Friday, March 16, 2012

RoboConduct unbecoming

Shorter CBC : They call you up and ask what party you support; if not a Con supporter, you get a frowny face entered next to your name on the Cons voter identification system CIMS, and a callback later advising you your polling station has been moved to wherever - a mall, a real estate office. 
CBC's Terry Milewski tracked this in 31 ridings clear across the country.

Former Tory MP Inky Mark, maverick that he is, confirmed how the smileyface/frownyface CIMS system works, adding that he opted out of it because :
"the party had control over the entire, nationwide database. An MP and his staff were at the mercy of headquarters, Mark says, because they had the power to allocate and revoke database passwords." 
Unfuckablewith discovers CISM is "designed explicitly" to be integrated with "a feature to perform robocalls on a nationwide level". He has a working draft up on security flaws in the CIMS and LiberaList, with the most interesting bits so far redacted while he thinks them through : 
"A shocking amount of personal information is stored on these servers and can be recalled for use in individual campaign offices and on Parliament Hill via a secure VPN connection to the main Conservative Party servers.  While this leaves the system vulnerable to [redacted], the greater issue is that in the process of establishing this VPN connection, the data [redacted], and thus, outside of the control of Canadian authorities." 
"the data ___ and thus outside the control of Canadian authorities" ???
The data is what?  Stored in the fridge? Stored on servers at some US voter- ID/townhall company? 

Which reminds me : Con MP Julian Fantino, Associate Minister of F-35s, is outraged, outraged, that three former board members of his Guelph electoral district association have alleged a second undeclared campaign bank account of $300,000+, which Elections Canada does not allow :
“I am grateful to the people of Vaughan for their support of our honorable and ethical election campaigns. The disgraceful accusations from these individuals is false.”
Fantino’s fundraising co-chair Sam Ciccolini immediately replaced former board member Richard Lorello as a Director after Lorello quit over the alleged secret account. Ciccolini is Director and Chair of the Audit Committee at Italian Canadian Savings & Credit Union, home of the same alleged secret account :
"There was no wrongdoing, there was no impropriety, and there were zero allegations of wrongdoing during the elections. They talk about a second account; there was no second account," said Ciccolini on Tuesday."
"Then there is this evidence of a second account from Sam Ciccolini himself. In an e-mail dated April 29, 2011 to former Director Richard Lorello and Frank Domenichiello, who was president of the Vaughan Conservative EDA, Mr. Ciccolini stated that, “The reason we still have the second account still open is that Mirella [Chiapetta][secretary to Julian Fantino] felt that it would be best to have the TD bank account as they have been good to us and there were some transactions – checks that have yet to clear and at some point we would close it. I do not remember any vote taken on it, could be wrong….”  These comments were made on April 29 during the General Election, and according to Mr. Ciccolini, there still seem to be two bank accounts."
404 Systems Error published the docs a couple of weeks ago.

As noted in the CBC clip above, Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand announced today that he now has "over 700 Canadians from across the country" who allege "specific circumstances" of fraudulent or improper calls and he would be pleased to appear before committee (that would be PROC) to discuss it. 
Ha! PROC going in camera in 3  ... 2 ... 1

One a lighter note, among all the 'RoboCon is no-biggie' editorials flourishing in our media comes this amusing one from a former Con candidate: The great robocall scandal is a fraud.
Spending more than a minute talking to a voter is a Liberal plot, she says, all this fuss about fraud is just Pierre Poutine, and even if it wasn't :
"Out of a list of say, 1,000 phone numbers of supposed opposition supporters that you would get off a voters’ list, probably half are wrong."  
So again - no biggie. Apart from the fact voters' lists don't have phone numbers.

h/t to Anon in comments for Vaughan Weekly link

Update - really rolling now :  Dave, RossK, and Dawg dig deeper : 
Dave : Toto I don't think we're in Guelph anymore and More pretty dots More evidence
RossK : Real/Not Robocall ... The number on Lori Bruce's phone
Dr. Dawg : Roboscam : Abuse of constituents.


Anonymous said...

Is it just me or do you get the impression Jean-Pierre Kingsley doesn’t have, ah, complete confidence in the current (Harper-appointed) Chief Electoral Officer?

— Eastside of West

Anonymous said...

"the data ___ and thus outside the control of Canadian authorities"

Maybe it isn't the Cons doing it. Maybe just like in Latin America we are no longer in control of our own elections.

Anonymous said...

The CIMS server appears to be in the USA, therefore outside the control of Canadian authorites.

Anonymous said...

au contraire .. Its not on 'a lighter note' .. re-read her article without bias.. She makes it very clear via her recollections, that she 'begged the central campaign to cut down the calls' .. 'I called campaign headquarters demanding an explanation' .. her most astute observation was 'If this was a Liberal strategy to turn off voters it would have been very effective.'. Her observations regarding the intelligence or practicality are gems.. This is one of the most refreshing and bluntly honest articles I've read.. re the voting scandal

Anonymous said...

On the contrary, I get the feeling that Jean-Pierre Kingsley is a paid consultant of Elections Canada and is being very helpful to them right now.

Anonymous said...

Garth Turner, MP, on the CIMS in 2007:"Any time a constituent is engaged with a member of Parliament, they get zapped into the database," Turner said. "It's unethical and it's a shocking misuse of data."

Kev said...

Drip,drip,drip... then the dam bursts

Sam Gunsch said...

Andrew Coyne pushed back very clearly and specifically against media pundits who say this is a nothing story, on CBC last night At Issue panel.

If his comments are any barometer, the MSM minimizing tide will turn.

Anonymous said...

I hope you’re right, Anonymous @ 8:12. I’ve never gotten a solid sense that Mayrand (who was, forgive me, formally appointed by Harper, but elected by Parliament) appreciates that what we’re talking about with the CPC is not petty infractions, but a knife attack on the electoral process. On the other hand, he could just feel overwhelmed.

—Eastside of West

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