Equity has emerged as the big, but fake, excuse after the uncovering of a giant scandal. This is a scandal with blatant violations in online security services by the main technology organization of the US government
Top Security Without Top Security?
The apparent corruption scandal with a woke aftertaste has been unearthed at the General Services Administration (GSA), an independent agency of the federal government.
Since its creation in 1949, GSA has been tasked with providing US government employees and institutions with technological and communication supplies, services, and solutions.
However, it messed up tremendously with an online security product. It then tried to cover it up by claiming this all happened for the sake of equity.
The Inspector General of the GSA has carried out a top-to-bottom review of the agency, discovering for years, it violated obligatory online security requirements, The Daily Wire reported.
More specifically, the General Services Administration dismissed facial recognition technology, even though that was required for high-security federal government accounts.
The GSA also lied for years that it had been complying with federal rules. Once the blatant violation was found, it claimed it was motivated by a quest for “equity.”
The technology group of the GSA was given the job of creating Login.gov, a service for federal agencies which could be used for setting up accounts. These are accounts that give access to government online resources with sensitive or personal information.
Login.gov was supposed to be established based on rules from NIST (the National Institute for Standards and Technology). This included a login option for the most sensitive data which was billed as “hacker- and impersonator-resistant.”
The option was supposed to conform to Identity Assurance Level 2 (IAL2), a NIST standard.
Ah, Dave refused to incorporate biometrics into https://t.co/JsERcJcCCp even though it is required to meet the NIST standard (which is actively being reconsidered because of equity concerns right now btw). https://t.co/zgMXm5tJNl pic.twitter.com/QzI1RzWTfC
— Rebecca Williams (@internetrebecca) March 7, 2023
Do you want the government to offer the public a single account to access many government services? With privacy, equity, and usability top of mind?
Consider joining the government and running https://t.co/GM5tQNmbgy! They're hiring a new Director for the program. https://t.co/ba3HdhByub
— Eric Mill (@konklone) February 14, 2022
USA: The General Services Administration isn't ruling out using biometrics in its https://t.co/mQ50Lr1GcY service, but the agency has concerns about equity and accessibility.https://t.co/v1BSmyx62T
— Luther (@LutherBurgsvik) April 5, 2022
Used Biden’s Equity Push
Even though the system that GSA built was not IAL2 compliant, it lied to a government funding board and received $187 million in funding. It also generated $10 million from other government agencies who bought its highest-security solution as it was presented to them.
The report points out the findings of the GSA Inspector General, namely, that the agency’s system had no way of being IAL2 compliant because it ignored biometrics as security features.
These were supposed to include facial recognition, fingerprints, and eye scans in order to prove the identity of those trying to log into the services containing sensitive data.
Instead, the GSA officials decided to ignore biometric requirements, even though they were aware what they had done was illegal.
Thus, as a justification for their violations, they claimed that facial recognition tech could discriminate against users on account of their skin color, the body’s Inspector General discovered.
The IG concluded that Login.gov, a GSA arm, “opted” to ignore the highest-security requirements it was supposed to implement in its system and “focused on selling” that product. It “misled” and billed “customer agencies” for a product that simply wasn’t there.
GSA reacted to the inspector’s findings by admitting wrongdoing, reshuffling the employees responsible, and starting misconduct actions against them.
The scandalous revelations started coming to the fore when, in January 2022, one of the federal client agencies asked why the login system wasn’t using eye scanners, webcams, or fingerprints.
In response, the GSA came up with an “Equity Action Plan” to justify that situation and claimed it was a requirement of the Biden administration.
3 Strategies for Developing More-Accessible Software – The U.S. General Services Administration recently released its Equity Action Plan.
– It specified a focus on accessibility… https://t.co/vmoWcizgQp
— Josh van Veen (@naturally_josh) March 4, 2023
This article appeared in The State Today and has been published here with permission.
35 instances of "equity" on just one General Services Administration's contract portal today. "It's not a real thing" but it's being funded by most Federal agencies and organizations. pic.twitter.com/EIiQusHcBb
— Andrew Melton (@Andrewmmmmm) March 8, 2023