Internal Audit Finds No Trace of Spyware Abuse at Interior Ministry's IT Agency
An audit into the activities of the IT and Development Center (SMIT) failed to find any use of spyware to keep tabs on staff, among other violations, after two former employees accused the center.
A former employee sent the interior minister an open letter at the end of August, accusing SMIT of corruption leading to a decrease in staff motivation and the organization's capabilities. The letter followed similar criticism from Robert Siimon, who left SMIT in April.
“On the basis of the audit results we can say the anonymous statements made in the media did not find confirmation. According to experts there is room for improvement in the leadership of SMIT, but since changes in leadership the organization has turn course and is on the right path,” Riho Kuppart, the deputy secretary general for resources, said.
The audit said SMIT heads did not use excessive surveillance methods on its staff, had not hacked into speeding cameras to delete violations of its vehicles and the audit also found no back door to the emergency service radio network, as implied by the anonymous former employee.
According to the accusation, SMIT leadership approved a system which collected information about staff members, which could be used against them, while abusing the state's IT systems, leading to failed state IT procurements and deleted speeding tickets.
A IT solution to guard the Schengen information system failed to work, and staff members had to enforce security manually, a shortfall which was hidden from ministry heads, the anonymous staff member said.
SMIT's tasks include leading procurements of IT systems and solutions, development and management of the systems, development and security of state electronic identification systems, implementation of cyber security standards and advising on cyber defense issues.