Federal Agency Focused On Leftist Politics And Pronouns As ‘Gross Mismanagement’ Put Cybersecurity At Risk
Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images. Composite by Daily Wire via 18F

A federal tech agency recently caught risking the nation’s cybersecurity by violating rules and lying in the name of “equity” is dominated by a cabal of perpetually triggered leftists obsessed with politics and pronouns, a Daily Wire investigation shows.

The General Services Administration’s (GSA) Technology Transformation Service (TTS) — whose employees have included a self-proclaimed Marxist organizer and a man who identifies as transgender who raised money from colleagues to “void their gender warranty” — spent its time on projects like creating a social justice robot. The efforts came as the unit lost millions of dollars, repeatedly lied, and put the security of sensitive data at risk with wanton noncompliance with basic security rules, according to watchdog reports and other records reviewed by The Daily Wire.

The Daily Wire reported last week that GSA’s inspector general found that TTS tricked federal agencies into violating security standards by omitting facial recognition from software designed to lock up highly sensitive information, privately reasoning that such software was racist. It obtained $197 million in part by falsely telling customers and funders that it was compliant with NIST standards that required biometrics. The scandal affected, a service to authenticate Americans’ identity before giving access to sensitive data, and in particular the nearly one million accounts that were sold as conforming to higher-level NIST standards which would have required facial recognition. GSA said it was “completely unacceptable” and that it is pursuing discipline.

TTS — which began as a project called 18F that still operates as one of its largest units — matters because of the importance of technology to modern government and because, like other GSA departments, its work fans out into other federal agencies.

President Joe Biden is planning an executive order that would push to every American, FCW reported last month. The IRS plans to implement to allow Americans to file their taxes directly to it this April, despite concerns by one of the software platform’s own former leaders that it could not handle it. Though the IRS originally planned to use facial recognition technology — which could cut down on billions of dollars of fraud from people filing tax returns in others’ names — it ultimately decided not to.

The cyber-vulnerability and deception disclosed this month was just one of a series of serious rule violations, financial losses, and cyber-vulnerabilities that the GSA acknowledged were the result of “gross mismanagement.” But the breakdown also occurred because the unit, which spent only half of its time working on actual billable projects, was consumed with a shocking level of partisanship.

In 2016, the agency’s inspector general slammed 18F for spending more than $4,000 in manpower on “bots” such as one that corrected gendered language in internal messages between employees.

Users shouldn’t say “no problemo” because it “arose as a way of devaluing Spanish in favor of an ‘English-only’ United States.”

“The ‘Slackbot’ polices a user’s text for the pronouns ‘guys,’ ‘guyz,’ and ‘dudes.’ When the bot detects these pronouns, it prompts the user to consider replacing the pronoun with an option, like ‘team,’” the IG wrote.

Staff only doubled down after being called out, prompting the creation of a far more expansive social justice robot.

“Pretty soon, we realized that we could introduce a lot more language nudges than just ‘guys,’ and we renamed ‘guys bot’ to ‘Inclusion Bot,’” 18F officials wrote in November 2022.

The new bot objects to calling something “nuts” and suggests replacing it with “bananas” because we “want to avoid stigmatizing mental illness.” It discourages saying something is “like crack” because “We want to avoid stigmatizing addiction. Crack cocaine usage has also been racialized, resulting in discriminatory policies that target Black people.”

Users shouldn’t say “no problemo” because it “arose as a way of devaluing Spanish in favor of an ‘English-only’ United States.” And they shouldn’t “circle the wagons” because “this term arose from colonization,” nor “hold down the fort” because “this term arose as a military phrase.” They shouldn’t conduct a “postmortem” because “This term can trigger emotions related to death.”

After the 2016 election, top honchos tried to shield TTS — which has its roots in a program architected by Barack Obama — from layoffs by claiming it was nonpartisan. “We have people from different political stripes on the team … We don’t think technology is partisan,” TTS Commissioner Rob Cook told CNN, which also noted that Republican Kevin McCarthy supported the unit.

But records reviewed by The Daily Wire depict a team of far-Left partisans that impacted agencies across the federal government through their web and data work. Choose any name on 18F’s roster and there’s a good chance you’ll find openly far-Left sentiment and a fixation on identity politics. For example, Ann Lewis, who was hired as TTS’ director in December, was previously chief technology officer of, the leftist political fundraising group.

TTS Design Director Cordelia Yu last year raised money from colleagues (including former 18F director Aaron Snow) for “gender-affirming surgery”–billed in tech-speak as “Help Cordelia Void Their Gender Warranty”–in a GoFundMe organized by a friend. Yu’s blog mimicked “the 18F project reflection template” and stated: “Goals for the last three months: Turn a penis into a p****.”

Leah Bannon, a former product lead who worked on immigration at 18F, is now an organizer for Bread and Roses Democratic Socialists of America, a self-described “national caucus of Marxist organizers.”

Anne Peterson, a graphic designer for 18F, wrote this month on Twitter: “Hi: my name is Anne and my pronouns are they/them. My name or appearance should not lead to a presumption of gender. Your assumption may harm me whether or not you intend it to.” She complained about the lack of bathrooms for nonbinary people.

After Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election, 18F infrastructure director Noah Kunin — who the inspector general said repeatedly plotted to circumvent rules and made false statements — wrote a blog post saying he was quitting because of his hatred of Trump.

“The people with the matches are inside the house … It’s now on fire because the people in charge want to burn it down,” he wrote.

He also claimed Trump had converted a position overseeing the unit from a civil servant to political appointee role in order to demand “loyalty.” In private correspondence, Kunin’s supervisor fretted that the blog was false, and an IG report showed that it was false in a deeply ironic way: In reality, Obama’s GSA head, Denise Turner Roth, had pushed for the position to be converted to a politically appointed one as she sought a way to fire a civil servant who blew the whistle on the “politicization” of 18F during the Obama years. The IG found that Roth improperly retaliated against that whistleblower.

The day after Trump’s election, TTS held a “town hall” where high-paid tech employees — many of whom worked remotely — expressed fears for their “safety” and plotted to continue getting paid while refusing to do work asked for by the Trump administration, according to records obtained by The Daily Wire under the Freedom of Information Act.

Some employees transcribed quotes from the bosses in Slack for those who could not tune in to the video meeting. Shawn Allen quoted one seemingly suggesting that they stay in government in order to resist Trump: “you guys don’t run away from a fight; you run _to_ the fight.”

The next reply came from the social justice bot the team had created, objecting to the gendered language.

“Did you mean *mates*?” it asked.

This is the third installment in a series.

Part 1: Feds Jeopardized Security Of 1M Americans’ Online Accounts, Citing ‘Equity’

Part 2: Federal Tech Arm Had Pattern Of ‘Gross Mismanagement’ Before ‘Equity’-Induced Cybersecurity Fiasco

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Federal Agency Focused On Leftist Politics And Pronouns As ‘Gross Mismanagement’ Put Cybersecurity At Risk