back to article Democralypse Now? US election first battle in new age of cyberwarfare

Hacking attempts against more than 10 US state election databases have increased fears about Russian efforts to disrupt or influence the 2016 presidential election. Cyberattacks against voting databases in Arizona, Illinois and at least eight other states have only heightened concerns in the wake of the hack and subsequent …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    pencils on strings not so foolish now, eh?

    1. Primus Secundus Tertius

      corrupt pencils?

      True, you can't corrupt a pencil.

      But you can screw up the electronic registers of voters. At a recent(*) election in London early voters were turned away because their names were not on the list. This was rectified by mid morning, but not every early bird returned to vote.

      That incident was regarded as cock-up, not conspiracy. But next time?

      (*)2015 or 2016, I think.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      No so foolish until the dead come in to vote.... We've seen more ballots turned in then are voters in some places in the past... Chicago comes to mind first and there are others.

      1. MrDamage

        But surely

        Zombies wouldn't turn up to polling booths. If they crave brains, they wouldn't be going anywhere near any place that was involved in the current political scene, in any country.

        1. mr.K

          Re: But surely

          I would argue how utterly stupid the statement that people shouldn't vote is, but then I realised that if you have taken that position then you wouldn't be able to understand any of those arguments anyway.

          Here, have a down vote.

          1. MrDamage

            Whoosh

            That's the sound of the joke going over your head.

            My whole post was a joke based on Mark85's line about "the dead coming in to vote", and that zombies would starve due to the lack of brains involved in the political spectrum at the moment.

            Obviously my humour is far, far too subtle for people like you to be able to parse, so I promise to use the big "Joke Alert" icon next time I make a witticism, so your precious sensibilities are not offended.

          2. Cereberus
            Flame

            Re: But surely

            "I would argue how utterly stupid the statement that people shouldn't vote is, but then I realised that if you have taken that position then you wouldn't be able to understand any of those arguments anyway." would indicate how utterly stupid someone must be to make the statement in the first place.

            I don't vote for 2 primary reasons:

            1) There is no / limited factual evidence to make an informed comparison of different political groups

            2) There is a lot of evidence supporting the fact these groups will say what they feel is necessary to get a vote regardless of how valid and accurate the statement is.

            In short I don't vote because there is no select-able option on ballot forms which states I wish to register my wish not to be governed (as an election example) by any of the lying, cheating, self-absorbed, self-aggrandizing <insult of your choice> above.

  2. h4rm0ny
    Paris Hilton

    Democracy...?

    So let me get this straight, the CIA are accusing Russia of informing the electorate of what their candidates actually said and this is what is called "interfering"? Isn't that a good thing from the point of view of the voters?

    1. andrewj

      Re: Democracy...?

      Not necessarily, if it's delivered selectively, out-of-order. and out-of-context. If they had just dumped it all out there at once, that would be different.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Democracy...?

        This entire article is written on an unsupported premise instigated by Mrs. Clinton for the purpose of distracting attention from the ongoing exposure of her slimy past. If she can smear Trump as a Putin mole too, that's great.

        The tactic would have gone nowhere, except that she is backed by the US presidency for purely political reasons. It would be funny if it weren't so pathetic. The only thing more pathetic is when people accept the premise (also for political reasons) and then proceed to write about it as if it had merit.

        Why should Putin want to influence this particular election? How can he even make that choice intelligently? The theory that he wants Trump because he can deal with Trump better flies in the face of the Democrats' assertion that Trump is unstable and Mrs. Clinton represents calm, measured statecraft. Can't have it both ways, unless you have the corporate media backing you to the hilt.

        Alternatively, Putin might want Trump because he fears Mrs. Clinton could start a war with Russia. She sure is acting like that's a possibility, and Obama is heaping fuel on the fire. And all based on desperate lies meant to get her elected.

        1. James 51

          Re: Democracy...?

          Was going to write a long rebuttal but as you're probably just another Putin troll I'll post a link to corporate media story:

          http://edition.cnn.com/2016/07/28/politics/donald-trump-vladimir-putin-quotes/index.html

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Democracy...?

            I would prefer a long rebuttal. That is, if you've got one. Looks like you don't.

            1. James 51
              Trollface

              Re: Democracy...?

              It's four minutes till I'm out of here, maybe later if I'm bored.

        2. shaolin cookie

          Re: Democracy...?

          Why would Putin want Trump as president? It's so simple that it doesn't really deserve writing up, but I have time to spare just now.

          1. The proposed policies by Trump are very favourable to Russian interests. Reducing US NATO presence in both Europe and Asia in particular, as well as him suggesting he may lift the sanctions against Russia and acknowledge Crimea as part of Russia.

          2. A Trump win would certainly weaken both the credibility of the US government and their relations to their allies in Europe and Asia, leaving space for Russia.

          3. A Trump win would also be likely to break havoc in the US economy, again helping to increase Russian influence around the world.

          4. American internal conflicts (some of which may take place now regardless of who wins), would also be an opportunity for increased Russian influence.

          5. Putin may believe he'd be able to direct the overconfident fool in whatever direction he wants. That may or may not work, but even if it doesn't, the rest is still reason enough for Putin to cheer for Trump.

          1. TAJW

            Re: Democracy...?

            If you truly believe your drivel, I'm sad for you. Clinton will be as damaging to the U.S. as Obama, if not more. Of course, I anticipate your denial that Obama is responsible for: the huge increase in national debt, refusal to sign any legislation proposals by Congress, refusing to uphold laws (weed, illegal aliens, sanctuary cities, for example, as is his job as President), releasing criminals into the population, the huge steaming pile of crap that is Obamacare, and several other ludicrous socialist, PC, leftist pieces of garbage that he and his cronies have foisted off on citizens. It's the leftist way to chastise others for not believing and acting exactly as they do, despite their claim of advocating diversity.

            Have a nice life, just live it elsewhere.

        3. MrDamage

          Re: Democracy...?

          > "This entire article is written on an unsupported premise instigated by Mrs. Clinton for the purpose of distracting attention from the ongoing exposure of her slimy past. If she can smear Trump as a Putin mole too, that's great."

          Like how your entire comment is written on the unsupported premise that everyone in the world except Putin has it in for Trump for the purpose of distracting attention away from the fact that Trump doesn't have a clue about what it takes to be President, or what due process is, or legal ramifications of trying to break the constitution and various ammendments should he attempt to uphold his election promises.

      2. frobnicate

        "delivered selectively, out-of-order. and out-of-context..."

        You mean, how the way media *always* does it (due to the fundamental limitations on the format)?

        1. Ben Liddicott

          Re: "delivered selectively, out-of-order. and out-of-context..."

          Correct. There is no such thing as unbiased. Media cannot report everything so must always choose what is important, which is a value judgement, which is to say irreducibly ideological.

          Candidate A's lies are vital to report because Candidate A represents an existential threat to democracy, so every plausible story which undermines him is important. Candidate B's lies are just the usual peccadilloes of politicians no more worthy of reporting than Obama's breakfast choices.

          To the extent there is any solution it is to read competing accounts, to see what other people pushing different angles believe are the important facts. This is the same reason trials have prosecution and defence. It's the same reason scientists try to tear each other's theories to shreds - though this usually takes at least a generation.

          If you only hear one side you'll easily be convinced the other side cannot possibly have any merit. If you then conclude it's not worth hearing, there is no way back for you.

      3. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        Re: Democracy...?

        @andrewj - So we have to very biased, lying, and inaccurate sources the US media and the Russians. The question is which one is lying less?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Democracy...?

          For this election the US corporate media have jettisoned all ethics in order to get the Democrat elected. I'd go with Russia.

      4. Fungus Bob Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: selectively, out-of-order. and out-of-context

        That's what makes it fun!

    2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: How did Donald quickly find deleted incompetent Russian propaganda?

      h4rm0ny, you got it crooked. Donald quoted an article in Sputnik which was an altered email from Sidney Blumenthal to John Podesta. The original email quoted an article by Kurt Eichenwald about Benghazi, but the trimmed one portrayed Eichenwald's quotes from official reports as Blumenthal's own words. Sputnik really messed up on this because they thought they were be publishing after the altered email would be published by Wikileaks.

      The full details are here.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    3. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Democracy...?

      If both candidates had been compromised in the same way it wouldn't be a problem. The fact that republicans get to keep their secrets does make it imbalanced. Still, the revelations so far have hardly been earth shattering, even breitbart can't seen to find anything damming, no matter how hard they spin it...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Democracy...?

        > "...the revelations so far have hardly been earth shattering, even breitbart can't seen to find anything damming..."

        When one doesn't want to acknowledge something, selective blindness is always available. ;-)

      2. TAJW

        Re: Democracy...?

        sabroni,

        Your statement that '...the revelations so far have hardly been earth shattering..' shows you are already in the bag for the Dems, or at least vehemently against the Repubs. So many on the left make statements carefully crafted to be deniable when confronted on them, but are clear implications when made. I suppose you think no one who doesn't actively agree with you isn't smart enough to understand the difference.

        Sad, really. The left seems to believe it's own propaganda, especially that they are smarter than everyone else. The truth, of course, is everyone else is laughing at them.

  3. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    Unfortunately

    The US Congress and the state legislatures are full of people with a devout faith in technology that is not shared by technologists, unless you count the sales staff of those selling the technology. Peter G. Neumann of the Risks in Computing mailing list has been beating this drum for years and years. I am not sure how one changes such a fundamental American belief as that newer and more complicated is always better.

  4. h4rm0ny

    General uptick in Villainous Russian stories lately.

    Definitely noticed this. Russia Today also had their UK accounts frozen yesterday as well. What this suggests to me is that the US and UK are preparing for the possibility of conflict with Russia. We saw a similar rush of stories in the build up to NATO attacks on Libya. I really hope this isn't the case but increasingly over the past month I'm seeing such stories and accusations.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: General uptick in Villainous Russian stories lately.

      Yes, one has to wonder what this particular propaganda thread is leading up to.

      1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        Re: General uptick in Villainous Russian stories lately.

        @LeeE - Historically those that fear a power shift and refuse to truly address the internal national problems have use the threat of war to divert attention from their failures. It seems like every major hack is now attributed to either the Russian, Chinese, or NORKS when Occam's Razor would suggest most of the hacks were abetted by internal target incompetence. The incompetence in many cases may be the primary cause of these hacks.

    2. realist1916

      Re: General uptick in Villainous Russian stories lately.

      Warmongers are in full flow setting the scene.

      A Clinton win will see WW3 vs Russia commence early 2017. Media spin is lining this up nicely.

      A Trump win equals no WW3 vs Russia. Media pre-election spin is that the election will be hacked so the election result will be voided. One of Obama/ Biden / Clinton then to stay in administration and roll on with WW3 as planned in early 2017.

      Democracy is but an illusion.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: General uptick in Villainous Russian stories lately.

        >A Clinton win will see WW3 vs Russia commence early 2017

        There, there. Nurse will be along soon with your next dose of meds. You just me a good boy until then.

        Either that, or collect your 5 roubles for the day in the disinformation center.

      2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Re: delusional1916

        A Trump win equals WW3 with Mexico because they won't pay for a wall or with Canada because Kim Campbell called him a sexual predator or with Wisconsin because of Paul Ryan or with the Czech Republic because he had a bad hair day or with Malawi because he miss-typed Mexico.

      3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: General uptick in Villainous Russian stories lately.

        According to Donald himself, he will probably visit his pal Putin before being sworn in a CIC.

        In other words, he will be getting his orders from his boss on how to run the USA perhaps I sould have put 'ruin' instead of 'run' you choose.

        If it isn't to get orders then why ould meeting Putin take precident over learning how to be El Presidente?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: General uptick in Villainous Russian stories lately.

          Okay, let's assume you are correct. What exactly is Putin's hold over Trump? There has to be one, The Donald ain't in business for his health.

          So what is it? Blackmail? Don't make me laugh. The bromance thing? Complete with sado/maso action? Puhleeze. If there's one thing we've learned about Don, it's that he's into women. Fixated, if you will.

          Maybe it's just plain old money? It would have to be a lot to buy off The Donald. Sure, Putin could scrape up that much, but how can it be kept secret? All kidding aside, Trump has been under heavy IRS scrutiny many many times, even more so now. Even if he becomes President, he faces the very real risk that enemies burrowed into the IRS and elsewhere will move heaven and earth to expose the slightest Russian Payoff.

          Don's only recourse is to do a speaking tour of major Russian cities. That ought to bring in a few hundred million, if the Clinton Foundation is anything to judge by.

          Finally we're left with one thing only, and that's some sort of devil's deal where both parties secretly coordinate on how to divvy up the spoils (that's the world, folks).

          Now we're talking! If Trump really is evil then it all makes sense. Only, it looks to me like Hillary is the one who represents the entrenched powers that be. When did the State become the Good Guys?

          1. Captain Badmouth
            Holmes

            Re: General uptick in Villainous Russian stories lately.

            "What exactly is Putin's hold over Trump? There has to be one,"

            Simples, the Donald is an arsehole. Putin can run rings around him.

            HTH.

            Edit: Who was that Donald aide who resigned due to having deals in Russia?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: General uptick in Villainous Russian stories lately.

            @Big John

            "When did the State become the Good Guys?"

            There were good guys in London in 1776.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: General uptick in Villainous Russian stories lately.

              Your point?

          3. Hans 1 Silver badge

            Re: General uptick in Villainous Russian stories lately.

            >Okay, let's assume you are correct. What exactly is Putin's hold over Trump?

            Trump has the IQ of Putin's flee and is ready to be trained, alongside the flee.

    3. James 51

      Re: General uptick in Villainous Russian stories lately.

      Natwest froze Libya's accounts?

      Here are some of those 'Villainous' stories you're talking about:

      • Russia has either bombed or helped the Syrian regime bomb hospitals and kill civilians (including the use of chemical weapons).
      • Putin ordered the invasion of the Ukraine and annexed Crimea and either Russian soldiers or Russian armed rebels shot down a civilian airplane.
      • A Russian official has threatened nuclear war if the US elects Hilary Clinton as president (and has deployed missiles to Kaliningrad that could have nuclear warheads on them).
      • The Russian defense ministry has threatened to shoot down airplanes protecting civilians from the Syrian regime.

      The list goes on and on. This isn't the west victimising Russian. This is Putin using hard power to destablise other countries and keep the flag flying high, no matter the cost to others or even his own people.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: General uptick in Villainous Russian stories lately.

        > "This isn't the west victimizing Russia."

        Wait, when did the West stop being the source of all evil? I thought the US was the primary war criminal in the world today.

        I must have missed the change somehow...

      2. Cynic_999 Silver badge

        Re: General uptick in Villainous Russian stories lately.

        Yes, I can read all the Western propaganda in any Western media thanks. The problem being that I have no idea whether it is the truth. I can see a possible flip side to every one of your statements. It seems that the US and allies have killed an awful lot of innocent civilians in order to protect them, and I am 100% certain that the reasons the US (& UK) give for attacking a country is nothing close to being the real reason. One of the 10 "big lies" of war is:

        "The enemy deliberately targets innocent civilians; when we kill civilians it is merely unavoidable collateral damage (or an unfortunate mistake caused by the "fog of war").

        AFAIAA the Russians have been asked to intervene by the legitimate government of Syria, I cannot see that the US or UK have any valid reason to be involved.

      3. h4rm0ny

        Re: General uptick in Villainous Russian stories lately.

        >>"Natwest froze Libya's accounts?"

        No, Natwest is freezing Russia Today's accounts (a news agency). They notified the UK arm of Russia Today (which employs about sixty people) that they would be locking the account on the 14th of August. So RT has that long to get the money out of there and set up all the staff payments, expenses, invoices, standing orders and direct debits and all that mess. It's a big hassle just for you or I to do that. It's much worse for a news agency. And no reason has been given and Natwest have said they refuse to give one. Though they may backtrack on that due to backlash. Shutting down news agencies is not a good thing.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: General uptick in Villainous Russian stories lately.

      well, you say that "Russia Today also had their UK accounts frozen yesterday". I say that Russid Today SAID they had their UK bank accounts frozen yesterday", and - in reality - NatWest told them it WOULD stop doing business with them as of December.

      So how can you verify who's telling porkies?

      btw, in latest development, after a quick call from No10 (once they got a call from Moscow), Natwest appear to have backed down:

      www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/10/18/natwest-backs-down-over-threat-to-freeze-russia-todays-bank-acco/

      But hey, FROZEN is really a great headline, eh?

  5. Egghead & Boffin

    This is not the 'first battle in the new age of cyber warfare'

    The cyber attacks on Estonia in 2007, which had the same perpetrator, were the first battle. Please keep up with the facts.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This is not the 'first battle in the new age of cyber warfare'

      Those were just a stupid DOS.

      This is different, actively manipulating the public opinion through selective disclosure, financing unaligned (to Russian position) extremists in multi-move combinations, actively destablizing major powers, etc. Doing it correctly, intelligently and with minimal resource waste.

      The Russians have not done this since the 1960-es - when Putin's mentor in KGB ran their foreign operations.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This is not the 'first battle in the new age of cyber warfare'

        You're right, the half of the US that's fed up with elite parasites like the Clintons can't possibly have anything to do with it. Gotta be outside manipulation!

        Funny, every socialist dictator in history has used that excuse when their policies drove the country to the edge of the abyss. Witness the present day socialist hellhole that is Venezuela, where food riots are said to be the fault of profiteers (mostly store owners who don't want to give away their goods) and of course the the Big Bad U.S. of A, evilly grinning from the shadows.

  6. 's water music Silver badge

    bobby tables for president

    with his running mate Drop Table *

  7. harmjschoonhoven
    Holmes

    Since 2006

    there is ongoing criticism of attempts to introduce electronic voting in the Netherlands. The most recent vote, the non-binding referendum on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, was all done by red pencil on paper (at least by the 32.2 % of the electorate that turned up to vote). BTW, there are indications that some initiators of this referendum were more than inspired by Russia.

    For an update on electronic voting see http://wijvertrouwenstemcomputersniet.nl (in Dutch).

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    America believes someone else is interfering with "democracy"?

    Even the most redneck banjo playing American must find that funny.

    1. TJHessmond

      America is not a Democracy

      May people make the mistake of calling America a Democracy. Its an idea which was planted by media sources who align with the principals of the young hegelians. The reality is America is a Republic not Democracy. The two are very different.

      Section. 4.

      The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence.

  9. Jens Goerke

    Wasn't there an incident where a voting machine came pre-loaded with 0 votes in total, 100 for party A, -100 for party B?

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Have a reference perchance?

      1. Jens Goerke

        Sadly no, it was at least 8 years ago IIRC - the voting machine displayed the sum of the counts during startup, so nobody suspected anything, until the polls closed and in a smaller community one party had a negative number of votes.

        I still prefer the way elections are handled here in Germany: each resident gets a postcard with the voting date and station, which has to be handed in to get the voting forms and an envelope on his/her way to the voting booth, with the sealed envelope then going into the ballot box.

        Any member of the public has the right to inspect the empty ballot boxes before the election and witness the counting afterwards, which is usually done (and then checked) by members of different political parties.

        That way the election is pretty much transparent and quite difficult to manipulate, unless you go for the postal votes, which would require a lot of nurses without scruples in several old people's homes and hospices.

  10. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Hmmmm

    "the effects would be noticeable in bizarrely inaccurate exit polling during and after the election.”

    So, the Dem primaries all over again?

    http://www.inquisitr.com/3207171/election-fraud-study-points-to-rigged-democratic-primary-against-bernie-sanders-video/

    http://www.uncommonthought.com/mtblog/archives/2016/06/18/ca-exit-polls-reveal-23-discrepancy-11-states-with-vote-flipping-evidence-our-new-directions-in-american-history.php

    1. Smody

      Re: Hmmmm

      Why limit it to the Democratic primary? Exit polls in the U.S. have been different from official results to a degree that is statistically ridiculous, for a long time.

      I see no reason to invest any trust whatsoever in machines using secret coding. That applies to both computer voting (less predominant than in the past), and tabulators (very widely used).

    2. TJHessmond

      Re: Hmmmm

      One of the subversion issues related to the Clinton campaign was to eliminate Mr Sanders using the super delegates and other tactics. It was clear from the beginning that Mr Sanders had a very good chance of defeating Ms Clinton. The corruption within the democratic party, worked against Mr Sanders to suppress any attempts he might have had to defeat Ms Clinton. That system of corruption was carried foreword from the Democratic primary to the general election, by the DNC, the Clinton campaign and the Obama administration

  11. HellDeskJockey

    It's possible but...

    As a Yank in my area the voting machines are electronic but they use a backup human readable paper tape (4" rolls). When I vote the paper tape is displayed and you are encouraged to check it to be sure your ballot is properly cast. Not everybody checks but it wouldn't take a lot to see a problem in the system. That would certainly result in a recount and a mess but not the end of the world.

    Of course I check my ballot. I know computers and don't trust them.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Accusations are flying left, right, and centre

    good old FUD, counterFUD, countercounterFUD...

    While I happily (?) admit the Russis have always been great at it, I bet the other side have been happy to deploy it too.

    Wait, and what about the other other side? And the other side of the other's side side? Perhaps this will benefit everybody, at least... very short term? :(

    1. TJHessmond

      Re: Accusations are flying left, right, and centre

      It was American intelligence and not the Russians who were working against the DNC and Clinton campaign and Obama administration who were attempting a Coup de'etat. This was explained by a validated source

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ov5kvWSz5LM

  13. Eddy Ito
    Meh

    Given the two party cabal and that Trump is a Clinton supporter, what difference could the Russians make? Hell Cthulhu would be better than these two and be more honest.

    Meh, sauce, goose, gander, etc.

    I'll be voting third party as should anyone sane. Doesn't matter which really.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Earth to Eddy! Mrs. Clinton may dislike and fear Trump, but he's HATED by establishment Republicans. He's outside that 2-party cabal you speak of, which is why the top GOP figures have joined with the Dems and the corporate media to crush him. And here you come, siding with Big Brother and against the little guy trying to upset that cozy system! You should be a big fan of Trump, but somehow you're not. It's a puzzlement.

      1. strum

        > He's outside that 2-party cabal

        So is Pee-Wee Herman. Doesn't make him fit for the White House.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Pee Wee is a Giant compared to Clinton

      2. Eddy Ito

        @Big John, why would you say such things? Does this look like dislike and fear? Hell, when it's over I fully expect Ivanka or her husband to get a cushy appointment by Hillary, after the required donation to the Clinton Foundation by her father-in-law of course. Open your eyes and it will be quite clear that this whole thing is a sham and that Trump is a far better actor than people give him credit for.

    2. TJHessmond

      Two party system in America

      Its not true to state that America has a two party system. it is true to state that American politics are controlled by two major political parities via assistance by the media. This election cycle the race was actually between 4 parties, however the media did not provide proper access to the Libertarian and Green parties. Had these parties been allowed proper access to the presidential debates etc, by the media, the results might have been very different.

      Its not insignificant that 2.5% of Americans voted independent and a whole host of others simply did not vote. Americans simply need to demand that other parties be included in the campaign. especially those who represent 1% or better of American voters. For far too long the system has been dominated by only two parties which is a travesty. Personally, I would like to see parties eliminated at the federal level (especially president), making all presidents independent of a political party.

  14. M7S

    "where leaks of sensitive information on rival political elites are the weapons of choice."

    I'm not sure how effective these "weapons" would be given that some of the countries that one might want to "deploy" this information in, to destabilise opponents on their home turf, are reputedly pretty good at controlling the media.

  15. Blotto Silver badge

    so who are the Russians voting for?

    Him or Her?

    on another note, why are there just 2 extremely poor candidates to vote for? Where is the choice of better independent candidate?

    1. Captain Badmouth
      Trollface

      Hobson et al

      "why are there just 2 extremely poor candidates to vote for? Where is the choice of better independent candidate?"

      I have to admit that the portrayal of right wing American politicians as idiots has a long history in UK satire, e.g. Reagan in "The presidents brain is missing" in the spitting image tv prog.

      Nothing, however, prepared me for the candidate who asked "what's Aleppo?".

      Beyond satire.

      I dare say it's a knowledge deficit as a result of the lack of world news in all your local newspapers over there.

    2. M7S

      @ Blotto

      The entertaining and seemingly principled (in that he referred to the US Constitution) John McAfee did stand for nomination for the Libertarian Party (IIRC) but didn't make selection. A shame as I think he'd have been as fun to watch as Trump but with a better outcome for both the US and the rest of the world.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      This may come as a surprise to you, but they have their own lives to lead, work, make dinner, listen to music, drive cars (mostly Korean French and German), drink tea and coffee and eat pizza, and help their kids with their homework. They're just not that into you. However you can probably assume they might like a little less a candidate who has vowed to make war on them, imagine?

  16. boatsman
    Big Brother

    blame russia ? what is in it for them ?

    this blaming russia is getting absurd.

    but very helpfull to turn the attention away from yourself, of course.

    there is not a single government in this world who is interested in a USA that's terrified by paranoia of the general public and government in unison.

    there are however always folks that like to show us what they can do with a couple of million of unsecured frontdoor webcams that have been hacked through upnp because it is so handy for the home owner to see who is at his frontdoor. Secured with stdard immutable password and userid, if any at all....

  17. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    Vote for your favourite lizard, is all.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not the Russians Hacking DNC and Clinton e-mails

    In a bold and now verified statement made 1 Nov 2016, we discover that it was Americas own intelligence services who were providing data to Julian Assange, in an effort to disrupt a Coup de'etat by the Obama administration and Clinton campaign.

    The Coup involved key persons within the Obama administration usurping their duties in order to provide Ms Clinton a clear pathway by not facing obvious prosecution. The coup also included collusion by the major news networks including AP an Reuters as well as Google, who suppressed information about Ms Clinton.

    The US intelligence agencies took up a counter coup against the players in the Clinton campaign via the internet and social media, releasing through Wiki leaks, original communications from the DNC, and the Clinton Campaign which show clearly that key persons within the Media, the Obama administration, key DNC allied subversion groups and the Clinton campaign were committing fraudulent acts of subversion, corruption and cooptation against the voting populace of America, in order to provide Ms Clinton an unobstructed pathway to the Presidency.

    These acts of subversion, corruption and cooptation and their counter coup were verified by a message released by the US intelligence agencies (something never occurring in history). The video was released on Youtube by one representative of the intelligence communities. Many thought this video to be fake however its since been validated by sources within the intelligence community.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ov5kvWSz5LM

    Americans need to pay attention to social media and how they use it and what they take from it, as it has now become an effective weapon for subversion and deception against the people of any nation.

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