Kenya: opposition granted access to review IEBC tech
8 September 2017
Kenya's opposition coalition has been granted access to servers and other IT infrastructure used by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in the country's August general election. This follows the Coalition's petition to the Supreme Court against the announcement of Uhuru Kenyatta as the winner.
In its ruling this morning, Justice Isaac Lenaola said that the petitioners, the National Super Alliance (NASA), would be given a read-only access to IEBC infrastructure.
The opposition's case to gain access was based on their belief that the tallied votes on physical forms differed to what was relayed electronically. The coalition also claimed the IEBC failed to relay the electronic count with the scanned copies of the forms simultaneously and its systems were compromised.
"We also note the petitioner's (NASA) apprehension that the physical forms 34A and 34B produced in court by the first respondent (IEBC) may not necessarily contain the results that were electronically transmitted and therefore their request to access IEBC's system in order to confirm the validity of information contained therein is a matter to be taken into account," stated Justice Lenaola.
"We also take into account the fact that our system of elections is partly electronic in nature and therefore the role played by technology in this regard cannot be ignored," he continued.
The IEBC had argued that unrestricted access to their servers would compromise the technology and expose them to security issues and the Court subsequently ordered that access should be limited.
"We note that some of the action that access is sought has the potential of compromising the integrity and security of the first respondent (IEBC) technology system and of individual persons which if granted is likely to compromise the future use of the system," Justice Lenaola read.
"Therefore in giving the orders we have to be aware of the need to protect confidentiality of passwords and usernames, identity of password holders, IP addresses, software running applications and so on."
The opposition will have access to the number of servers IEBC was operating, the certified penetration testing report for the servers, review business continuity plans including backup servers and also to the 40,000 Kenya Integrated Election Management System (KIEMS) kits and their GPRS location before and after the voting day.
The Court also ordered that two independent ICT experts and one from the Court will supervise the audit of the system.
A final ruling on the ongoing presidential petition is scheduled for 1 September.