The Federal Elections Commission ruled last week that Microsoft can offer election security software free of charge to political candidates and committees and not run afoul of campaign-finance laws.
Campaign-finance experts said this creates a massive loophole that corporations can now exploit.
A ruling last week by the Federal Election Commission related to Microsoft and security software it wants to offer free of charge to political candidates and parties could have massive implications, creating a loophole that allows corporations to skirt campaign-finance laws, experts say.
In a 4-0 decision, the FEC ruled that Microsoft can provide federal candidates and national party committees with free election security services after the company sought an advisory opinion from the commission last month.
Microsoft said it was offering its AccountGuard service on a nonpartisan basis to candidates, party committees, and some nonprofit groups free of charge. The purpose of doing so, the company said, was to help thwart foreign electoral interference. Company lawyers told the FEC that Microsoft also has a “compelling business interest in maintaining its brand reputation,” one that would be harmed by potential election-related hacking.
The FEC concluded that Microsoft’s offering of the service for free to such candidates and groups wouldn’t constitute an illegal …read more
Source:: Businessinsider – Politics