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General News    H3'ed 4/11/19

Israeli election outcome: hi-tech, start-up nation afflicted by "data entry errors"

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* Over a month ago, the Committee finally admitted in response to FOIA requests, dragged for over a year, that it did not maintained signed minutes of its Presidency and Plenary meetings, chaired by Supreme Court justices. In contrast, the Committee did maintain lawfully signed minutes for sub-committee meetings, chaired by other officials, e.g., the Tender Committee and Tender Exception Committee. In a follow-up FOIA request, the Committee was asked to provide copies of any document, signed by then Committee Chairs, Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein, certifying the 2013 election outcome, Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran, certifying the 2015 election outcome. The Committee issued an extension notice at the end of the legally prescribed 30 day period, stating it could not respond in time, due to work overload...

* In a FOIA request over a year ago, the Committee was asked to provide documentation of the person, who is authorized to certify the ballot outcomes, published on line by the Committee. The Committee provided a false response, where it attempted to misrepresent the process as fully automated, no-human-hand involved. However, once the Committee was presented with false on line ballot outcomes, similar to the ones published yesterday, the Committee provided an "amended FOIA response", stating that someone "uploaded the wrong file". Regardless, the Committee continues to refuse to state the name of the person, who is authorized to certify the data, published on line by the Committee.

* Over two years ago, FOIA request sought documentation of required State employee certification of examination and validation of the Committee's IT systems. Then too, the Committee provided a false response, claiming that the Shin-Bet (secret service) examined and certified the systems. However, in an unusual move, the Shin-Bet denied such false claims. Subsequently, the Committee provided an "amended FOIA response", stating that it had no certification by a State employee of its IT systems. [v]

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(Image by Dudovich)   Details   DMCA

Mr Lazar Dudovich - according the the Central Election Committee he is the Committee's IT Director, but no record to that effect could be found by the Committee.


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* Other FOIA responses established that the Committee had no certification of compliance with the legally binding Israeli Security Standard for IT system s of organizations. Likewise , the Committee had no documentation of the appointment and job description of Mr Lazar Dudovich, wh o the Committee stated was its IT Director, in charge of IT system development, implementation and operation.

The circumstances surrounding the Israeli Central Election Committee and its IT systems are particularly bizarre, given that Israel is self-advertised as a hi-tech, start-up nation, and cyber superpower. [vi] E.g., in what was exploited as part of Netanyahu's election propaganda, in February Israel launched a spacecraft to the moon. [vii]

In recent years, PM Netanyahu has also developed a National Cyber Security Array under his direct control in the PM office with no due foundation in law. Such initiative is seen as an attempt to neutralize the Shin-Bet, which is charged by law with "securing procedures and institutions of the democratic regime". The initiative was protested as "an undemocratic measure". In recent years, PM Netanyahu has also established and has been directly funding Cyber Security Research Centers in computer science departments of all major Israeli universities. [viii] Consequently, it has become exceedingly difficult to elicit expert academic opinions regarding Israeli e-government systems and cyber security issues. [ix]

The Human Rights Alert submission for the UN Human Rights Council 2018 Periodic Review of Israel focused on fraud in e-government systems, particularly in law and justice agencies. [x] The submission was incorporated into the final report of the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights with the note: [xi]

"24. HRA-NGO highlighted the serious deterioration in integrity of law and justice agencies as a consequence of the implementation of e-government systems. It affirmed that the validity and integrity of any legal and judicial records of Israel should be deemed dubious at best."

In short: the State of Israel provides a unique example of the principle, stated by Harvard law professor Larry Lessig, "Code is Law", and the consequences of implementing invalid or fraudulent e-government systems. [xii]

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i Kaizler-Inbar PR firm April 10, 2019 Facebook post

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Dr Zernik's core research pertains to e-government and its significance for Human Rights and Civil Society.

His work won appreciation in Israel and abroad: * Prof Uzzi Ornan - "All power to you! I hope that you see your tremendous efforts (more...)
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