e-Watch: HC tells SEC to answer queries of APTS

A Division Bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice Arup Kumar Goswami and Justice C. Praveen Kumar has directed the State Election Commission (SEC) to reply to the queries raised by the AP Technology Services Limited (APTS) on the e-Watch app by February 17, and posted the matter to that day for further hearing.

During the Tuesday’s hearing on a PIL which challenged the usage of e-Watch app brought out by the SEC, government pleader C. Sumon said the APTS had conducted preliminary tests and submitted a report to the SEC on the flaws and security concerns found in the app.

The APTS had informed that a glaring security issue in the app was that the source code of the AP Social Welfare Department was used in its development.

Source code

Mr. Sumon said the SEC did not produce any document to show that the Social Welfare Department had given permission to use its source code for developing the app. Further information in this regard had been sought from the SEC by the APTS.

It was observed that if the source code was used without permission, there was a possibility of a major cyber security threat to the Social Welfare Department.

The counsel for the SEC said it was willing to use the c-Vigil app developed by the Election Commission of India if allowed to do so and that Nighaa, the app developed by the State government was not working.

The court also enquired whether the State government had any objection to usage of its app by SEC, to which Mr. Sumon replied that the State would indeed let its app to be pressed into service.

The matter was then adjourned to February 17 with a direction to the SEC that it should not use its app (e-Watch) until the mandatory security certificate is obtained.

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