An elections software company that the media claimed was smeared by election-denying “conspiracy theorists” for having ties to Communist China is back in the news thanks to its CEO being arrested over his company’s ties to Communist China.
This story starts in 2020 when Los Angeles County awarded the Michigan-based elections software company Konnech with a contract “to store employee payroll and scheduling data using its PollChief software,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
According to its website, PollChief provides “election asset management,” “polling location management,” “poll work management,” and more.
Konnech’s CEO, Eugene Yu, was arrested Tuesday in Michigan after Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón accused him of taking the data he was supposed to store and illegally housing it on servers in Communist China.
“Konnech allegedly violated its contract by storing critical information that the workers provided on servers in China. We intend to hold all those responsible for this breach accountable,” Gascón, a soft-on-crime prosecutor, said Tuesday.
DA Gascón today announced that Konnech Corporation Chief Executive Officer Eugene Yu was arrested in Michigan by investigators from the office’s @LADABofI with assistance from the Meridian Township Police Department on suspicion of theft of personal identifying information. pic.twitter.com/k4z58c9mHH
— George Gascón (@LADAOffice) October 4, 2022
The District Attorney’s Office is seeking Yu’s extradition to Los Angeles.
Full version available by visiting https://t.co/XWfV9XW444.
Read the news release: https://t.co/gaNeBRWcea
— George Gascón (@LADAOffice) October 4, 2022
“Storage of data outside the United States is a violation of County information security provisions and the strict provisions of the contract between the vendor and the County of Los Angeles,” Los Angeles County Registrar Dean Logan added in a statement.
“The security and privacy of data and personally identifiable information of election workers is at the core of our mission. My office will fully cooperate with the District Attorney’s office as they conduct their investigation.”
The great irony is that Yu’s arrest occurred exactly a day after The New York Times ran a lengthy puff piece defending Konnech and Yu from accusations from a group of so-called “election deniers.”
“Using threadbare evidence, or none at all, the group suggested that a small American election software company, Konnech, had secret ties to the Chinese Communist Party and had given the Chinese government backdoor access to personal data about two million poll workers in the United States, according to online accounts from several people at the conference,” the piece read.
“In the ensuing weeks, the conspiracy theory grew as it shot around the internet. To believers, the claims showed how China had gained near complete control of America’s elections. Some shared LinkedIn pages for Konnech employees who have Chinese backgrounds and sent threatening emails to the company and its chief executive, who was born in China.”
Monday: New York Times publishes story knocking down crazy right-wing conspiracy theories about voting software company. Tuesday: New York Times reports company CEO has been arrested. Read this: https://t.co/5Jg9KziRNI Then this: https://t.co/pJTlI05Mwu pic.twitter.com/PKYuouspEC
— Byron York (@ByronYork) October 5, 2022
The glaring problem with the Times’ “conspiracy” angle is that some of the allegations trotted out by the “election deniers” has since turned out to be true.
Not only is Konnech indeed linked to China, but it’d been storing Los Angeles County’s “employee payroll and scheduling data” there.
To its credit, in its own write-up about Yu’s arrest, the Times abstained from using the words “conspiracy theory.” It did however stick to using “election deniers.”
“Konnech came under scrutiny this year by several election deniers, including a founder of True the Vote, a nonprofit that says it is devoted to uncovering election fraud. True the Vote said its team had downloaded personal information on 1.8 million American poll workers from a server owned by Konnech and hosted in China,” the write-up reads.
“It said it obtained the data by using the server’s default password, which it said was ‘password,’ according to online accounts from people who attended a conference about voter fraud where the claims were made. The group provided no evidence that it had downloaded the data, saying that it had given the information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The claims quickly spread online, with some advocates raising concerns about China’s influence on America’s election system.”
Well, it now looks like those “claims” have some merit to them after all.
The Times is now predictably facing intense mockery over its “reporting”:
Oct. 3: lengthy feature “debunking” a “conspiracy theory” about security of poll worker data.
Oct. 4: arrest on just that charge.
All from a newspaper that spent *years* pushing the absurd conspiracy theory that Trump stole the 2016 election by colluding with Russia.
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) October 5, 2022
So, how about now if you address the fact that just YESTERDAY you were running interference for Eugene Yu, and TODAY he was arrested by LA County DA George Gascon, a Democrat, for what you called a conspiracy theory??? The world is watching.
— MaryAnn MacInerney (@AnnMacinerney) October 5, 2022
Great timing on this story. Just a day before the CEO was arrested for what the Times said was just a conspiracy theory.
— Miguel Perry (@MiguelPerryJr) October 5, 2022
I would trust a high school newspaper over the @nytimes at this point.
— Maitiú ÓRiagáin (@nymattregan) October 5, 2022
Wow…you WROTE both articles, the false one about it being a conspiracy theory verses it wasn’t a conspiracy theory…it was a fact!
When are you going to apologize? @nytimes just keeps digging deeper in the gutter, kinda like a tabloid piece! pic.twitter.com/VCzVpGJMmE
— cathy holladay (@holladay_cathy) October 5, 2022
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