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Microsoft’s ElectionGuard a Trojan Horse for a military-industrial takeover of US elections

“The fact that we are handing over the keys of American democracy to the military-industrial complex — it’s like giving the keys to the henhouse to a fox and saying, ‘here come in and take whatever you want.’ It’s obviously dangerous.” — Investigative journalist Yasha Levine

by Whitney Webb 

Part 4 - From mind control to vote control?

It’s worth briefly describing why DARPA’s role at Galois is of concern. This stems mainly from the fact that DARPA is currently developing Orwellian and nightmarish “Terminator” technologies — including efforts to implant chips into soldiers’ brains, replace most human soldiers with robot soldiers, and create killer “Terminator” robots — and autonomous artificial-intelligence targeting systems that will use social media to identify potential targets.

In 2015, Michael Goldblatt — then-director of the DARPA subdivision Defense Sciences Office (DSO), which oversees the “super soldier” program — told journalist Annie Jacobsen that he saw no difference between “having a chip in your brain that could help control your thoughts” and “a cochlear implant that helps the deaf hear.” When pressed about the unintended consequences of such technology, Goldblatt stated that “there are unintended consequences for everything.

It goes without saying that the fact that an institution currently developing what essentially amounts to mind-control technology, and that also sees nothing wrong with such technology, has suddenly become so interested in creating and funding with millions of dollars a “free, fair and secure” election system to protect American democracy from interference, is beyond odd and suggests an ulterior motive.

Similarly, Microsoft’s claim that it “will not charge for using ElectionGuard and will not profit from partnering with election technology suppliers that incorporate it into their products” should also raise eyebrows. Considering that Microsoft has a long history of predatory practices, including price gouging for its OneCare security software, its offering of ElectionGuard software free of charge is tellingly out of step for the tech giant and suggests an ulterior motive behind Microsoft’s recent philanthropic interest in “defending democracy.”

In addition, Microsoft’s dual role as a major technology company and a contractor for both the U.S. military and the U.S. intelligence community should also raise red flags. Indeed, Microsoft has made it abundantly clear that it plans to forge ever closer ties with the U.S. government, especially after Microsoft President Brad Smith announced last December that Microsoft is “going to provide the US military with access to the best technology … all the technology we create. Full stop.” A month prior to that statement, Microsoft secured a $480 million contract with the Pentagon to provide the U.S. military with its HoloLens technology.

This close relationship that Microsoft is building with the Pentagon may explain the company’s ulterior motive in creating and promoting ElectionGuard, as promoting the largely DARPA-funded election technology could help improve Microsoft’s chances in its current bid for a $10 billion cloud services contract with the Pentagon.

Furthermore, given the numerous corporate connections as well as the connections to the AEI, it could be argued that Microsoft and Galois’ intimate involvement in this system could be to help “guard” elections from candidates who threaten to regulate or rein in their industries, particularly the military-industrial complex. Of course, the claim that ElectionGuard is “open source” is meant to mitigate such speculation, as the open-source nature of the technology ostensibly means that no discrete code is hidden that could be used to manipulate results. However, as will be shown shortly, the fact that a technology is open-source does not necessarily mean that the data that passes through that technology is not open to manipulation from a third party.

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