August 28, 2010 | By Marcia Hofmann

Good News: Security Researcher Released on Bail

Hari Prasad, the Indian security researcher arrested for allegedly stealing an electronic voting machine, has been released on bail.

Earlier this year, an anonymous source gave the machine to Prasad and a team of researchers, who discovered critical security flaws. Under questioning by authorities last weekend, Prasad refused to divulge the identity of the source who gave them the machine. He was then arrested and reportedly charged with theft and trespass on the theory that he stole the machine himself.

According to the Indian news agency PTI, the magistrate who released Prasad on bail noted that "no offence was disclosed with Hari Prasad's arrest and even if it was assumed that [the electronic voting machine] was stolen it appears that there was no dishonest intention on his part...he was trying to show how [electronic voting] machines can be tampered with."

The court reportedly also asked the Election Commission of India to confirm or disprove Prasad's claim that the country's electronic voting machines can be compromised. If Prasad's claims are false, action could be taken against him, the magistrate said.

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