Google plans to expand its election security programs ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. In a statement on Tuesday, Mark Risher, Google's Director of Product Management, Identity, and User Security, said that the company will increase its role in providing security support for upcoming elections.
In the blog post, Risher said that future efforts build on previous work in 2020, when the company worked with an organization called Defending Digital Campaigns to provide two-factor authentication to federal campaigns. This time around, Google plans to include eligible state campaigns as well.
The tech giant’s efforts are in line with its Advanced Protection Program, which is free and protects “high-risk individuals who have access to high visibility and sensitive information, such as election officials, campaigns, activists and journalists.”
“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,” stated Risher.
DDC is a non-profit organization that claims to be nonpartisan but employs two former presidential campaign managers, Robby Mook of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and Matt Rhoades from Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign, reports the Daily Wire.
The organization received permission from the Federal Election Commission to work with vendors to provide services to political campaigns at “low-to-no cost.”
Fox Business reports that “Google said it helped to distribute more than 10,000 protection kits to more than 140 federal campaigns ahead of the 2020 election” in collaborating with the DDC.
Google has elaborated on how it provides cybersecurity support to political campaigns, including virtual security training and the deployment of an election security help desk. It also offers a “best practices knowledge base.”
Google will also be working with the National Cybersecurity Center to get elected officials up to speed on ways to fend off cyber attacks.
“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,” Google stated.