Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of investigative articles documenting who owns the electronic hardware and software used in the U.S. voting process. Our goal is simple: To reveal the man behind the curtain and expose the vulnerability of non-transparent, faith-based voting. ~ Bob Fitrakis, Editor.
Various far-right conspiracy researchers have been alleging for some months that George Soros somehow secretly will control the outcome of the 2012 Presidential election. The Free Press's exhaustive research can find not a single tangible link between George Soros and any manufacturer of voting equipment. Our research did find links much more frightening.
The Free Press widely reported the various dirty tricks employed by Karl Rove and company to apparently outright steal the election for George W. Bush in Ohio, and thus the nation, in 2004. Since then, a witness in our case has died in a mysterious plane crash, and all the players in the DRE (Direct Reporting Electronic) voting machine game have shifted seats in a gigantic game of musical chairs.
The Soros Allegations revolve around the entry of Barcelona based Scytl into the US elections market. Scytl was formed as a start up out of the Autonomous University of Barcelona to leverage existing concepts in modern cryptography (public key cryptography, digital signatures and zero-knowledge proofs) to ensure a secure and verifiable voting system in paperless remote environments including the internet and over wireless carriers. Scytl's scheme is intended to provide the voter with both privacy and verification that their vote was recorded as intended. Scytl's start up funding comes from three European venture capital firms, Balderton Capital, Nauta Capital, and Spinnaker SCR (a subsidiary of Riva y Garcia, which is described as an independent financial group). None of these are connected to George Soros.
Balderton Capital is the London based spinoff of Benchmark Capital Investments which has no overtly political connections that our research could determine at this time. Nauta Capital and Spinnaker SCR are a different matter.
Nauta Capital was founded by 8 executives of the European management consulting firm Cluster Consulting. Cluster Consulting was purchased by Diamond Consulting (NYSE: DPTI) to form Diamond Cluster consulting. Diamond Cluster was subsequently purchased by Mercer Management Consulting and its Europe division spun off. The principles of the original Cluster Consulting used their profits from these mergers to fund Nauta. Two of the principals, Jordi Vinas and Charles Ferrar Roqueta, also have board positions at Spinnaker SCR and/or Riva y Garcia, keeping this coterie's control of Scytl very close. All of Nauta's partners have a strong background in the telecommunications business.
In 2010, Scytl purchased a 100% interest in SOE software, an up and coming player in the American elections market with their Clarity Software Suite which is used in 525 jurisdictions in 19 states. SOE has a strategic partnership with ES & S, the major marketer of electronic voting systems in the US. ES & S was sued by the US DOJ in 2009 on anti-trust grounds after purchasing Diebold's elections division, Premier Election Solutions. ES & S subsequently sold Premier to rival manufacturer Dominion. Bob Urosevich, founder of ES & S, was also President of Diebold. In 2006 Urosevich was listed as managing director of Scytl Americas, although his name has subsequently been removed from their website.
The director of Nauta's American operations is Dominic Endicott, who went from Cluster Consulting to Booz Allen Hamilton (NYSE: BAH) where he oversaw wireless practice. He then rejoined his former colleagues from Cluster Consulting at Nauta. In his capacity as a Nauta partner Endicott also sits on the board of CarrierIQ.
Booz Allen Hamilton is majority owned by the Bush family friendly firm Carlyle Group. A long time government contractor, Booz Allen’s current and former management team has included some of the leading lights of the intelligence community such as:
• James Woolsey (director of the CIA 1993-1995),
• Michael McConnell (Director of the NSA 1992-1996 and Director of National Intelligence 2007-2009)
• Dov Zakheim (Comptroller of the Pentagon and part owner of Landmark Aviation, a support company for the extraordinary rendition flights)
• George Little (Director of Media Relations, CIA 2007-2011)
• James Clapper (Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency 1992-1995 and the current Director of National Intelligence)
• Keith Hall (Director of the National Reconnaissance Office 1997-2001)
Booz Allen was heavily involved as a sub-contractor in Projects TrailBlazer and PioneerGroundbreaker, which were NSA warrantless wiretap programs that spied on US Citizens in the wake of 9/11. These programs, along with Echelon, Carnivore, Thinthread and StellarWind were designed as an end run around FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) and the 4th amendment. The programs relied heavily on cooperation from private industry, including most telecom and wireless providers, a community where Endicott has vast experience having “worked with nearly all American mobile operators and is a well-known expert in wireless industry in USA,” according to Nauta's website.
Booz Allen also has a finger in the electronic voting industry, being the providers of the first DRE voting scheme for use by overseas voters in 2000. In the end, the $6.2 million program allowed 84 service members to vote. Booz Allen applied for and was granted a US patent (7,729,991 applied for 3/20/01 granted 6/1/10) for another electronic voting system and voter registration system over a network. This system bears a passing similarity to Scytl's scheme, although without the verification of voter intent by the voter.
Endicott's board tenure at CarrierIQ is also not without controversy around privacy concerns. Researcher Trevor Eckhart discovered in November of 2011 that CarrierIQ's software, installed on smartphones made by Apple, HTC, NEC and Samsung and used by the carriers AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, logs the location, phones call times and destination (pen-register), texts, internet searches and keystrokes for the mobile service provider without end user knowledge or opt-in, possibly in violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. The FBI denied a FOIA request for training manuals and documents relating to CarrierIQ's software on the basis of a pending law enforcement proceeding. The FBI could make this claim this if it is using CarrierIQ for domestic surveillance of American citizens.
Scytl's allegedly secure voting method would be completely undermined by CarrierIQ's software. Interestingly Scytl seems to be set to market and deploy mobile phone voting applications for iPhone and Android in the 2014 election cycle. Scytl's end user verification of voter intent is completely useless in conjunction with all DRE voting machines currently in use. With direct internet and wireless reporting, targeted man-in-the-middle attacks against certain precincts could tip election results without leaving the evidence traces of 2004 which allowed the Free Press to raise serious questions as to whether the United States of America was subjected to its second coup in as many elections.