up, yet benefits 'won't reach' farmers

By Our Representative
Even as the Gujarat government is making all out efforts to fill up the Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada river up to the full reservoir level (FRL), a senior farmer rights leader has said the huge reservoir, as of today, remains a “mirage for the farmers of Gujarat”.
In a statement, Sagar Rabari of the Khedut Ekta Manch (KEM), has said that though the dam’s reservoir is being filled up, the canal network remains complete. Quoting latest government figures, he says, meanwhile, the command area of the dam has been reduced from 18,45,000 hectares (ha) to 17,92,000 ha.
“According to the website of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd, which was last updated on Friday, while the main canal, of 458 km long, has been completed, 144 km of ranch canals out of the proposed length of 2731 km remain incomplete.
Then, as against the targeted 4,569 km distributaries, 4,347 km have been constructed, suggesting work for 222 km is still pending. And of the 15,670 km of minor canal…

Ceramic worker dies: 20,000 workers in Thangadh, Gujarat, 'risk' deadly silicosis

By Our Representative
Even as the country was busy preparing for the Janmashtami festival on Saturday, Hareshbhai, a 46-year-old ceramic worker from suffering from the fatal lung disease silicosis, passed away. He worked in a ceramic unit in Thangadh in Surendranagar district of Gujarat from 2000 to 2016.
Hareshbhai was diagnosed with the disease by the GCS Medical College, Naroda Road, Ahmedabad in 2014. He was found to be suffering from progressive massive fibrosis. He is left behind by his wife Rekha sister and two sons Deepak (18) and Umesh (12),
The death of Hareshbhai, says Jagdish Patel of the health rights group Peoples Training and Research Centre (PTRC), suggests that silicosis, an occupational disease, can be prevented but not cured, and the Factory Act has sufficient provisions to prevent this.
According to Patel, the pottery industry in the industrial town of Thangadh has evolved for a long time and locals as well as migrant workers are employed here. There are abou…