Definers’ Matt Rhoades’ New Non-Profit to Provide Pro-Bono Cybersecurity Assistance to Campaigns
In an unprecedented move, the Federal Election Committee (FEC) has approved Defending Digital Campaigns’ (DDC) request to be able to provide cybersecurity help to political campaigns free of charge and without being bound by standard campaign contribution rules and regulations.
DDC is a new non-profit headed by Definers’ Founder and CEO and former Mitt Romney for President campaign manager Matt Rhoades, former Hillary Clinton for President campaign manager Robby Mook, and former director of the NSA’s defensive arm, Debora Plunkett. The organization was born out of the need to help campaigns on a tight budget get the resources necessary to protect themselves from international cyber attacks, a serious threat that has unfortunately proven to be real in 2008, 2012 and 2016.
Non-profits are typically not allowed to provide free services to campaigns, but DCC was able to receive an exemption from the FEC because of its non-partisan status and the pressing need. As the Washington Post reports:
The commission’s reasoning, in a nutshell, was that it ordinarily bans such services due to the possibility people might try to cash in on political favors later. But in this case, the risk of Russian and Chinese hackers running roughshod over the 2020 elections is far worse.
DCC’s services will be available to any House, Senate, or Presidential candidate whose campaign meets basic criteria for viability, regardless of party.
Matt Rhoades had this to say after the FEC decision: “American elections face serious cyber threats from bad actors – both foreign and domestic. I appreciate the FEC for paving the way for a non-government entity to help address this problem. This is a bipartisan effort that I am hopeful can rise above the political din and bring us closer to finding a long-term solution.”
Definers is proud to have our CEO participate in such a vital bipartisan effort to protect our democracy, and we are glad to be part of the effort to raise awareness about the importance of the issue.