Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Protecting the 2020 Election - The Role of America's Technoplutocracy

Since the 2016 election, Americans have been subjected to a repeated diet of electoral interference by "outside bad actors", suggesting that significant steps need to be taken to control the spread of false information and narratives during the 2020 presidential election in particular.  While it receives almost no attention from the mainstream media, 


Let's open by looking at a quote from Chad Wolf, Acting Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, during his September 2020 State of the Homeland address:

"We are identifying and preventing malign foreign actors and nation states from interfering in our elections and protecting our election infrastructure....

Our newest component – the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency  (or CISA) – is at the forefront guarding against nation-state actors’ cyber-enabled espionage and malicious influence activity aimed at all levels of government and industry.


As we approach the 2020 election, we remain steadfast in protecting this essential American process. 


CISA has doubled down both on their efforts across the federal government and in partnering with local election leaders across the country to make sure our elections are safe and secure.


Elections are a bedrock of our Constitutional republic, and securing them is paramount to accurately expressing the will of the American people.


To protect the integrity of our representative government, our ultimate goal must be to ensure that American voters decide American elections.


In light of new levels of organized efforts by Russia in 2016 to disrupt and deceive, the Department strengthened U.S. efforts to rebuff the aggressive and meddlesome behavior of any nefarious state actor.


Signed into law by President Trump, CISA has made extraordinary and rapid strides bolstering the security of this most sacred democratic process.


CISA leveraged unique cybersecurity technical services by funding the Election Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center (or EI-ISAC) that deploys and monitors intrusion detection systems on election infrastructure across all 50 states.


The results were historic - 2018 was the most secure election in the modern era.


Not resting on its laurels, CISA has only increased its protection in scope and impact as it pursues the goal of an ever-more secure election in 2020."


Let's take a closer look at EI-ISAC, the Department of Homeland Security's frontline shield against electoral interference in the United States.  Here is the front page of EI-ISAC's website as found on the Center for Internet Security website (noting that CIS is the operator of EI-ISAC):


According to CIS, EI-ISAC is "supporting the rapidly changing cybersecurity needs of U.S. elections offices."


EI-ISAC provides the following cybersecurity tools and training resources to "help elections officials protect their systems and data":


Joining EI-ISAC is free for U.S. elections organizations as shown here:


Now, let's look at one of the products being used by EI-ISAC to protect American elections.  Here is the lead page of Protect Your Elections website:


Here is an introductory video about Protect Your Elections: 


Here is how Protect Your Election can help with the election process:


Here are the tools that Protect Your Election offers to protect the electoral process against digital attacks:



Most importantly in this age of censorship, here is how Protect Your Election can prevent the spread of false narratives and information during elections:


If you read carefully through the screen captures, you may have noticed this:


That's right, America's technoplutocracy is hard at work, protecting your election!


With the above information in mind, let's close this posting with some key information from Open Secrets.  Here are the 2020 and previous elections campaign contributions from affiliates of Alphabet Inc. (i.e. Google), noting that organization themselves cannot contribute to candidates and party committees:


Here is a further breakdown of how these funds were designated by political party:


As shown here, the top 25 recipients of these campaign contributions are all Democrats:


By way of comparison, the top Republican recipient, Donald Trump, has received a rather measly $29,021.  Given this donation information, do you really think that Protect Your Election is really going to provide a balanced product, particularly when it comes to fact-checking?


While companies like Google and its technoplutocracy sector peers are publicly stating that they are in the business of protecting America's democracy from the hostile disinformation tactics being used by America's enemies for the benefit of the sweaty masses, I think that we can pretty much assume that at least some of the most influential players are in it, to win it for their chosen party, the Democrats.  At the very least, we should make the assumption that products that are being touted by the technology tyrants to protect democracy are highly vulnerable to political bias.

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