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Google Expands Security Efforts Ahead of 2022 Elections

Tech company to support cybersecurity training for state election officials and staff

   DailyWire.com
CHINA - 2020/08/13: In this photo illustration the American multinational technology company and search engine Google logo is seen on an Android mobile device with United States of America flag in the background. (Photo Illustration by Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

On Tuesday, Google announced that it is expanding its election security programs before the 2022 elections.

Mark Risher, Google’s Director of Product Management, Identity and User Security, wrote on the company’s blog that it will increase its role in providing security support for next year’s elections. This builds on similar efforts from last year, when the company worked with the Defending Digitals Campaign in order to provide two-factor authentication to federal campaigns. It plans to include eligible state campaigns this time, as well.

This new effort goes along with Google’s standing Advanced Protection Program, which is free and seeks to protect “high-risk individuals who have access to high visibility and sensitive information, such as election officials, campaigns, activists and journalists.”

Risher wrote, “Today we’re expanding our support for DDC to provide eligible campaigns and political parties, committees, and related organizations with knowledge, training and resources to defend themselves from security threats—now at both the Federal and state level.”

DDC is a non-profit C4 organization, that claims to be nonpartisan and employs former presidential campaign managers for Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney — Robby Mook and Matt Rhoades, respectively. DDC actively works with vendors in order to provide services to campaigns at “low-to-no cost.” The organization was given permission by the Federal Election Commission to work in this way, helping all campaigns, regardless of party affiliation, as long as they do so within the boundaries of campaign finance law.

As reported by Fox Business, “Google said it helped to distribute more than 10,000 protection kits to more than 140 federal campaigns ahead of the 2020 election” in its partnership with DDC. 

Google listed ways it will specifically provide cybersecurity support to campaigns, namely by providing “virtual security training in all 50 states” while also deploying “an election security help desk and “’best practices’ knowledge base.”

It will also be working with the National Cyber Security Center to educate elected officials and staff on ways they can “strengthen their defenses against digital attacks.”

Election security has been a topic of conversation in the United States since the 2016 election, and public trust in election fairness continues to evolve.

A year ago, an NPR poll revealed that “two-thirds of Democrats think the country isn’t prepared [to keep this November’s elections safe and secure], while 85% of Republicans said they think it is.”

After the 2020 election, however, Republicans’ trust seemed to shift. According to a Morning Consult survey conducted last month, “92 percent of Democrats” said the 2020 election was free and fair, with only “32 percent of Republicans” agreeing.

Google’s announcement concludes: “Keeping everyone safe online remains our top priority and we look forward to continuing our work in 2021 to make sure campaigns and elected officials around the world stay safe online.”

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