Elon Musk attempts to suppress The Dawn Project with smear campaign

Commenting on the false allegations Dan O’Dowd said: “These allegations are baseless and not supported by any evidence. Investigations into the cause of the F-35 crash are ongoing and will likely take many months, however there is no indication that Green Hills Software was to blame. Green Hills Software’s INTEGRITY-178 operating system that Musk’s legion of followers have blamed for this crash received the highest security level ever for an operating system from the NSA.

O’Dowd continued: “This is yet another example of Elon Musk and his followers attacking anybody who dares to criticize Tesla’s dangerous and defective Full Self-Driving software. Since The Dawn Project began raising public and governmental awareness of the egregious critical safety defects present in Tesla Full Self-Driving in early 2022, Elon Musk and his fans have repeatedly sought to smear my reputation and that of Green Hills Software with blatantly untrue and defamatory statements.

Musk commenced his smear campaign against O’Dowd and Green Hills Software in January 2022, after O’Dowd publicized a full page New York Times ad warning of the dangers of Tesla Full Self-Driving, where he called O’Dowd’s company, Green Hills Software, “a pile of trash”:

In response to a tweet, Elon Musk asserted that O’Dowd’s statements that his software can’t be hacked were “a display of reckless hubris”, despite being certified by the NSA as EAL6+, which requires a mathematical proof of security and that the NSA was not able to hack it, even with access to the source code:

The next day, Musk asserted that O’Dowd was “foolish enough to claim zero errors in a complex piece of software” and he “can’t be taken seriously”, despite being certified by the FAA to DO-178C, the highest level of aircraft safety software, and in 25 years of service it has never failed.

Since O’Dowd began drawing public and regulatory attention to the critical safety defects present in Tesla Full Self-Driving, Musk has frequently lashed out at O’Dowd, encouraging his followers to viciously attack O’Dowd, The Dawn Project and Green Hills Software. Musk has called O’Dowd bat shit crazy and “Scam O’Dowd”, claimed that “envy has driven him to madness” and called footage of The Dawn Project’s safety tests showing that Tesla Full Self-Driving will run down a child in the road a “scam video”:

Cease and Desist Letter from Tesla, followed by Dawn Project Super Bowl ad

On the same day as Elon sent the “Real Scam O’Dowd” tweet, Tesla sent this cease and desist letter to O’Dowd.

O’Dowd’s response was to take out a Super Bowl commercial revealing the critical safety defects in Tesla’s Full Self-Driving software:

Watch The Dawn Project’s Super Bowl ad here

Musk frequently orchestrates his campaigns through cut outs such as Omar Qazi, who runs the pro-Musk social media account @WholeMarsBlog and is, according to the Wall Street Journal, the account that Musk replies to most. Shortly after the F-35 incident, Qazi fabricated false and baseless claims that O’Dowd’s company, Green Hills Software, was to blame for the crash.

The latest baseless allegations follow a blatantly defamatory statement made by Qazi about O’Dowd in August 2023, falsely claiming that Green Hills Software wrote the software for the malfunctioning system responsible for two Boeing 737 MAX crashes and alleging that O’Dowd “murdered” the passengers. The investigation into the 737 MAX crashes are complete and Green Hills Software was not responsible for the failures.

This is only a sampling of a few examples in a campaign of harassment that has continued for over a year and a half. For more examples, see here.

O’Dowd concluded: “As demonstrated above, Musk and his legion of followers viciously attack anyone who dares to question his genius. No one with expertise dares to speak out against him for fear that they will be subjected to a similar barrage of attacks. Elon reduces any serious policy discussion to a mudslinging contest, where he owns all the mud.

“We must put a stop to this, lives are on the line.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

Contact: press@dawnproject.com, Arthur Maltin, arthur@maltinpr.com, +1 (805) 335-7807, +44 (0)7720 809227, Dan Arthur, dan@maltinpr.com, +44 (0) 7542 027502

Dan O’Dowd is an entrepreneur and CEO with over 40 years’ experience in designing and writing secure, safety-critical software. Dan has built operating systems for the U.S. military’s fighter jets and some of the world’s most trusted organizations such as NASA, Boeing, and Airbus.

In 2021, Dan O’Dowd founded The Dawn Project, which campaigns to make computers safe for humanity by ensuring that all software in safety-critical infrastructure never fails and can’t be hacked. The first danger The Dawn Project is tackling is Elon Musk’s reckless deployment of unsafe Full Self-Driving cars on our roads.

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