French supplier of Kenyan vote system speaks on hacking allegations

“We do not intend to become the scapegoat of the political situation in Kenya,”

A French biometrics firm that supplied the electronic system used to tally votes in Kenya's cancelled presidential poll says that its systems weren’t tampered with to rig the outcome.

OT-Morpho said an internal audit of its equipment conducted after the Supreme Court annulled the Aug. 8 presidential election found no foul play.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga accused the company of being complicit in alleged manipulation of the election terming President Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory as that brought about by computer-aided rigging. He also claimed an algorithm was introduced into the system to manipulate the results as they streamed in.

OT-Morpho however denied these claims saying that the audit undertaken with help from external experts from security software companies, had shown the system "in no way suffered manipulation of data, attacks, attempts to penetrate the system or anything of that kind."

"We obviously checked if there could have been questionable manipulations by any authorised or unauthorised persons and can confirm there was no manipulation of data that could raise questions," Chief Operating Officer Frederic Beylier said.

OT-Morpho said in a statement Friday it’s willing to open its system for additional scrutiny by an independent body under the authority of Kenya’s election commission.

The French firm supplied the 45,000 tablets used to identify voters biometrically and an associated system used to transmit the results of votes counted by electoral officials as well as a photograph of the paper form 34A on which votes were tallied.

Manipulation

In court, the opposition argued that many forms 34A, once received, were unsigned, lacked the requisite security features or contained irregularities.

However without the full ruling from the court, it is unclear to what extent this influenced the outcome of the election.

Incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta was ascribed 54 per cent of the vote before being stripped of his victory.

It also remains unclear whether the results could have been manipulated before being entered into the electronic transmissions system, analysts said.

At the same time, Beylier stated that the company is suing unidentified people in both French and Kenyan courts for damaging the company’s “reputation and honor.”

“We do not intend to become the scapegoat of the political situation in Kenya,”he said.

French firm rules out transmission of full vote results

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