[E-voting] Stormontgate/Qinetiq/Shell

Catherine Ansbro cansbro at eircom.net
Sat Dec 17 17:06:27 GMT 2005

Very valid point.  And Qinetiq is not just any average corporation.  
They are intimately involved in NSA-type security and communications.  
Have a look at their website.  In any case the point you make about the 
potential for conflict of interest is very apt.  I'd feel better if 
several independent security consultants (e.g. Harri Hursti in Finland) 
were carrying out these tests.  The testing must be free from anyone or 
any organisation where there is a real, potential or perceived conflict 
of interest if it is to be taken seriously.

There are some news reports that claim the current FF government has an 
agenda to reduce SF's political clout.  Regardless of whether or not 
this is accurate, any decisions relating to our voting system or 
equipment should be insulated from those who might have a personal, 
corporate or political agenda.


Ciaran Quinn wrote:

> When it was revealed that the original government consultants on the 
> Shell pipeline project in Mayo were part-owned by Shell, the minister 
> concerned, Noel Dempsey, had to appoint independent consultants to 
> conduct a new investigation. Given the recent revelations about 
> British government agents within Sinn Féin, doesn't this raise 
> questions about whether Qinetiq, part-owned by the British government, 
> should be involved in testing the electronic voting system?
> Clearly there is a conflict of interest here:-
> - the British govt. are interested in preventing Sinn Féin doing well 
> in elections here
> - a company part-owned by the British govt.  is employed to verify the 
> accuracy of the electronic voting system.
> Clearly Sinn Féin candidates cannot be expected to accept election 
> results based on the assurances of British govt. owned companies that 
> the system is safe. In some ways it doesn't matter - the system is not 
> going to be used and the charade of testing is taking place so that 
> govt. candidates can deflect criticism of the money wasted on it 
> during the general election campaign.
> Maybe a question or 2 could be asked:-
> Will Minister Roche appoint an independent company to re-do and 
> re-examine all work carried out by Qinetiq in relation to the 
> electronic voting system?
> In view of recent suggestions in the media that British agents are 
> active in Irish political parties, will the Minister exclude British 
> government-owned companies from contracts involving the electronic 
> voting system?
> If there is genuinely a prospect of the system being used, he would 
> have to exclude Qinetiq. If the testing is only a charade, he will not 
> want to waste more money on it. Maybe this is a way of finding out 
> which is the case?
> Ciaran
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