On Tuesday, the CEO of a software business that monitors election workers in the United States was detained on suspicion of stealing personal information and unlawfully keeping it on Chinese computer servers.
According to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Konnech founder and CEO Eugene Yu violated US law by storing firm data on servers in the People’s Republic of China and allowing access to anybody, not just citizens and permanent residents.
Investigators from the LA district attorney’s office reportedly seized computer hard drives and other “digital evidence” from Yu, 51, in Michigan on suspicion of theft of personal identifying information.
According to Dean C. Logan, LA County’s county clerk, Konnech was awarded a five-year, $2.9 million contract in 2020 to provide scheduling, training, payroll, and communication tools for election workers.
Prosecutors in Los Angeles are attempting to have Yu extradited to California, where he is accused of stealing data belonging to hundreds of poll workers.
The district attorney’s office didn’t say what data was stolen, but they did say it didn’t affect the outcome of the election and solely impacted poll workers.
The DA’s office said that there was no proof that any election worker had been bribed or extorted, and that an inquiry was underway to determine whether or not any of the data had fallen into the wrong hands.
In a statement, District Attorney George Gascón stated, “Security in all parts of any election is vital so that we all have complete trust in the integrity of the electoral process.”
In a statement, LA County Clerk Dean Logan stated, “With the mid-term General Election 35 days away, our priority remains on ensuring the administration of this election is not disturbed.”
The firm Yu founded released a statement refuting the allegations against its founder.
According to the Konnech statement, the company is “continuing to establish the specifics” of what it believes to be Mr. Yu’s “wrongful detention” by LA County officials. According to Konnech, whatever information it has on poll workers in Los Angeles County came directly from the county, thus it was not stolen.