Observers: the DEC has no common understanding of the composition of the working group that protects the "Vybory" system

Observers: the DEC has no common understanding of the composition of the working group that protects the "Vybory" system

The observers of “Uspishna Varta” continue to monitor the possible interference of representatives of the Security Service of Ukraine in the automated information system “Vybory” on election day.

As it became known earlier to the official observers of “Uspishna Varta”, in district election commissions (DECs), at the order of the CEC, working groups that include representatives of the Security Service of Ukraine were created to ensure the security of the election information system. This information, in particular, has already been confirmed by the observers of “Uspishna Varta” in Kiev, Lvov, Kharkov, and Kramatorsk.

According to the observer Valery Evdokimova, the agenda of the meeting of DEC No. 76 (Zaporozhye) on March 11th also included the issue of setting up a working group to ensure the functioning of the software and hardware of the automated information system “Vybory” and to check its security status. It was decided to include in the working group, “with their consent, the staff of the State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine and the Security Service of Ukraine on the basis of relevant instructions provided by the heads of these state or regional bodies”. The commission actually voted for the first part of the question, without discussing the second part of it, and created a working group of commission members. The commission did not discuss the powers of the presence of the aforementioned services. At the request of one of the members of the commission, lists of SBU employees were read out. Lists of special communications were not available.

The members of the DEC do not have an understanding of who should belong to this working group from the members of the commissions and what professional skills they should possess.

INCLUSION OF SBU EMPLOYEES IN THE COMPOSITION OF DEC WORKING GROUP NO. 76 (ZAPOROZHYE)

At the same time, for example, in DEC No. 74 (Zaporozhye), on March 10th, members of the commission voted to appoint those responsible for fire safety and information security (in one package). 4 persons were appointed: head of commission, deputy, manager, and system administrator). There was no talk about the staff of the SBU in this commission. Among other questions, approval of the calendar plan was voted on. Taking into account the fact that the deadlines have already been missed, it was decided to accept the working schedule approved by the Central Election Commission (CEC) with clarifications on the missed deadlines.

DEC No. 172 (Kharkov) Chairman Stanislav Bugay (from the candidate Y. Boyko), when speaking with the “Uspishna Varta” observer Spartak Golovachev, said that he had no information about the inclusion of SBU staff in the working group. The DEC system administrator has confirmed that there are no problems with communication and program operation.

And in Kiev, referring to CEC Resolution No. 334 from February 18th, as well as Article 25 of the Law of Ukraine “Rights of the Security Service of Ukraine”, DEC No. 212 has already included security officers in its working group on ensuring the functioning of the software and hardware of the automated information system “Vybory” and checking the state of its security. However, the commission said that the SBU officers would act as independent observers and would not interfere in any processes.

The creation of working groups, which should include employees of the State Service for Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine, as well as the Security Service of Ukraine, is stipulated by CEC Resolution No. 334 dated February 18th 2019.

In particular, the CEC ordered the DEC to ensure that by March 28th this working group has implemented inclusive measures regarding the verification of the security status of the automated information system “Vybory”, the elements of which are established in the DEC. Inspection reports must be submitted to the CEC before March 29th inclusive. The same working group, as a part of the SBU, will have to ensure the security of the elements of the automated information system “Vybory” and communication channels in the DEC during the transfer of information about the progress and results of voting on March 31st.

“Uspishna Varta” is extremely concerned about the situation with the presence of SBU officers at polling stations on election day. As was noted by human rights activists in the interim report on 2019 election observation, there is a trend where some law enforcement bodies (the Security Service of Ukraine and the Prosecutor General of Ukraine) carry out actions and statements in the interests of the current president, Petro Poroshenko, as a part of the electoral campaign. Accordingly, the presence of representatives of the SBU at the time of the transferal of voting results to the CEC may lead to the interference of a state official using his official position in the exercise of powers by the election commission.

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