Election Firm CEO Arrested for Storing Data in China One Day after NYT Reporter Dismissed Allegations as ‘Conspiracy Theory’
A sympathetic profile of Eugene Yu and his election-logistics software firm, Konnech, was published by the New York Times on Monday. Stuart Thompson, a technology reporter specializing in “misinformation” and “disinformation,” declared that Konnech had been accused of giving the Chinese government “backdoor access” to the personal information of poll workers based on “threadbare evidence,” or even “none at all.”
A day later, Thompson reported that Yu had been arrested, as Los Angeles County district attorney George Gascón put it in a statement, “as part of an investigation into the possible theft of personal identifying information” of Los Angeles County poll workers.
According to Gascón, “information was stored on servers in the People’s Republic of China,” a breach of the county’s contract with Konnech.
“Data breaches are an ongoing threat to our digital way of life. When we entrust a company to hold our confidential data, they must be willing and able to protect our personal identifying information from theft. Otherwise, we are all victims,” said Gascón, a progressive Democrat who survived a recall effort earlier this year.
The district attorney emphasized that “the alleged conduct had no impact on the tabulation of votes and did not alter election results,” but did note that “security in all aspects of any election is essential so that we all have full faith in the integrity of the election process.”
In his original report, Thompson characterized the accusations against Yu and Konnech as a “conspiracy theory,” writing that “the attacks on Konnech demonstrate how far-right election deniers are also giving more attention to new and more secondary companies and groups.”
Thompson regurgitated Konnech’s plea that “all the data for its American customers were stored on servers in the United States and that it had no ties to the Chinese government,” while noting that “the claims have had consequences for the firm,” which hired a public relations firm and conducted audits of its processes.
He also noted that a Republican Party county chairwoman in Georgia had expressed concerns about signing a contract with Konnech, before quoting the election board chair who called those concerns “fabricated” before saying “it’s absolutely bizarre, but it’s part of the tone and tenor of what we’re having to deal with leading up to the elections.”
The article ends with a quote from Yu, who said of his critics, “as we did more research into who they were, it became more and more clear that they had no interest in the truth. For them, the truth is inconvenient.”
Konnech has called Yu’s arrest “wrongful,” and argued that “any L.A. County poll worker data that Konnech may have possessed was provided to it by L.A. County and therefore could not have been ‘stolen’ as suggested.”
True the Vote, the group credited by Thompson with popularizing theories of Konnech’s wrongdoing, said in a statement that it was “profoundly grateful to the Los Angeles district attorney’s office for their thorough work and rapid action in this matter” and “honored to have played a small role in what must have been a wide ranging and complex investigation.” The group oftentimes promotes filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza’s 2000 Mules, a misleading documentary that argues that there was a coordinated effort to steal the 2020 presidential race from Donald Trump through voter fraud in key swing states.
Thompson’s original article “debunking” wrongdoing on the part of Konnech is linked in the article on Yu’s arrest, within the sentence “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.”