By TONY MOBILIFONITIS
WILL the Commonwealth and state electoral commissions ban the US-based election contractor Konnech from involvement in Australian elections, in particular the Victorian election, on November 26th ?
That’s the question all fair minded Australians should be asking their state and federal MPs after the arrest of Eugene Yu, the CEO of the US-based company. Yu has been released on US$500,000 bail after allegedly trying to flee the country. Americans are asking questions about Konnech’s role in the upcoming and critical November 8 mid-term elections.
Yu, 51, was arrested in Meridian Township in Michigan early last month by LA District Attorney investigators and held on suspicion of theft of personal identifying information belonging to Los Angeles County poll workers.
He was subsequently extradited to California where Judge Victoria Wilson of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County ordered Yu to remain under house arrest, remain in LA County and wear an ankle monitor until his next hearing November 17.
Fox News reported that in 2020, Konnech won a five-year, $2.9 million contract with LA County for software to track election worker schedules, training, payroll,and communications. The DA’s office said Konnech was required to keep the data in the United States and only provide access to citizens and permanent residents but instead stored it on servers in the People’s Republic of China.
The arrest again raises questions about Chinese Communist Party access to Australian election data. US news site Gateway Pundit reported members of the US voting watch group True the Vote have uncovered evidence that the US-based Konnech was storing election-related data on servers in China.
But the revelation proved costly for True the Vote founder Catherine Engelbrecht and investigator Gregg Phillips, who were found guilty of contempt of court by a Federal judge and jailed after they refused to identify a confidential informant who helped them obtain information that led to the discovery.
Cairns News is awaiting a response from the Commonwealth Electoral Commission to a question sent by a contributor, asking whether the Australian electoral data is safe with this company.
Cairns News has previously reported Sky News presenter Peta Credlin “dropped an IT bomb” by revealing the Queensland government outsourced coding of election data to China, giving China access to the electoral roll and 2,826,613 names, addresses and dates of birth of Queensland residents.
According to the Kagdrogo newsletter on Substack anything that enters the Chinese internet belongs to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). It also reports that Konnech is also known to store on its servers the location of voting machines, building schematics and many other kinds of sensitive election data that could be useful to CCP state-backed hacker groups.
Konnech is based at East Lansing, Michigan, and the Australian arm at 7/39 Jeays St
Bowen Hills, Brisbane. It is listed online as a 100% fully owned subsidiary of Konnech Inc, and providing “international experience in election logistic and management systems, having worked with electoral authorities serving over 25 million voters across Australia, Canada and the United States of America”.