In context: Mike Lindell has been on a crusade to secure the voting process since former President Donald Trump's defeat in the 2020 election. Following the election, Lindell promoted conspiracy theories accusing Smartmatic and Dominion voting systems of working with foreign entities to rig voting machines, altering the course of the election. Lindell's efforts have since encompassed everything from self-paid media appearances to a feature-length film that received the 2021 Golden Raspberry Award for worst picture and worst actor.
Suspicions and claims surrounding voter fraud and electronic voting equipment have gained increased traction throughout political and conspiracy theorist circles since the 2020 US presidential election.
Earlier this week, Lindell, also known as the My Pillow Guy, kicked off his latest election crimes summit, which opened with an unplanned start. Lindell wants to secure voting sites via drones. Lindell doubled down on his previous efforts, introducing his newest, never-before-seen plan to secure the voting process – drones with Wi-Fi sniffers.
Lindell revealed the plan during his election crimes summit in Missouri earlier this week after flying a drone over the attending audience and onto the stage. Upon its arrival, Lindell removed a device from the drone and told the audience, "...this wireless monitoring device, it just grabbed all of your cell phones, everybody in this room, every device that's on the Internet right now."
He referred to the device as a Wireless Monitoring Device (WMD) designed to detect Wi-Fi networks and capture media access control (MAC) addresses. Lindell provided some extremely "technical" commentary during the demonstration, stating, "...there's a command center where this information goes down and flashes, it'll go – 'router online.'" Lindell claims the capability is one we've never had in the history of technology.
Mike Lindell takes the stage as an "Election Crime Bureau" ticker scrolls behind him. He says this new election summit is not about evidence, they have enough evidence. He throws to a video and they play the wrong one. This all happens in the first minute of the summit. pic.twitter.com/FJHyEXf3DQ– John Whitehouse (@existentialfish) August 16, 2023
However, the truth is much less exciting. Protocol analyzers and Wi-Fi sniffers aren't new. Many hardware and software-based solutions have been available for years. While these commercially available technologies aren't necessarily harmful, they can allow bad actors to analyze any parameters and vulnerabilities related to those solutions and exploit them to avoid detection.
Lindell and his organization intend to cover every parish in Louisiana during the coming election season. However, The Daily Beast notes that the not-so-thought-out plan may be fraught with legal concerns.
Using drones to patrol the airspace above and around a polling site would violate several Louisiana privacy, surveillance, and unmanned aircraft laws. Considering the media snafu that occurred within minutes of the symposium's opening, it's unsurprising that proper research, preparation, and testing didn't happen before rolling out "the plan."