Monday, August 6, 2018

Sen. Tito Sotto wants to Summon Audit Logs of Comelec Servers in 2016

Senate President Vicente Sotto on Monday said that he would issue an order to summon the logs of the Commission on Elections servers to know if there were intrusions made in connection with the conduct of the 2016 elections.

“We will issue a subpoena duces tecum by the Senate. Mr. Chairman, I suggest that you write my office and request for subpoena duces tecum,” Sotto told Senator Aquilino Pimentel III during the hearing of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on the Automated Election System.

Sotto made the remark after Hubert Guevarra of the Philippine Computer Society raised before the joint committee the issue of Smartmatic inserting a new script or command to change “?” to “ñ” in its transparency server in Manila on the night of election day.

“You have an “ñ” seen in the transparency server and not seen in election management system (EMS). The EMS is the brain of all the servers yet you have transparency server that is not even part of EMS? Kung nakapag-access ka remotely ng transparency server, what more makapag-access ka ng EMS? Guevarra asked.

He said no one would know what really happened until an audit of the log of all the servers was done.

“We have been asking since day kung pwede pa ba namin makuha lahat ng audit logs?" Guevarra said.

"How many intrusions were made in the server? We have to look at the logs to find out if there were intrusions made in the Comelec server,” he added.

Sotto, through Pimentel who co-chaired the joint panel, asked if the audit log could be made accessible to interested parties to see the activity of the Comelec server.

Comelec executive director Jose Tolentino said he had to check if it was part of the protection order of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal hearing the election protest of former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr against Vice President Leni Robredo.

“I-check ko, sir, because that might be covered ng protection order of the PET. The protection order covers VCM (vote counting machines) which does not contain data, SD card, any logs. We just have to secure authority and if they give us…” Tolentino said.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said it would have to get authorization from PET before it could give the Senate the audit logs.

“May issue tayo kasi I’m not so sure if this is covered by the protective order, because if it is, then yes, definitely, maghihintay tayo ng sagot, ng authorization from the PET,” he told reporters after the hearing.

Officials of the poll body has repeatedly said that the change from “?” to “ñ” did not affect the results shown by the server as it was just a cosmetic change.

The Marcos camp claimed the tweak altered the hash code of the Comelec’s packet data.

Source: GMA

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