Brought to you by Konnech, Inc. and the CCP
In my quest to dig on the TRUTH about Konnech, I came across a very interesting discovery. Read along as I bring you on a trip from China to Michigan and back.
On October 26, 2015, the domain 2dmeeting.cn was created. It was registered to 金华鸿正科技有限公司 with the email email@example.com. The registrant email was later changed to firstname.lastname@example.org. 金华鸿正科技有限公司 is Jinhua Hongzheng Technology Co., Ltd. which is headquartered in Jinhua City, Zhejiang Province, China. I'll take a moment to highlight this fact: the registrant's email address for this Chinese website was email@example.com. But, Konnech is a Michigan based company. Why would they be registering a Chinese website domain?
From the 2dmeeting.cn site, we can see their business focus is to "Professionally provide conference overall solutions such as electronic sign-in for conferences, paperless conference reading, intelligent electronic voting, election electronic ballot boxes, and evaluation and counting machines."1 In their words, it's a "One stop solution for all problems."
2dmeeting is a project of Jinhua Hongzheng Technology. "Since 2015, Hongzheng has been focusing on providing digital services for the National People's Congress, and has helped more than 400 National People's Congress customers in more than 20 provinces across the country"2
GitHub is website platform for software development. Programmers can store their code, collaborate with others, and track design progress. One such programmer is called MishiMalik. MishiMalik has 30 different GitHub repositories for the various website development projects she's working on. One repository is titled "konnech" that she last pushed changes to 4 months ago. Ballot Tracking & Management.html, Candidate&CampaignManagement.html, and Election-Worker-Management.html are a few of the websites she was working on. The "konnech" site, however, is not the focus of this article.
The domain name 5dmeeting.com was registered on 25 Jun 2022. The details of its registrant and email was made private, so I'm unable to determine if Konnech was the registrant. However, I can see that both 5dmeeting.com and a Konnech product's subdomain konnechmailsender.plocation.net share an IP address. Without getting too techy in this article, an IP address can be likened to a Post Office Box, so both websites residing in the same PO Box could indicate a connection. This website cannot be viewed yet because it hasn't been made live, it's only "parked". It's like writing an article for your blog but not pushing Publish.
So, what do we have so far? We've got a Chinese website doing business for the Chinese Communist Party, a bunch of HTML code, and domain registrations. You might ask, "Where are you going with this diggersleuth?"
Well, another repository on MishiMalik's GitHub is titled 5DMeeting where changes were last noted on July 30, 2022.3 Since I was familiar with Jinhua Hongzheng's 2dmeeting, I thought I'd have a peek at the code. It's 1666 lines of raw HTML. I rendered this code to visualize what the site would look like if it had been published. I also looked through the images posted to the GitHub repository.
The 5Dmeeting.html webpage is entitled "Android/Windows/iOS App Based Meeting System". It gives a list of 10 benefits of use and 8 situations the system can handle. It then has a table "The Advantage of Smart Device Meeting System" that is a comparison between their Wireless and Wired Systems. A table of "System Hardware Specifications" is next, followed by a quote from Founder & President of Konnech, Eugene Yu. Lastly, the site provides the contact information for Konnech (email, phone, and address). This appears to be a demo site for a future Konnech product.
“The strong partnerships we have formed with election administrators over the years have helped us continuously improve our PollChief® Election management system since 2006. Each partnership is a special opportunity to make these tools better for our clients. After supporting thousands of elections, we still help implement our software with care and deference for each election. We can guarantee that you will get the system you want from your very first implementation.” Eugene Yu, 5dmeeting.html
5dmeeting would have "advanced security measures" (so reassuring), low cost, flexible voting methods... wait, what??? Voting methods? It's a turn-key solution for agenda & document management, attendance, and secure voting. There's that "voting" again. 5dmeeting would be offered in both wired or wireless versions, but the wireless was "preferred". In the table comparing the differences, here are a few:
Wired: high unit price, unable to move, the keys are sluggish, network connection lines age easily and loosen, data transmission is low, you'd need wiring and custom tables, it doesn't support customization, and only anonymous check-ins are allowed.
Wireless: lower unit price, easy to move, sensitive keys & touch screen, LAN & Wi-fi that "transmits large traffic with fast speed". It's simple to deploy, easy to expand, is customizable and "easily connected with other existing systems like paperless document management system and reporting system”. It allows real-name as well as anonymous check-in with multiple voting formats.
Wireless seems like the way they want you to go. It'll have all the bell-and-whistles.
But wait, there's more! 5dmeeting will come with "A suite of tools to manage meeting attendance, paper-less document management, opinion gathering, voting, report and data management for a local server and also the downloadable Android/Windows/iOS App for up to 500 tablet devices", a business grade router, a server with Windows Server License, a handy cabinet with tablet chargers, a carrying case that'll hold 40 units, and all the other bits and pieces to make this a complete system! Konnech has really thought of everything! Or, have they?
The entirety of the 5dmeeting text was familiar to me. Where had I seen this before? The 会议表决系统 page on 2dmeeting.cn is where.
Geez, it's like one of those "spot the differences" children's games. It would almost be funny, if the United States' National Security weren't at stake.
You may recall from my previous article that Konnech's CEO, Eugene Yu, was arrested in Michigan on October 4, 2022 in connection with the theft of personal data.4 Now, consider the potential scope this 5dmeeting project would have had, and the origins of the product. A company managing U.S. elections for years, collaborating with a Chinese company that specializes in systems for Communist Party National People's Congress. Producing systems that would transmit large volumes of data at high speed. A system where they provided the tablets, router, and server.
It’s interesting the slogan Konnech chose for 5dmeeting - What's Next? Indeed Konnech and Jinhua Hongzheng Technology, what is next in your attempts to subvert our election systems?
Note: Google translate has been utilized for translating quotations from Chinese to English in this article.
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Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office October 4, 2022: Head of Election Worker Management Company Arrested in Connection with Theft of Personal Data https://da.lacounty.gov/media/news/head-election-worker-management-company-arrested-connection-theft-personal-data