Schneier said, "This kind of cyberattack targets the very core of our democratic process. " In this case, though, the attack targeted actors who prevented democratic process.
Were we exposed to fictitious narratives intended to advance pro-Russian agendas? Was truth revealed, without manipulation of content? It seems to be the latter.
Attacking the polls would be unacceptable and deserve retaliation, but it hasn't happened yet. Attacking a whistle blower who has helped to reveal a corrupt political process isn't something I'd agree with. Schneier speculates that foreign influence will continue into the polls -- I guess we had better strengthen the election process and ensure transparency, then.
Parties choose their candidates. While it is democratic in the sense that people cast ballots; the process was never guaranteed to be a level playing field. Sanders was an outsider from the democratic party. The party has rules and systems to keep people like Sanders out. That is what super delegates are for. You and I may both have preferred Sanders, but we don't have a right to the DNC's private email.
As for the polls, in Canada we do a simple pencil and paper system that works extremely well. You might be able to get an extra vote or two here or there, but the process is essentially unbreakable.
In the conduct and management of the affairs and procedures of the Democratic National Committee, particularly as they apply to the preparation and conduct of the Presidential nomination process, the Chairperson shall exercise impartiality and evenhandedness as between the Presidential candidates and campaigns. The Chairperson shall be responsible for ensuring that the national officers and staff of the Democratic National Committee maintain impartiality and evenhandedness during the Democratic Party Presidential nominating process.
Again, I prefer Sanders, or even Johnson or Stein over Clinton; but with Trump on the other ticket this election is far too serious to let Russian fuck around with the other main side. We need to fall in line and support Clinton. Pulling the not-an-idiot vote three more ways between Sanders stay-at-homes, Johnson / Stein protest votes is going to lead to a disaster.
He's playing on the Russian fear, which is what the Democratic party is really pushing right now (by the way, isn't this something the Republican party used to do - what's happening here?!). If this leads to a ban on electronic voting machines, then the methods may be excused by the outcome, but I have a feeling that's not going to happen, so this just ends up helping one party over another politically.
During the USSR times, the project of Russia as a communist country was to be egalitarian and inclusive. It was a terrible place to live, but in the most abstract sense, lefties could identify with that goal, while righties saw it as fundamentally going against the social order. Thus the threat of "Russians" became a gloss for helping the poor, taxing the wealthy, minority rights, women's rights, etc.
Now that Russia is an oligarchy, the basic social structure appeals to righties, and has become a boogeyman to lefties. "Russians" are now a gloss for gangster/crony capitalism, oligarchs, etc.
Why assume the " narratives intended to advance pro-Russian agendas" need to be fictitious in order to be effective? You're presenting a false dichotomy that either the Democrats are corrupt, or Russia had nothing to do with the hacks. It can be the case that Russia exposed Democratic party corruption in order to advance their own agenda.
Some might say that's exactly what happened.
Here's the thing: breaking into somebody's house is illegal. If you do it, you're a criminal and should face some kind of legal proceeding.
If you break into their house and leave some personal items along the curb, like nude photographs? I'm probably going to gawk at them as I drive by. I don't like the fact that I do it, but I am human. You are still a criminal, and as long as I don't start sharing your personal items, I'm not. I'm just a schmuck.
If, however, you leave evidence of moral or criminal wrongdoing out on the curb for everybody to see? Then the community has an obligation to take action both against the robber and the person who's house was broken into. Simply because you were robbed doesn't mean that you get out of consequences for your actions once they become public.
I'm tempted to view the ramifications of the leaked emails as a purely internal DNC affair. Having said that, I am reading partisan attacks that say there are illegal activities in there. If so? Well, somebody needs to face some kind of legal proceeding. And somebody else is still a robber.
Whatever our views, it's important to come up with standards that apply no matter who's "side" you're on.
It's not so clear cut though; if I break into your house and find a few joints should that be treated the same way? I suppose it boils down to where on the continuum of severity you place corruption of the democratic process.
Encouraging someone to break into private property looking for evidence would still be a crime, IMO.
Your question is of a moral nature: what should I do if I break in your house and find out that you are abusing your kids?
This is why they write fiction :) Not so easy to figure out, and it could easily vary by individual and circumstance.
As to advocating for people to become robbers, would I advocate for another Snowden to appear? I think that's impossible for me to answer without answering your moral question, without knowing what sorts of things would be revealed by the crime. Whether I advocated or not, though, it'd still be a crime. Not sure if my advocacy is a crime. If so, then I'm a criminal and the law is an ass.
I hadn't considered whether I would advocate for another Snowden, but assuming being 'another Snowden' implies exposing corruption I would have to say that I would. I personally think that corruption in any form is one of the things holding us back as a species. See Africa for a wealth of examples.
What you've just unknowingly (I hope) done is encouraged continuously violating people's privacy, property, and physical health using powers of state just in case something is found. Given most are innocent enough, that means innocent people will be hurt constantly to find some extra guilty ones. That's ridiculous from a moral perspective.
It also assumes the cops are all good: an assumption that's countered by existence of Bill of Rights itself. Not to mention steady stream of corruption cases, misrepresented evidence, lying to get fake confessions, and so on. Definitely not the kind of people that need any "right to ignore rights" if that should ever exist. Their incentive is to lock people up, not keep them free. So, the system should give us protection against that to force them to do it only when they have strong justification.
No. This is exactly what's wrong with parallel construction and why any evidence like this should always be treated like it simply does not exist.
The only times when you should be able to break that rule is if there is overwhelming social advantage to breaking it. And I'm not sure the case posted here is one of those.
Parallel construction is sneaky in that it allows otherwise in-admissible evidence into a case or allows one to jump-start a case that would otherwise not have existed in the first place.
I apologize. You must be making some point that I'm missing. If somebody breaks into your house, they are guilty of a crime. Period.
I didn't say anything about "slaps on the wrist" For all I care, you can make discovering a crime while breaking into the house the same as being complicit in the crime.
Along this entire subthread, there seems to be several topics conflated. Punishment is a separate matter from culpability, as is the state breaking the law during a criminal investigation, which you seem to be focusing on by bringing up parallel construction. The only thing I am addressing is how society should treat the discovery of random bits of information put into the public domain by thieves. That's it. Not how criminal investigations should be conducted, not the relative punishment for various crimes, not how a robber's personal morals should affect his decisions, and not whether it's okay to publish such information once it is made public.
These are all great topics. I'm just not talking about them.
We allow anonymous tips that can get police's attention on something. Our rights then apply to restrict their behavior to what's sensible. Parallel construction is them violating our rights, producing (forging?) evidence, lying about the methods that produced it, then faking/finding a new route to convict us, and then we're convicted on weight of that and/or secret evidence. This poses extra risk due to (a) damage from parallel construction activities themselves, (b) ability to target dissenting/unpopular groups as FBI has long history of doing with permissive powers, and (c) inability to challenge the quality or effectiveness of their selection & evidence gathering process vs more open processes.
" The only thing I am addressing is how society should treat the discovery of random bits of information put into the public domain by thieves."
What's you've done is force the situation to be an extremely narrow case that doesn't represent how parallel construction is used at all. It's normally LEO's focusing on specific groups with surveillance, subversion, and informants. What they focus on vs what harms society most has a disconnect that reveals more political than protective reasons. One of reasons we have accountability measures in the first place. Analysis stemming from thieves breaking into a house & dumping evidence is a very, uncommon case.
Let's look at it anyway. Regular process usually involves searches that you would know about so you can make sure nobody plants evidence. Thief breaks into your house, leaves child porn there, delivers anonymous tip to authorities that you possess child porn, they search you, they find it, and you're convicted. Still trust public safety via thieves method?
Alternatively, a politician wants to be insanely powerful. All he has is parallel construction, police authority, and some surveillance tech. Starts using it selectively on key members of Congress, judges, media people, and so on. Finds dirt on them, but doesn't act on it: extorts them for appropriations, expanded legal powers, hushing on bad stories, and so on. Might be able to pull this stuff off for a long time with untold damage. Wait, why speculate: I'm talking about how J Edgar Hoover amassed power for him and his FBI. Process could be repeating with NSA's surveillance power & Congress constantly ignoring their corruption but we won't know because all of that is secret. ;)
Shifting power to executive branch for secret accusations against people with less and less protections only results in predatory behavior. Both U.S. and foreign history are pretty clear that this is what usually happens. So, it shouldn't be allowed. Our prior system worked well enough. Too well given number of wrongful convictions and false confessions. Reforming it is a better idea.
As he pointed out, Schneier has been beating this drum for years. Computer security is not a high enough priority in politics, and with what we know is possible and see happening we can't assume elections will be free of tampering by default.
There was no scandal -- everyone knew, including Sanders, that the party didn't like him or his candidacy. You can be sure that the RNC and associated actors had similar communications about Trump and Cruz.
What the leaks did is perpetuate the circus atmosphere of this election cycle. The longer and more absurd that atmosphere gets, the better for Trump. Trump is great for Putin, as Putin no doubt sees him as easier to manipulate for a variety of reasons.
Millions to their foundation (just while she was SoS):
Millions in speaking fees outside the US (just while she was Sos):
And it's doubly-ironic how much the left suddenly cares about Email security after getting let off by FBI.
We should be concerned about all the foreign money the Clintons have taken, and all the foreign money Trump has taken. We should be concerned about foreign influence in our elections in general, regardless of which party it benefits.
Given that your comment exclusively refers to Clinton, when it could just as well apply to Trump or any number of candidates in either party and still be relevant, it appears your purpose was to polarize the topic for the sake of pushing your political bias. I agree with your comment in the general case, but derailing the thread into a discussion of how corrupt Hillary Clinton and the Democrats are is not on topic.
If foreign governments learn that they can influence our elections with impunity, this opens the door for future manipulations, both document thefts and dumps like this one that we see and more subtle manipulations that we don't see.
I'm not derailing a thread if I'm reminding the readers that much of the foreign influence we are threatened by comes about through the complicity / corruption of domestic political actors.
Actually, the moral argument would be in favor of both DNC and RNC leaks. Selectively leaking a ton of dirt on one dirty party but not the other is not aiding democracy. Instead, it gives one the moral, high ground immediately. That one might be accused of facilitating the leak but many parties available to scapegoat in day & age where hacks and leaks happen all the time. So, this could be a setback for U.S. "democracy."
As far as "corrupted" and "preventing" democratic process where's the evidence? Seriously. What votes were not counted?Where's the voter fraud? I'll tell you. Nowhere. It didn't happen. As Bernie Sanders's former press secretary, Symone Sanders, said, "We weren't cheated. We lost."
Look, we know what a stolen election looks like. This ain't it. There's no reason to be an election truther.
I also wonder why you think the fact that DWS scheduled debates for low-visibility nights in order to help Hillary is so "obvious". I mean, maybe to us, but a few months ago bringing that up would get you labeled as a conspiracy theorist. It probably would even now.
And just one last thing -- on Symone Sanders. What else is she going to say? That they got cheated? She was the press secretary. If she wants any kind of future in politics she's going to take a graceful L.
The reason why I said the Saturday debates were obvious, because they were reported that way at the time. They were opposite NFL playoff games for crying out loud.
Concerning election fraud, there are separate reports on that. For example the one from Election Justice USA http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/7/29/1554022/-Election-Ju...
It's as bad calling a cisco wifi repeaters a "white noise device".
By the way, controlling the media is a form of corruption.
By the way, controlling the media has been intrinsic to politics since drum signals.
Try to implement the most basic security that is common even in poor foreign countries, such as an ID requirement and the left is up in arms.
The truth is, the left doesn't care about election security, it just cares about the left.
In an ideal world we'd have leaks of every group involved in the election: DNC, GOP, Hillary campaign, Bernie campaign, Trump campaign, Trump's tax records, Clinton foundation donor list, etc. However, having a subset, which was selected by some actor with ulterior motives, leaked is IMHO strictly worse than no leaks at all.
For "evidence" we are directed to The New York Times -- a political organization. This sort of evidence certainly suffices for the non-technical set but that HN is accepting this without subjecting the assertion to the rigor that we apply to topics that are not conflated with emotional and psychological triggers is disconcerting.
I would like to pose the question here to my fellow geeks: Do you really think Russians are so incompetent that they would not avail themselves of e.g. Tor to cover their tracks?
[edit: take courage & answer the question instead of downvoting.]
I originally skipped that blog entry but all these anti-Schneier comments make it worth reading. Reading it shows the opposite of the claims I'm seeing on HN. It's in the style of his other reporting on stuff, like Sony situation, where he lists the official position on it in non-committal way (note the "if"), optionally lists alternative theories (apparently has none or doesn't care), focuses on meat of situation (election insecurity), optionally notes prior warnings/work (his and others), and then delivers recommendations to reduce or eliminate the risk. Common pattern on his blog very evident from a guy reading it for about eight years.
Far as personal bias, I've regularly counterpointed him on his own blow & even wrote a character assessment of him based on reading many claims:
Schneier's moderation style is so permissive we get the thoughtful and trolling alike. Yet, far as political or technical points, he doesn't expect lip service from anybody. Let's the "yay," "nay," and "screw you all" posts all stand. So, I speak for myself noting he's not pushing New York Times, the main theory, anything but the topic of elections security & recommendations to get it on track. Those recommendations also reflect both his own research and tons of discussion on those topics on his blog that came to same conclusions. They're the blog's consensus.
As a minimum you get a server to work from (and have your backdoors point back to) that does not directly link back to you. Typically another hacked machine - not necessarily hacked by you - you can buy them cheaply on dark net market places.
DNC has an obvious interest in spinning this and they seem to have done this very successfully.
What bothers me is that no-one seems to be able to separate politics from technical assessment. Even people with deep technical insights such as mr. Schneier.
I think the chance of Trump's presidency scares a lot of people and that scare clouds judgement.
I don't have any say in the american election but I think that people overestimate what the presidential post means and underestimate the check-and-balances of the rest of democratic system (congress, legal system, existing GOP apparatus, press and so on).
What bothers me is that anyone thinks their emails are private.
Also, there's been some claims that NSA and other agencies are running TOR exit nodes. Not sure if there's anything to it, but the point is state level actors have resources that nobody else does.
Besides, I am not sure what is your point. "Russian hackers would have covered their tracks, therefore it must not have been Russian hackers"?
Exceptionalism is political crack. States seek to influence elections in other states. Always have, always will. Having a candidate aligned explicitly aligned with the interests of a foreign state is quite common in Americas. As is having a foreign state explicitly align themselves with a candidate.
There's the metadata on the leaked files indicating that at least the metadata was modified with a cyrillic computer. There's reports from two separate security firms implicating the same two Russian based actors. There's the fact that "Guccifier 2.0" had no online presence until after the the Crowdstrike report implicating Russian intelligence services. There's the fact that "Guccifier 2.0" claims to Romanian, but can't type fluent Romanian (I've heard this independently from a Romanian I know), and drops smilies typical in Russian forums, but not Romanian.
None of this is fire, but there's plenty of smoke.
The IP-address (184.108.40.206) that links the DNC hack to the Bundestag hack is a machine in France (appearantly) controlled by a Pakistani hosting company. This article says the machine was closed because of abuse over a year ago. The material in the DNC hack is just one month old:
Yes, our election systems could be compromised by foreign (or domestic) attackers. This is something we should all fight against. I don't think any voter would agree that our votes shouldn't count. Computer security is hard and the companies running and making voting machines have time and again been proven incompetent. We should work to fix that.
The separate issue is that in our two party system it's come out that one party was proven to have worked to influence an election for one of the candidates of that party. Sure, Bernie was an outsider. Sure, Hillary was practically anointed from the start. Sure, it was fairly obvious that the DNC was favoring HRC and working harder for her than for Sanders. But there's actual proof now. If it came from a lone-wolf domestic hacker, or from Snowden, or from Putins own laptop I don't think it matters. It matters that it happened and the people need to know it did. No media is talking about that at all. Not even NPR.
I think any organization that's working to get someone elected by the people, in order to work for the people should want it's emails to be public. Why wouldn't it want that? Why shouldn't the media have the option to investigate and shine a bright spotlight on everything regarding our elections? They just had this opportunity and they're wasting it to instead talk about Russia influencing our elections. Since we're internally influencing our own elections maybe we should worry about that first.
I've attended "audits" of VVPATs. They merely verify that the printer still worked as expected. Nothing more.
This turf has been hashed and rehashed. The Election Verification Network (academics, administrators, activists) have covered this many times. Auditing electronically mediated elections is impractical and adds little more certainty in the results.
No, crypto voting doesn't help.
First identify who is trying to persecute the whistleblower.
There, you've found the party that has committed untoward acts who is now trying to SILENCE THE WHISTLEBLOWER/CHANGE THE SUBJECT.
I was a Bernie supporter. A LOT of people were/are.
Not at all happy with the DNC.
Having a whistleblower confirm our idea that the DNC was trying to hurt Bernie --
-- now I know how a parent feels when they finally solve the tragedy of a missing family member.
And really depressing.
But there's a problem.
Elections are managed by state governments by design. This is to prevent centralized political corruption. Having the feds "take the lead" is a little too nebulous to be practical.
What could be done is a certification system for electronic voting that requires a paper audit trail and individualized printed receipts for each voter. (Which would be encrypted to prevent others from determining which votes were cast)
The big leap is that electronic-only systems are never going to work. For various reasons, I don't think most folks are ready to go there. That is the major problem that must be solved. After that's fixed, the other stuff will at least be easier to address.
I thought it was pretty breathless. He says
>> Retaliation is politically fraught and could have serious consequences, but this is an attack against our democracy. We need to confront Russian President Vladimir Putin in some way politically, economically or in cyberspace and make it clear that we will not tolerate this kind of interference by any government.
I don't see that the New York Times, releasing the same information, would come in for criticism, much less this level of demonizing. If other countries want to interfere in our elections by giving us accurate information, what's the problem supposed to be? That's the whole point of having elections.
I'm willing to cut him slack for adding his own politics in to the article. With the election approaching, it's like the Ponn Farr here in the states. If anything, it was a bit reserved.
His over-arching points are important and need attention. 1) We are basically in an ongoing cyber-war with other major international powers, and 2) we've been busy buying electronic voting systems that are terribly insecure.
It's a message that needs to be transmitted, and he's one of the best folks to transmit it.
I don't think there's any demonizing going on. This is the state of affairs. We must be aware of it and act accordingly.
> I don't think there's any demonizing going on.
Ok, what is it that we're not supposed to tolerate from Russia? They spied on our documents and released them for public review. Schneier himself would be the first to tell you that they're not going to stop spying on us and we shouldn't expect them to. The phrase "attack against our democracy" can only refer to making accurate public representations to our electorate. That's not an attack against democracy.
For the sake of argument, let's say that your had evidence that a major candidate for office in a strategically important foreign country was engaged in, or had recently engaged in some tawdry or perhaps illicit affair. What do you do with it? Realpolitik dictates that all that matters is that if it's more advantageous for the candidate to lose or not. If you want the candidate to lose, but he's winning, you release it. If not, you don't. Sure, it's transparency, but it's outside influence, for your gain, not the foreign country's.
Why does it matter who's releasing the information? Because they're not us. It's that simple. It's same reason why you can talk shit about your proverbial sister, but no one else gets to.
If you don't understand the concepts of national sovereignty and self-determination, I can't help you.
Thanks for playing!
The Australian Ballot, private voting / public counting, remains the gold standard for election integrity.
(Forgive the repetition.)