Sep 24, 2019

Microsoft posts code for election security software

Photo: Paul J. Richardson/AFP via Getty Images

Microsoft publicly released the code for its election security software ElectionGuard on Tuesday, via the code collaboration site GitHub.

Why it matters: ElectionGuard, when installed on voting equipment, makes it possible for anyone to audit the vote counts of a public election.

The concept was announced in May and first demonstrated at the Aspen Security Forum. The program was developed with encryption experts Galois.

Microsoft says major election vendors Clear Ballot, Democracy Live, Election Systems & Software, Dominion Voting Systems, Hart InterCivic, BPro, MicroVote, Smartmatic, and VotingWorks have all discussed implementing the ElectionGuard system.

Go deeper

$250M for election security is a fraction of what's needed

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell offered his support for a $250 million election security fund. By experts' estimates, that's only around 10% of what states will need between now and 2024 in order to protect elections from security threats.

The big picture: The County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania says it will cost $125 million to replace unsecure voting machines in its state alone, meaning half the new funds could be spent on one small aspect of election security in just one state.

Go deeperArrowSep 26, 2019

GitHub and Microsoft employees protest renewed contract with ICE

Anti-ICE protestors in New York City in September targeted businesses profiting from the crisis at the border. Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

GitHub employees sent a letter to their CEO on Wednesday demanding the tech company drop its recently renewed, $200,000 contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, citing human rights concerns, the Washington Post reports.

What's new: Employees from Microsoft are circulating a letter endorsing their Github subsidiary to cancel the contract after GitHub CEO Nat Friedman stood by the platform's renewal with the government agency, Bloomberg reports.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Oct 10, 2019

Google hires Microsoft veteran to run G Suite

Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

In its bid to take on Microsoft Office, Google has hired someone who knows the product well: former Outlook boss Javier Soltero.

Why it matters: Google and Microsoft are in a tough battle to win the hearts, minds and email accounts of business customers. While G Suite has gained share, especially for email, Microsoft has pivoted Office from a desktop software to a subscription service.

Go deeperArrowOct 21, 2019