Joshua Franklin is on track to become an ethical hacker for the federal government.
In the cyber world, there are black hat hackers (the bad guys) and white hat hackers (the good guys.) Franklin said he wants to help close security vulnerabilities.
“It’s like Spiderman – with great power comes great responsibility,” he said.
Franklin’s job now is to test and certify voting equipment at the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. He also researches new voting technologies and has helped examine ways to increase overseas voting turnout.
Working with voting technologies is unique to government – one that “doesn’t present itself in the private sector,” he said.
Ultimately, his job is helping to “secure democacy.”
Franklin received his undergraduate degree in Information Systems at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. Before working at EAC, he already had voting equipment experience from the Center for Election Systems in Kennesaw.
Outside of his technical responsibilities, Franklin also helps EAC staff with simplifying voting machine documentation, sometimes creating visuals that help explain how the machines work.
Franklin said what young feds bring to the federal workforce is a push toward open government. Generally, feds who have been in government for a long time “don’t seem to be as adamant about open government, open data, getting the information out there.”
He added, “It seems like my friends and fellow employees have influenced the older generation.”