The Biden administration is off to a fun start, as the new White House website is reportedly housing a secret message to coders in hopes of bolstering the country's cybersecurity measures.
Over the last four years, the White House website lost a lot of credibility. From removing the Spanish translation option to erasing mentions of climate change, the Trump administration did away with a lot of helpful, engaging content found on the site.
Now, the incoming administration has not only restored some of that integrity to the site, but also added a secret recruitment tool for coders to get involved with government.
The Secret Code on the White House Website
Spotted yesterday by Protocol after the inauguration, the White House website was found to be housing a unique call to action, hidden in its HTML source code. The message read, in no uncertain terms:
“If you're reading this, we need your help building back better.”
If it wasn't obvious, this is the Biden administration's admittedly clever way of recruiting coders to the US Digital Service, the tech-focused organization aimed at improving the government's approach to technology founded in 2014 by Barack Obama. The message was followed by a link to the USDS website.
The recruitment message isn't all the Biden administration is planning as far as cybersecurity is concerned. As part of his $1.9 billion COVID relief bill, Biden has planned to inject the USDS with up to $200 million in hopes of securing our country from cyber criminals. Additionally, the bill allocates $100 billion towards cybersecurity and IT improvements to ensure security breaches and hacks don't become an even more persistent problem.
This kind of focus on cybersecurity is far from a surprise for the Biden administration. In December, amidst concerns about the SolarWinds hack, Biden stated strongly that he would “not stand idly by” when it came to this kind of threat and would make an effort and an investment in protecting the US in the future.
We have to admit, a secret message to coders hidden on the White House website is nothing if not the definition of “effort.” Still, if the Biden administration wants to take cybersecurity threats seriously, tricks like this better be paired with action and investment, and luckily, we're halfway there.