back to article Prez Obama expels 35 Russian spies over election meddling

President Barack Obama has ordered the expulsion of 35 suspected Russian spies in response to "malicious cyber activity and harassment" by Putin's government for attempts to undermine the 2016 election. In a statement issued on Thursday, Obama ordered a number of actions in response to "the Russian government’s aggressive …

  1. malle-herbert Silver badge
    Trollface

    I wonder...

    Why that Russian tweet sounded so much like it could have been written by Trump...

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: I wonder...

      Is it because both are raging authoritarian populists?

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: I wonder...

        It's 2016.

        Everybody is a raging authoritarian populist.

        You can just distinguish people by how many countries they have already bombed.

      2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Dan 55 Re: I wonder...

        "....raging authoritarian populists...." You talking about Obama? I mean, it's not like the industry has been warning for years that the grid (and other utilities - remember the Stuxnet furor?) are badly protected against hacking, yet all of a sudden (when the DNC needs to blame an election result on it) Obama starts "punishing" the Russians! I'd have to say this is far too little and far too late from the Obama administration, just a frustrated tantrum rather than what they should have started years ago. It's not like the idea of air-gapping was born yesterday (IIRC, the Bell-LaPadula security model talked about it in the '70s!), so - given the shrieking about Chinese and Russian hacking for at least the last five years - why hasn't anyone in Obama's administration done anything to enforce basic security measures like air-gapping as a Federal requirement on utility operators, let alone areas like voting machines? It's not like Gee Dubya didn't set the ball rolling with the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Properly enforced air-gapping virtually eliminates the threat of the kind of phishing attacks used in Vermont. But no, Obama was more interested in "building his legacy" than actually focusing on real issues.

    2. Roo
      Windows

      Re: I wonder...

      "Why that Russian tweet sounded so much like it could have been written by Trump..."

      It would make sense given that Trump seems to be doing Putin's dirty work these days.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: I wonder...

        > It would make sense given that Trump seems to be doing Putin's dirty work these days.

        Riding the Duma? Explain!

        1. Roo
          Coat

          Re: I wonder...

          Michael Morell: "In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr Putin had recruited Mr Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation."

          My coat is the one with the "Spotter's Guide to Black Helicopters" in the pocket.

    3. Richard Wharram

      Re: I wonder...

      https://twitter.com/pwnallthethings/status/816621553643294720

      Seems a fair enough bet the Russians were involved tbh.

  2. Bob Rocket

    Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

    This is the report

    https://www.us-cert.gov/sites/default/files/publications/JAR_16-20296A_GRIZZLY%20STEPPE-2016-1229.pdf

    Other than highlighting Weiners laptop got pwned (clicked on link to underage girls) at the bottom of page 2 it provides no evidence of The Russians hacking

    the DNC (it was an insider leaking)

    Podesta gmail account (standard phishing from script kiddie)

    Clintons basement server (was never hacked).

    There is something wrong with the system when a Lame Duck President can be issuing Executive Orders from his holiday complex in Hawaii three weeks before he is made redundant.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

      "There is something wrong with the system when a Lame Duck President can be issuing Executive Orders from his holiday complex in Hawaii three weeks before he is made redundant."

      more like irrelevant.

      Obaka's just doing whatever damage he can on the way out the door. Of course HE doesn't see it that way, but that's the overall effect. Hell, might as well screw Israel as much as possible to placate the Islamists while we're at it, blame Russia, make a stupid lame attempt at "retaliation" like we're on a kindergarten playground or something.

      What a Maroon! Well, some people at least expected this kind of thing. So you have a pile of executive orders being issued, while he can, without a care as to the consequences, since the election is OVER and HIS SIDE LOST. So he'll get his "digs" in anyway.

      Let's see how long it takes for Congress and Trump to undo it all...

      1. J. R. Hartley

        Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

        No, he's taking a stand against the terrorist state of Israel for the genocide they commit against Palestinian children on a daily basis. Of course, it's nowhere near enough and he should have done it 8 years ago. Thankfully Israel's days are numbered though.

        1. TheTick
          Thumb Down

          Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

          "the genocide they commit against Palestinian children on a daily basis"

          I doubt that committing genocide every day is sustainable, surely they would run out of children to murder?

          Or you're just talking crap.

          1. Alien8n Silver badge

            Re: Palestine

            The issue with Israel and Palestine is the fact that Israel refuses to admit that what they're doing is wrong. They insist on trying to reclaim the historic kingdom of Israel from 2000 years ago, while seeing the Palestinians as little more than a nuisance to be eradicated.

            The way I see it there are only 4 possible solutions to the issue:

            1. The 2 State Solution. Basically what the UN Resolution is demanding, an end to illegal villages on Palestinian land and a recognition of Palestine as a nation. In return Palestine recognises Israel as a nation. Remember, part of the reason Palestine doesn't recognise Israel is because many of them were forcefully expelled from their homes. Land they owned and farmed for generations was taken from them at gunpoint and handed over to total strangers.

            2. Continue as is. Basically nothing changes, for Palestinians they'll see continuing encroachment on their lands, as they're forceably removed. Israel will see continued attacks from Palestinians as the Palestinians get increasingly desperate and disillusioned.

            3. A Single State Solution. Israel effectively annexes Palestine completely, forcing the remaining Palestinians out of the country (they've already made it clear that they will not accept Palestinians into Israel as it would require Israel to no longer be a Jewish State). Every country around Israel has already stated they won't accept any more Palestinian refugees since the last expulsion by Israel.

            4. A Single State Solution. If the Palestinians won't leave, and Israel effectively annexes Palestine to ensure the Palestinians can't retaliate you basically carpet bomb from one end of Palestine, to the other, killing every single man, woman and child living there. (They've come pretty close to doing this already, stopping short of completely flattening Gaza City.)

            At the end of the day there will be no peace until both sides sit down and listen to the other side. The irony is Blair actually had the experience to do this, but blew his credibility with Iraq. Maybe Jerry Adams should have a go instead?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Palestine

              "The issue with Israel and Palestine is the fact that Israel refuses to admit that what they're doing is wrong. "

              The political power in Israel has slowly shifted from European Jews influences to those of Jews who were expelled from Arab countries after 1948/67/73. The result is the increasing adoption of the "winner takes all" style of power that is more prevalent in countries in the region.

              It is not helped by the Jewish religious hard-liners who hate the culture of a liberal democratic Israel. They often hold a balance of power and are out-breeding the rest of the Israeli Jews. They want their biblical lands restored to them alone - and that is the political impetus behind the West Bank settlements.

              It was said of Yasser Arafat that several times he "snatched defeat from the jaws of victory" by refusing what were seen as unrepeatable major opportunities for a two-state deal. He wanted everything.

              Israel pulled out of Gaza - forcibly removing their settlers in the process. They left behind intact working agricultural and industrial infrastructure that could be put to good economic use. These facilities were then looted and destroyed by the people of Gaza. The political understanding that their withdrawal would result in less cross-border rocket attacks from Gaza by militants proved worthless.

            2. Steve 114

              Re: Palestine

              Humanity never endorses 'peace' when two tribes reside on the same territory. That's an anthropological fact, and failure to acknowledge it is prime cause of the miseries of the world. (Complication to note - even a stable society will tend to split into two tribes. Evolution is unkind).

          2. Roo
            Windows

            Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

            "I doubt that committing genocide every day is sustainable, surely they would run out of children to murder?"

            The CIA "World Factbook" estimates neonatal mortality rate in the Gaza Strip to be 17 per 1000 vs 3.5 per 1000 for Israel as a whole. Something isn't right there.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

              Palestinian territories population increase rate is estimated around 2%, birthdate around 25 per 1000.

              Total pop around 6 million.

              Gaza strip estimated around 3% (8 yrs ago) and 40 per 1000 (10years ago)

              There's also the Palestinian diaspora of about 4million

              Israel about 2% pop increase rate. On 8.5 million (75% of which are Jews)

              It's a numbers game.

          3. iRadiate

            Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

            Genocide != Infantcide

          4. Updraft102 Silver badge

            Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

            Yes, like how they were genocidally building houses prior to this latest UN act of anti-semitism. Palestinians build bombs, no one says anything. Israelis build houses, and they're accused of genocide.

        2. Aitor 1

          Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

          Oh, and the genocide started just right now, as his side lost the elections?

          I don`t like Trump, but the actions Obama is taking are a disgrace, and he should be ashamed of doing them after the vote and a few weeks from leaving office.

          If he wanted to mess with Israel, he had two terms to do it. Chose not to, but now, he is messing around... this is not in the interest of the USA.

          1. h4rm0ny

            Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

            >>"If he wanted to mess with Israel, he had two terms to do it. Chose not to, but now, he is messing around... this is not in the interest of the USA."

            Oddly enough (odd because I'm a long-term critic of Israeli foreign policy), I agree with you. There's a real air of 'ha! they can't punish me now!' about Obama's recent shifts on Israel. I mean unlike you (I'm guessing, could be wrong), I actually want to see the US stop blindly supporting Israel but it's hardly heroic on Obama's side, more like a kid on the last day of school knowing the teachers can't put him in detention. I guess I'll take what I can get but like you say - he's had two whole terms to do this. This isn't really very helpful.

            1. Aitor 1

              Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

              I would like the US to stop supporting Israel, and I think that it is not in the best interest of the US tu support, in general, "bad things in the name of power". When I say the US, I mean "the majority of the US population".

              I am not a US citizen, and I don´t live in the US (we could, my wife is a US citizen).

              What I think is bad for the US is this thing of burning the house before the new tenant comes in, as we have been kicked out. This is really bad for the US. Strategies have to be at least medium term, and a President that us going out has no mandate to do these things. It is just wrong.

              I did not go into these things because I did not want to appear to be judging from a bias. Albeit I am, but the opposite that you thought I was.... I try to be fair.. of course I fail, but I least I try.

              1. h4rm0ny

                Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

                >>"I did not go into these things because I did not want to appear to be judging from a bias. Albeit I am, but the opposite that you thought I was.... I try to be fair.. of course I fail, but I least I try."

                Sorry, no offence was meant and I agreed with your post. It was a surmise as I said at the time. I found it interesting and positive that even two people who (I thought at the time) had different political views, could agree on the destructiveness of Obama's current approach. Apologies for guessing wrong.

        3. Lars Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

          @ J. R. Hartley

          I don't think you meant to say "Thankfully Israel's days are numbered though." literally. Israel is run by a regime dragging the whole population towards fascism and apartheid at an accelerating speed. All because they want to keep it all. And they want to make the two state alternative go away.

          We all know this, there is noway to hide it, nor is it. The UN resolution you find (all of it) on YouTube and it's worth the time. Took me about four beers. At the very end you find the Israeli regime representative with the most childish and appalling speech in that room.

          The US did the right thing not to veto that resolution. Kerry's speech is appropriate too, and listen to the whole speech and not just to some snippet you find on YouTube. There are lots of both Israelis and Jews around the world who oppose this regime and its goals. They need all the support we can give them and I wish they would stand up and speak out louder. And for the rest I would hope they stopped turning a blind eye to the reality.

          What else, time to wish everybody a better next year.

          I haven't been able to decide what to call this 2016 year yet. Is it the "Year of the hairs", the "Year of the lying arseholes" or the "Year of the men children". So help me out.

      2. Captain Badmouth

        Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

        "Let's see how long it takes for Congress and Trump to undo it all..."

        Apparently Paul Ryan and quite a few republicans are in full agreement with Obama on this, and Trump has actually issued a statement using more than 140 brain cells :

        "Nevertheless, in the interest of our country and its great people, I will meet with leaders of the intelligence community next week in order to be updated about the facts of this situation."

        1. W Donelson

          Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

          The GOP thanks Russia and the rogue FBI groups for assisting them to Absolute Power.

          But now, the GOP wants the Power only for itself, and must kick Russia out to complete the coup d'etat.

          This is the nature of POWER.

          The investigations found that Russia meddled, and cyber-war will result.

          Look for a Trump impeachment early, followed by a Pence presidency and the end of democracy.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

            Look for a Trump impeachment early, followed by a Pence presidency and the end of democracy.

            Democracy ended some while ago in many "democratic nations" where you have entrenched political parties who have adjusted the system to try and ensure that no challenger parties can get a foothold, and the established parties play Buggins turn for who runs government.

            The extensive and blatant gerrymandering of electoral boundaries in the US is a fine example. In the UK a broadly similar situation has been upset by the emergence of electors failing to follow the script, whereas in the US, Trump had to take on the Republican party, whose establishment didn't want to back him.

            1. smartypants

              Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

              " In the UK a broadly similar situation has been upset by the emergence of electors failing to follow the script"

              There were two scripts. There was the script you mean (i.e. the one supported by every main party at the last election because it was the right thing to do), and the alternative - that our country had been 'taken away', promises of windfalls to the NHS, threats of 70 million brown turkish hordes descending on us, the dismissing of any business concerns as merely 'project fear'.

              2017 is the year when we find out how little anyone had thought about the real consequences of Brexit, and just how far politicians are likely to pursue the idiotic in an attempt to save face.

      3. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: bombastic bob Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

        "....Let's see how long it takes for Congress and Trump to undo it all..." Actually, the GOP has been trying to goad the Obama administration into some more effective action over cybersecurity for years, so they're unlikely to undo this executive order. I did chuckle at Trumpet's Twitter dig though - he manages to defuse the issue with Putin by making it look like Obama is just throwing a bad loser's tantrum on his way out the door.

    2. Nehmo

      Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

      The DNC leak:

      The contents of some are certainly discrediting for the Democrats. I see the most important one as the old Podesta email which showed Citibank's Michael Froman decided on almost every Obama cabinet position.

      But the most disturbing consequence is that the (assumed) leaker, Seth Rich, was murdered. I previously didn't believe the "trail of bodies" stories about the Clintons. But this time the circumstances are too suspicious.

      The media described him as a "worker" or "operative", yet he his title was Director of Voter Expansion Data (Turnout) since 2014.

      The DC police went out of their way to describe the killing as a robbery that went wrong. But nothing was taken, and police are usually hesitant to label something as a robbery when the evidence doesn't point to it.

      He was shot several times, even while on the ground, while in a camera blind spot, which is rare for that area. Would a dumb robber have scoped out the blind spots?

      Even Seth's family (dad) is shown on TV telling people to not speculate on anything other than robbery. Most families want a serious investigation, and they tend to not believe the simple excuse.

      As we know, WikiLeaks hinted that Seth was its source. http://yournewswire.com/wikileaks-seth-rich-leaked-clinton-emails/

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

        I'm sorry to see some reflexive downvoting on your post as it's entirely factual. The CIA have a history of lying - including to their own government (example, they lied about their use of torture to a House Committee) and interfering with multiple country's democratic processes. They have a long and documented history of such. They even ran drugs to finance themselves independently of US government funding. In contrast, Wikileaks provide substantiated information and as far as I'm aware, have never been caught lying about such matters. Wikileaks say it's not Russia and was in fact a leak from within the DNC. CIA say it isn't but refuse to provide evidence - again, even to their own government. (The Chair of the House Intelligence committee was refused a briefing from them when he requested one).

        Any logical and evidence based balance of probabilities would be to say that Wikileaks is more likely telling the truth.

        And if it is a leak rather than hacking, then the immediate logical follow-up is that the CIA will want to prevent the truth emerging. Someone willing to leak that data is also someone who could plausibly confess to it. Seth Rich is one of the suspected sources of the leak. He could demolish the CIA's entire case by going public as the source. Or rather he could before he coincidentally died a few miles from his house in an alleged robbery. Fun fact: people who mug you for your wallet and phone are usually content to just get those items and run. They don't normally go out trying to shoot people dead. (Especially, you don't normally find their victims dying from multiple shots to the back).

        So again, it's a shame to see some people go "Conspiracy Theory" and vote it down (or do so for other reasons). Maybe my post will be too, but there's nothing in the above that is implausible nor flawed reasoning. What it comes down to is that some people don't want to accept the liklihood that people in the US government are willing to have someone killed to suit their agenda. Despite that such people have knowingly killed hundreds of thousands with wars like Iraq or the bombing of Libya knowing full well that such loss of life would be the result. To reject the idea that the CIA or similar would assasinate someone or that people in government would turn a blind eye to it, is to reject countless historical cases where they have done exactly that, and on far grander scale than one life.

        In short: which group has the greater credibility - Wikileaks or the CIA. Based on evidence one has to say the former. If the former is telling the truth is it the case that US parties have the motive and demonstrated willingness to dispose of someone who could expose them. Overwhelmingly yes to both of those again. None of this is unsupported so downvote away!

        1. Rob D.
          FAIL

          Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

          > I'm sorry to see some reflexive downvoting on your post as it's entirely factual.

          Have a non-reflexive down-vote purely for not being able to understand that a factual post can be completely worthy of a down-vote.

          1. h4rm0ny

            Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

            >>"Have a non-reflexive down-vote purely for not being able to understand that a factual post can be completely worthy of a down-vote."

            When a post is entirely factual, I like to see disagreement with the contents take the form of reasoned argument rather than just voting them down without explanation. At the time of my post (and still to the time I post this), the person I replied to had been modded down by a number of people but nobody had actually given any reason why anything they wrote was wrong. Which is not that surprising as what they wrote is easily verified.

            I fully understand that one could vote down a purely factual post - for example any of those interminable "Try Linux" posts every single sodding time there's a story about a Windows issue no matter how off-topic it is; or if there's obvious lack of context or understanding such as "It was really cold last week" on a story about global warming. But this is neither so yes, I do find it disappointing when I see an on-topic, being voted down by a few people but none of whom dispute that it's actually accurate.

            Do we know that Seth Rich was the leaker? No, we don't. Can we say it's very possible he was? Yes - we have a more reliable source stating it was a leak and he is a likely candidate and there are several actual hints that he was as well. It's pretty reasonable to suggest that his being shot multiple times in the back near his home in Bloomberg could be linked to an agency well-known for assassinations. Given that if it was a leak then someone (plausibly Seth Rich) was in a position to discredit said agency's story. If someone's first reaction to reading the above is "Conspiracy Theory" rather than "but that part doesn't make sense", then I humbly and politely ask them to take a few moments and ask themselves if there is anything that is obviously wrong in it. Nobody is saying we know it to be the case. But it's perfectly possible and, if one thinks that Wikileaks is telling the truth, then it actually becomes quite likely.

            So short version: clearly I do understand that a purely factual post can be worthy of a downvote. But isn't it better to actually point out the obvious flaws in it? And if that isn't easily done, then downvoting isn't the next best thing, imo.

            1. veti Silver badge

              Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

              Was Seth Rich the leaker? Well, I'm not aware of any evidence that he was. But even if he was - what follows from that? Does it mean Russia is innocent?

              Hell no.

              If Wikileaks had any interest in "full disclosure", then there was absolutely no need for the materials to be released the way they were - staggered across several weeks, with promises of press conferences and 'teasers' released to the media beforehand. That was a well orchestrated campaign, and I don't have the slightest doubt it was the Russians who orchestrated it, in co-operation with the Trump campaign. (Witness the time Trump referenced a story based on a misquote that had, at that time, only ever been published in RT.)

              Putin's fingerprints are all over Trump's victory, with or without Seth Rich or any other stooge who may have helped out his little game of kingmaker. I suspect that a thorough investigation would find the same dabs on the Brexit result - at the very least, there's no doubt the trolls of Olgino were very active in the British media this summer.

              But the interference in America was blatant. What's more, the CIA recognises it as straight out of their own playbook - it was exactly the kind of campaign that the US ran in Ukraine back in 2004.

              1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
                Windows

                Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

                "Witness the time Trump referenced a story based on a misquote that had, at that time, only ever been published in RT."

                Proof that Trump's campaign outfit reads RT in spite of John Kerry telling all good US citizens not to?

                the trolls of Olgino were very active in the British media this summer.

                Please explain how Internet trolls lead to a successful Brexit vote. Several inferences are missing here.

                "But the interference in America was blatant."

                Still don't see the blatantness. Citation needed.

              2. JohnG

                Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

                There is absolutely no evidence that any Russians had anything to do with the Wikileaks leaks. The emails concerned were obtained in a person to person exchange made in Washington, between a disenchanted democrat staffer (who had legal access to the emails) and a former British ambassador. There was no hacking and no Russians involved.

                Wikileaks have a history of leaking information in small chunks, not least to retain the interest of the news outlets who publish their material. No doubt those affected by the leaks would rather everything was leaked in a single batch, to get all the bad news out on one day - but that is a selfish goal.

                The story that "the Russians did it" has been presented without any evidence and seems mostly designed to deflect attention from the content of the leaks and from criticism that a number of Democrats have been discussing government business using free commercial email services e.g. Gmail.

                Feel free to come up with any evidence that "the Russians" were involved.

          2. Mark 85 Silver badge

            @Rob D. -- Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

            Have a non-reflexive down-vote purely for not being able to understand that a factual post can be completely worthy of a down-vote.

            Then you can have some downvotes for not providing factual information that refutes the original. Downvotes around here are sometimes just a knee-jerk as people don't want to hear the truth. To quote: "You can't handle the truth"... applies here.

            Politics isn't about honesty. It's about power and getting elected. If the truth gets stomped into the ground and buried, the ones that action benefit don't care as they got what they wanted.

        2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

          Re: which group has the greater credibility - Wikileaks or the CIA

          Neither has any real credibility as far as "truth" goes, although when it comes to getting rid of Presidents I'd say that the CIA has the edge.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

          In short: which group has the greater credibility - Wikileaks or the CIA.

          That's not as much of an either-or decision as you seek to portray, the third option is neither.

          Wikileaks had a very clear agenda. One of the first things you want from any source that protrays itself as being "for the people" is that it refrains from bias, otherwise it is not offering facts to allow people to make up their own mind, it is actively influencing people. If they had been digging as deep in GOP leaks as Democrats they would have had more credibility, but with this they blew the last remnant of credibility they had. They had an opportunity to reclaim credibility, and they studiously avoided taking it.

          The CIA is also not exactly without agenda, and has pretty much become too big for anyone to control - again, not a source with much remaining credibility.

          In conclusion, I would not trust either. Both have a raging allergy to accountability* and transparency, so I'd not have any confidence in either doing something that was even remotely associated with assisting democracy.

          * As demonstrated on numerous occasions by Assange™

          1. h4rm0ny

            Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

            >>That's not as much of an either-or decision as you seek to portray, the third option is neither.

            Neither doesn't really work. CIA say it wasn't a leak. Wikileaks say it was. And you sounding very clever say that neither is right? What would "neither" mean? Or are you suggesting that both are so lacking in credibility that there is no evidence either way. If so, please give some examples of where Wikileaks has lied or passed out false information. I'll be waiting.

            >> If they had been digging as deep in GOP leaks as Democrats they would have had more credibility

            You presume that there are available equivalent leaks for the Republicans as well. Given leaks of this scale are rare, you'd need to provide some reason why you think this is so. Wikileaks are a place for people to leak information to. They don't magic up a bunch of emails at will. There were very notable circumstances for the DNC leak - internal corruption, a popular candidate (who might have beaten Trump) being sabotaged by staff who were supposed to be neutral... On the Republican side, you already knew most of the Republican big wigs wanted to oust Trump. I mean they even discussed disregarding the result of the primaries openly. Where is your evidence that Wikileaks was passed leaked Republican emails and deliberately sat on them? Because that's what you're claiming with the above.

      2. Updraft102 Silver badge

        Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

        It's kind of funny how everyone seems to gloss over the point that even if it was the Russians did manage to phish a Democrat (who was too dumb to recognize a phishing email) and convince him to willingly give away his password (that's not hacking, btw; that's more like someone hitting reply all when he meant reply and having the message received by the wrong people), the resultant leak was the truth-- and incredibly, it's the Democrats out there saying that someone leaking the truth about how shady and unethical their behavior was cost them the election (as if being shady and unethical is okay, and someone else was the bad guy for letting us all know they were doing it).

        Well, that being the case, maybe they deserved to lose. Since the American media isn't doing its job of ensuring an informed electorate, someone else stepped up and provided just a little bit of truth in a race that has mostly been awash in lies from the media (who then have the audacity to accuse others of spreading fake news).

        Isn't it kind of a weird situation when the "news" media lying through their teeth and actively campaigning for one of the candidates is okay, but someone out there spreading just a little bit of truth about this is somehow an upending of democracy?

        There still has not been any evidence anyone "hacked the election." There was a leak of emails that harmed the Democrats. Are they really trying to sell us on the idea of an overinformed electorate? That we knew too much about what the Dems had planned, and it was all the fault of the Russians?

    3. thegroucho
      FAIL

      Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

      Bob Rocket:

      It is not however wrong for someone to become a president despite winning less votes than the losing candidate?

      Lame argument anyone ...

      1. Bob Rocket

        Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

        thegroucho,

        the US system is not based on the overall popular vote it is based on elector constituences, Trump won more constituencies than Clinton so he gets to be President.

        This is similar to the UK where the electorate vote for MPs and MPs decide on the PM.

        The issue is that the US election was on Nov 9th but the outgoing President doesn't hand over power until Jan 20th. In the UK, the Government is dissolved before the election and a new Government constituted as soon as is practicable afterwards.

        President Obama is just working out his notice (by holidaying in Hawaii) he should not have the levers of power, these should fall back to the Senate/Governors until the new President is sworn in.

        (in order to stop a petulant outgoer trashing the place before they go).

      2. Mark Simon

        Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

        “It is not however wrong for someone to become a president despite winning less votes than the losing candidate?”

        It’s happened a few times in Australia, when the party with the smaller popular vote got the majority of seats. It’s a fundamental flaw with a system laughingly called “democratic”: you don’t actually vote for the policies or the leader, you vote for a party who has voted for a candidate who has voted for a leader who has bolted together some policies to make the whole thing look as if they’re doing something to justify your vote. And this only every 3 or 4 years.

        A majority of a majority isn’t always a majority (70% of 70% is only 49%).

        1. Lars Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

          @ Mark Simon

          We had the same system in Finland too but it become more and more obvious that those 200 electors had their own agenda with all their secret meetings and what not. Since then we vote directly for the President, all political parties together and all in the television too. And why not, the President should represent the hole country after all. That a "MP" represents his constituency is an other question and understandable.

          1. h4rm0ny
            Trollface

            Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

            Maybe the USA should get rid of the electoral college if they dislike it so much. They could have a proportional representation system... Like Russia does. ;)

        2. GrapeBunch Bronze badge

          Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

          In parliamentary systems it's much worse. In Canada, a person can become Prime Minister typically with 39% of the vote. It could be that in the Democracy of Ancient Greece, that same person might have been exiled (ostracized) by an overwhelming 60% of the electorate. Coulda woulda shoulda, but the same guy was Prime Minister until the 61% found a happy interlocking way to "vote strategically".

          In the 1960 election, Wikipedia shows Kennedy winning the popular vote, but it's murkier than that, see this map and the commentary about Alabama at the bottom. Kennedy won in the Electoral College 303-219, meaning that there was only one state with enough EC votes to be called a "swing state", NY. Harry F. Byrd received 15 EC votes, though he had not been a candidate for President. Stuff that in your college and smoke it.

          To the person who said that the EC is part of the system and then in the same comment went on to complain that the outgoing President should be neutralized, I say: "Your slip is showing!"

          I rather like Obama's outgoing flourish. Even though USA and Russia are both nominally constitutional democracies, there's still a bit of antipathy toward "Rooskies", and Obama is making whatever conciliatory position Trump might have in mind look like he's being soft on the "Rooskies". That can work to the Dems' advantage in 2020 or even 2018. Despite Netanyahu's hissy fit, USA (b.1776) has been like both father and mother to Israel (b.1948), but being in the same family doesn't always mean getting what you want. Rare are the opportunities for telling a delicate offspring that they have gone too far, and this is one.

          1. Bob Rocket

            Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

            @GrapeBunch,

            The EC system is the one under which this election was run, a different system (popular vote for example) would have produced a different campaign from both the main players, I find the EC system a bit bizarre but the UK runs its own mad system (all electoral systems are mad, the key is to find one that everybody agrees is rubbish and use that).

            Would President Obama have behaved the way he is doing now had Hillary won ?

            I personally don't think he would have done, his outbursts seem to me to be petty and vindictive, it sullies the good work he has done in the past and sets a dangerous precedent for future action by outgoing Presidents.

            It appears childish and petulant, if I behaved like that my mum would've slapped my legs, that other Democrats applaud his actions shows just how far they have fallen.

            They will be out of power for a very long time, this sorry episode will haunt them for a generation at least.

          2. gnasher729 Silver badge

            Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

            Actually, in the USA you could become president with just fifteen votes. Not fifteen percent, but fifteen. Ok, it would require that in the fifteen largest states you get _one_ vote each and nobody else gets any votes at all in these states. Fifteen largest is enough for the majority in the electoral college.In the other states you could then have tens of millions (I guess about 80-100 millions) against you and still win.

      3. ToddR

        Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

        Do you not understand how the US electoral system, (as defined by the founding fathers), works? It's a bit like the UK One too!

      4. Updraft102 Silver badge

        Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

        He didn't get less votes.

        He got 306. Clinton got 232.

        232 is less than 306.

      5. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: thegroucho Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

        "....It is not however wrong for someone to become a president despite winning less votes than the losing candidate?...." The Electoral College was intended to stop one area of the US dominating the voting through demographics. In the recent elections, Shrillary's "popular vote win" can be explained simply by pointing out that she won big in California alone, whilst losing in the majority of States. Indeed, if you take California out of the picture, then Trumpet scored 1.4m more votes across the rest of the States than Shrillary. As it stands, Democrat-dominated California alone guaranteed Shrillary a whopping 55 Electoral College votes, meaning she only needed 215 from the other 49 states - she failed to get them. If you are happy with California alone getting to decide who gets to be POTUS then you (probably willfully) failed to understand why the Electoral College system was implemented in the first place.

    4. phuzz Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

      "There is something wrong with the system when a [...] President can be issuing Executive Orders [...] three weeks before he is made redundant."

      There's only one president at a time, and there is a formal handover ceremony which in this case is in a few weeks. How else do you expect the system to work?

      It takes a long time to count all the votes in the US, so naturally the presidents can't be swapped straight after election day, as the result is still uncertain at that point.

      It would be possible to swap once the Electoral college votes are all in, but the US loves it's spectacle and rallies, and those take some time to organise (catering has to be organised, musicians have to be booked etc.), and so there's a period of time to allow this organisation to happen.

      Assuming Trump makes it to the end of his term, he also will continue to be the president, with all the powers that entails, until the next one is sworn in. This is normal.

      1. willi0000000

        Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

        "There is something wrong with the system when a [...] President can be issuing Executive Orders [...] three weeks before he is made redundant."

        also try

        "There is something wrong with the system when a [...] President can be issuing Executive Orders [...] three weeks can not be issuing Supreme Court nominations a year before he is made redundant."

        yeah . . . yeah . . . i know . . . one has nothing to do with the other . . . except that it does!

        Obama hasn't been my idea of the best president he could have been but the (dis)loyal opposition has been just awful from day one.

    5. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

      "a Lame Duck President can be issuing Executive Orders"

      Under the American political system there can only be one ... president at any given moment in time. Obama is still president and has the power to issue orders like this ... and in time, Trump will gain the same power. I wonder if you will be making the same complaint in four years time when Trump is leaving office?

      Of course, it has been the Republican position that Obama has been a "Lame Duck" president for eight years now so I'll not be holding by breath on this.

      1. JohnG

        Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

        "Under the American political system there can only be one ... president at any given moment in time. Obama is still president and has the power to issue orders like this ... and in time, Trump will gain the same power."

        It is, to say the least, unusual for any outgoing president to make significant changes, like the expulsion of Russian diplomats and the sudden withdrawal of support for Israel in the UNSC.

        It seems hard to justify a sudden change in what has been a forty year policy of support for Israel. Why wasn't this done earlier in Obama's presidency and why did neither Obama nor Clinton signal their intentions to the electorate? It looks as if Obama is trying to do damage to Trump's presidency (and, by implication, to the USA), simply for revenge.

        I am not commenting on the rights and wrongs of either the expulsions or the withdrawal of support for Israel, simply the timing and intentions of these actions. Maybe these ideas looked good amongst a group of dedicated Democrat believers but I believe the US public with not see them in the same light.

    6. Steve Knox
      FAIL

      Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

      Correction. That is the report of what has so far been made public.

      Intelligence is rarely made available wholesale to the general public as it tends to reveal how much we know and how we know it.

      The President has been and Congress will be hearing a great deal more than anything you'll find on the interwebs.

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

        >>"The President has been and Congress will be hearing a great deal more than anything you'll find on the interwebs."

        Important correction in turn: The president will be, but members of Congress have been refused access. There was a closed briefing for selected members.

        Lack of access severely limits expert analysis and independent corroboration. Ultimately, I believe this will come down to "do you trust the CIA".

      2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

        > The President has been and Congress will be hearing a great deal more than anything you'll find on the interwebs.

        Yeah, I would love a clear explanation of #Pizzagate. Sounds like partisan bullshit, until suddenly it kinda, sorta, really doesn't. It also has troubling "third rail" aspects for MSM outfits. Compare this with the presswise destruction of Assange of a kinda, sorta rape that happened.

      3. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit @Steve Knox

        Intelligence is rarely made available wholesale to the general public as it tends to reveal how much we know and how we know it. ….. Steve Knox

        Correction, Steve.

        Intelligence is rarely made available wholesale to the general public as it tends to reveal how little is known about everything in intelligent community circles and central intelligence agencies. Thinking up things daily to test out live in the fields of public opinion and private interest without knowledge in everything, is no way to effectively control and command virtual reality enterprises. The result of such a charade of dim-witted escapades is the sub-prime present you now have delivered daily into your lives by mass media operations. And y’all entertain and believe it to be uncontrollable and leaderless.

        Oh how easily are the fooled led to suffer follies, for nothing just happens as if by magic. Everything is scripted for smarter disciplines to follow and realise with conspiring leaderships.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

      "There is something wrong with the system when a Lame Duck President can be issuing Executive Orders..."

      That's a valid argument. I trust that in 4 or 8 years you will apply the same logic to Trump.

      "from his holiday complex in Hawaii"

      So if we look back into the Reg archives 8+ years ago, we'll see you complaining about W working from Crawford?

    8. tom dial Silver badge

      Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

      The us-cert link given makes no explicit mention, nor as far as I can see any implicit one, relating to Weiner's laptop, which entered the discussion independently of hacking by anyone. However, it also tells absolutely nothing of substance about any unauthorized acquisition of Democratic Party documents and communications. The Russians might have done it, as the document claims without presenting any meaningful evidence, or an insider might have done it.

      In the end, the leaked information probably had little to or nothing to do with the election result. Nearly everyone with the initiative to vote probably had made up their minds before the conventions, and Clinton's well known prior history and manifest inadequacies as a candidate almost certainly were the deciding factors.

      The claim that Clinton's mail server was not accessed by foreign intelligence is most unlikely to be true given the publicly known vulnerabilities and the fact that messages to or from the server were known to have been obtained by hackers.

  3. Mark Simon

    The Facts?

    “Nevertheless, in the interest of our country and its great people, I will meet with leaders of the intelligence community next week in order to be updated about the facts of this situation.”

    Note the sequencing: first Trump declares an option, THEN he says he will try to be updated about the facts.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: The Facts?

      Standard government activity. See the UK and the appalling treatment of Professor Nutt on drug risk, etc, we he dared not to give the answer the gov/tabloids wanted to hear.

      1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Re: The Facts?

        The only person I'd trust on drug risk and treatment options would be Bill Hicks.

    2. h4rm0ny
      Trollface

      Re: The Facts?

      >>"Note the sequencing: first Trump declares an option, THEN he says he will try to be updated about the facts."

      It's true. I went to court last week and the Judge made the comment that she was going to act as if I was innocent until she'd been presented with actual evidence. I couldn't believe that she leaned to a conclusion and said she'd stick to it unless persuaded otherwise. I almost demanded to be locked up then and there!

      1. Down not across Silver badge

        Re: The Facts?

        I couldn't believe that she leaned to a conclusion and said she'd stick to it unless persuaded otherwise. I almost demanded to be locked up then and there!

        One would hope that would give a good case for an appeal if the verdict was unfavourable.

        Sadly "innocent unless proven guilty (beyond reasonable doubt)" often is no longer the case.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The Facts?

          "Sadly "innocent unless proven guilty (beyond reasonable doubt)" often is no longer the case."

          Successive UK governments have tried to bypass the "beyond reasonable doubt" requirement - by making civil law provisions with criminal penalties eg ASBO; Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO).

          Further evidence of this attitude permeating into general society is in the CofE York Minster. It has let its bells go silent because one of the bell-ringers is considered a "safe-guarding" risk. The man has never been convicted of any alleged offence. Two police investigations failed to bring any charge.

          https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/oct/19/how-york-minster-campanologists-sacking-blew-the-lid-off-bitter-dispute

  4. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Pint

    if Russia WAS behind the e-mail hacks...

    if Russia WAS behind the e-mail hacks...

    THEY! DESERVE! A! BEER!

    Thanks, guys! Cheers! Das Vadania! (or however you spell it)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: if Russia WAS behind the e-mail hacks...

      Try with:

      'Nazdorovya' (to health)

      as opposed to the 'Goodbye' you said.

      Sounds like the Alt Right can never get their facts right for starters ...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: if Russia WAS behind the e-mail hacks...

      if Russia WAS behind the e-mail hacks...

      THEY! DESERVE! A! BEER!

      You really ought to move to a country where even the illusion of democracy has been erased, which, if I read the signs correctly, may include the US as of 2017.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: if Russia WAS behind the e-mail hacks...

        No, they DO deserve a beer, even two.

        Only self-blinding Progressives would be against a fat infodump of DNC shenanigans.

        1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          Re: if Russia WAS behind the e-mail hacks...

          Only self-blinding Progressives would be against a fat infodump of DNC shenanigans.

          I would not limit this to DNC. They are no different from most incumbent parties. Not that any of the newcomers are any better.

      2. TheTick

        Re: if Russia WAS behind the e-mail hacks...

        "You really ought to move to a country where even the illusion of democracy has been erased, which, if I read the signs correctly, may include the US as of 2017."

        So you think they are going to succeed in overturning Donald Trump's outstanding electoral college win?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: if Russia WAS behind the e-mail hacks...

          So you think they are going to succeed in overturning Donald Trump's outstanding electoral college win?

          No, I trust Trump to only do what suits him and cronies in a larger scale repeat of what happened to the UK when Tony Blair was voted in. The only saving grace so far is that he pissed off the intelligence people so it'll be harder for him to get them to help making up an excuse to start another war, but he's got Putin for that now.

          The only question is if the departing US finance minister leave a note too. I suspect it'll be a Trump tweet instead...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: if Russia WAS behind the e-mail hacks...

          "So you think they are going to succeed in overturning Donald Trump's outstanding electoral college win?"

          The GOP will do that with either an impeachment or the threat of same. VP Mike Pence would then become their hard-line accommodating new President.

  5. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    No sweat. By the end of January the Russians can send 350 or so new spies to the US. Provided they book their accomodations at one of the Trump resorts or hotels.

    1. HereIAmJH

      Putin the empire builder

      They won't bother. They'll be too busy infiltrating former Eastern Bloc countries as they work to rebuild the Russian (USSR) Empire. And NATO will be too disorganized by all of Trump's antics to do anything about it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Putin the empire builder

        And NATO will be too disorganized by all of Trump's antics to do anything about it.

        They might be if they put Cameron in charge. I was not spectacularly impressed by his performance as PM.

        1. Commswonk Silver badge

          Re: Putin the empire builder

          They might be if they put Cameron in charge. I was not spectacularly impressed by his performance as PM.

          My view reads: They might will be if they put Cameron in charge. I was not spectacularly unimpressed by his performance as PM, given what he did to eviscerate the armed forces; ditching the Harrier was perhaps the most spectacular blunder of all.

          I cannot easily think of anyone less well qualified to serve as NATO Sec. Gen.

          1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

            Re: Putin the empire builder

            I cannot easily think of anyone less well qualified to serve as NATO Sec. Gen.

            Antonio Bliar?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Putin the empire builder

              Nigel Farage?

              Boris Johnson?

              That's a looooong list :)

  6. Walter Bishop Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Obama expels thirty five Russian non-spies in an attempt to distract from the DNC emails hack

    Do you have to repeat this neocon BS on this technology forum. That whole thing being distraction from the real story being the contents of the hacked DNC and Clinton emails

    1. phuzz Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Obama expels thirty five Russian non-spies in an attempt to distract from the DNC emails hack

      Why all the downvotes for this guy? it's clear that the truth about pizzagate is in there somewhere!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rigging elections in foreign countries is still ok .....

    .... just don't use a computer !!!

  8. FlamingDeath Bronze badge

    Cry me a river

    They're really salty because their proxy war fell flat on its face, they got kicked out of the Whitehouse due to their utter contempt and HUBRIS. These are the things that happen when power mad nut-jobs lose all sense of reality and think they're doing good works.

    The reality is simple, the world is far too complicated for morons to be in power, and it's about time we forged ourselves a technocracy. The long-term survival of our species demands it, and this is by no means hyperbole.

    The really sad thing is 90% of the population can't differentiate blatant lies with facts.

    "They point and click which wounds to lick" - should be a clue

    The news is less about impartial facts and is more to do with "The Narrative™"

  9. harmjschoonhoven
    WTF?

    Welcome home, comrades

    Here is your new office with a direct broadband connection to Washington DC. BTW here are the keys for your Дaчa on the Krim.

  10. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Crying a River .......

    The news is less about impartial facts and is more to do with "The Narrative™" ... FlamingDeath

    When such is the case, is the present and future and Earthly existence a global virtual reality project for media programming and post production. Crack that with alternative tales, difficult to impossible to disbelieve and disprove, and "The Narrative™" systems are effectively hacked and will always collapse in chaotic disorder if they chose not to change their tunes. And mainstream news operations are then also identified as enemy state and non-state actor agents ...... false factoid propagandists?

  11. W Donelson

    The Plan for over a year now....

    The GOP thanks Russia and the rogue FBI groups for assisting them to Absolute Power.

    But now, the GOP wants the Power only for itself, and must kick Russia out to complete the coup d'etat.

    This is the nature of POWER.

    The investigations found that Russia meddled, and cyber-war will result.

    Look for a Trump impeachment early, followed by a Pence presidency and the end of democracy.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Devil

    Thank you Mr Rocket

    For posting the link to the report.

    For anyone who hasnt looked at it, please you need go no further than the top of the page, in the "DISCLAIMER"

    Quote:

    DISCLAIMER: This report is provided “as is” for informational purposes only. The Department of Homeland

    Security (DHS) does not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information contained within.

    /Quote

    "does not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information"

    They really do throw this crap out expecting no one to read it, which is not surprising considering most of it is just gibberish.

    Maybe if we throw it up on a teleprompter and get Obama to read it out to us we will all understand?!

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Supersize Me!

      Do you want a report of the 9/11 commission with that?

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Supersize Me!

        Do you want a report of the 9/11 commission with that?

        Yes, and can we have all the papers (including an unredacted Warren Report) on the Kennedy Assassination? Most of the evidence will remain "Top Secret" for a few more decades. I guess those in power behind the throne want each President to read them and understand what's in for them if El Presidente doesn't do their bidding.

        Now where's my damn tin foil hat?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Retaliation coming in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

    So, we already have reports of an English-language school used by US, Canadian, and UK diplomatic staff in Moscow closed down as a retaliation. Something tells me that at least 35 US embassy staff will be celebrating the New Year back home, too.

    None of this is going to stop or even slow down the hackers on either side - so yeah, this sure sounds like a measured, necessary, and appropriate response.

    I had really high hopes for Obama's presidency; instead he is shaping up to be one of the biggest failures in recent US history.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Retaliation coming in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

      Try making a change while being hamstrung by Congress and Senate ...

      You can't make a change solely based on executive orders.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Devil

      Re: Retaliation coming in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

      Looks like Putin's response is in!!

      and he is planning to do.. nothing!

      Which is frankly not surprising, as all the other moves against Russia have been met with this tactic.

      And honestly it is surprising how well it has worked, you really have to wonder the worth of our leaders when the evil boogieman consistently beats them by doing nothing??

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Retaliation coming in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

        "and he is planning to do.. nothing!"

        and he is planning to do.. nothing! Until Trump chooses which path to take.

        FTFY

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Retaliation coming in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

          Even then, judging from Putin's past action, even if trump puts his hair on to tight one morning and acts against Russia, he will take a wait and see approach.

          The only time I have see Russia move with immediate response is when large number of troops are placed near their borders.

          We put 5000 troop near their border, they put 10,000 on the other side.

          We fly spy planes over their military test facilities, they buzz battleship's with fighter jets..

          Then again if Russia didn't want war I guess they should put their borders so near our military bases..

          Russia has put in enough bomb shelters to house a very large part of their population, I have no idea what nation you may hail but ask yourselves what preparation has your government put in place to protect the population if a war ever broke out?

          You may reasonably ask what sort of nation would need to build bomb shelters?

          Would the answer not be, One that *expects* to be attacked?

      2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: Retaliation coming in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

        and he is planning to do.. nothing!

        Not quite. Just the opposite. He did it significantly more subtly than he is given credit for.

        On that one - it is the usual case - the retarded press monkeys are commenting on matters they have no clue on. Not a single news outlet bothered to check the background on the accompanying invitation for the children to the New Year Eve celebrations in the Kremlin. In ex-USSR it was (and I suspect it has remained in Russia) the ultimate carrot for a primary schoolchild. One in thousands (if not tens of thousands) only got a ticket. At best. The most as a comment we got here is some idiot (forgot in BBC or graunidad) considering this as a threat. Which it is not.

        By the way any diplomats who ever had a posting to Moscow knows this one and understands the meaning of the gesture. So as far as setting up the contrast of looking like magnanimous royalty versus the vindictive daft Grindge - he has achieved his aim. 100%.

      3. JohnG

        Re: Retaliation coming in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

        Actually, the Russians have not done nothing - whilst Obama has been on his "the Russian did it" campaign, the Russians (along with Turkey) have apparently brokered a peace deal in Syria. The funniest part is - the USA were neither invited to participate nor even told of the deal. It is almost as if some parties believed the US was only helping to fuel the war.

    3. JohnG

      Re: Retaliation coming in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

      "So, we already have reports of an English-language school used by US, Canadian, and UK diplomatic staff in Moscow closed down as a retaliation."

      Yes - and the reports are fabrications. The story about Putin/the Kremlin closing an English language school in Moscow is fake. So much for "the liberal media" combating fake news - they seem to be sources of fake news.

  14. PhilipN Silver badge

    35??

    When Russia must have 3500 or even 35000 operatives in the USA?

    What a joke.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 35,000??

      When Russia must have 3500 or even 35000 operatives in the USA?

      Are you sure it is just 35,000? I am quite certain it is much closer to 62,979,636!

      Let the purges begin! I will be the first to join my local branch of the Un-American Activities Committee.

  15. GarethJ
    Facepalm

    Even *if* it was the Russians that leaked the information

    Not that I believe it for one minute, but just for argument sake, lets say it was the Russians that leaked the info on Clinton.

    The US public should be thankful that they exposed Clinton for what she is, a lying, cheating SOB. Doing the job the main stream press should have been doing all along, you know, investigative journalism, exposing corruption to the public. Instead we had the main stream press going bat shit crazy over Trump and kissing Clinton's nether regions for the past 12 months.

    1. smartypants

      Re: Even *if* it was the Russians that leaked the information

      Not wanting to support Clinton here, but the problem here is that I would be surprised if *any* politician doesn't manipulate the truth presented to the public. Having one side being hacked and the other remain in control of their message unbalances things. Even if there is nothing to answer for, a public opening of an investigation is enough to knock confidence - which is exactly what happened when you look at the polls.

      That said, it's a novel situation for a US president to be elected with help from a country that he supposedly wants to have an arms race with.

      I am genuinely confused about how this could be useful to Putin. Perhaps he knows how easy Trump is to wind up and thinks this may work to his advantage. Or perhaps he is just having a laugh. That would probably be enough of a reason. After all, once you've bought your islands and your planes and your gold shit and your friends, what else is there to do with the remaining hundreds of billions you've extracted from the russian state?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Even *if* it was the Russians that leaked the information

        I am genuinely confused about how this could be useful to Putin. Perhaps he knows how easy Trump is to wind up and thinks this may work to his advantage. Or perhaps he is just having a laugh. That would probably be enough of a reason. After all, once you've bought your islands and your planes and your gold shit and your friends, what else is there to do with the remaining hundreds of billions you've extracted from the russian state?

        That's exactly it: it's no longer about money - these players all have more than they'll ever be able to spend, even if they retired right now. It's about power (and, to a degree, avoiding boredom). Money is merely a way to keep score.

        Don't expect any of these people to do something positive with that money either.

      2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: Even *if* it was the Russians that leaked the information

        Having one side being hacked and the other remain in control of their message unbalances things.

        I don't know. Open any "serious" paper during the election circus, and try to find "balance".

        The saying "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." applies.

        The saddest spectacle is various intelligentisa / ivory tower blogs now complaining about unfairness and media bias against Clinton. One wonders whether there are large amounts of fluoride served to the intellectual elites.

      3. JohnG

        Re: Even *if* it was the Russians that leaked the information

        "That said, it's a novel situation for a US president to be elected with help from a country that he supposedly wants to have an arms race with."

        Bill Clinton's campaign saw some illegal donations from China. An English language newspaper owned by the Chinese Communist party has talked of war with the USA being "inevitable, if the US government does not concede China's reasonable demands in the South China Sea".

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Even *if* it was the Russians that leaked the information

      The US public should be thankful that they exposed Clinton for what she is, a lying, cheating SOB. Doing the job the main stream press should have been doing all along, you know, investigative journalism, exposing corruption to the public.

      Normally it's all about balance, but 2016 was the first year in my memory where bullshit became more important than the facts and blame decided politics more than benefit. In the UK that was demonstrated by Brexit being somehow of benefit to the UK (with the main protagonists disappearing from teh scene as soon as it had happened), in the US by Trump winning on the premise that, as a billionaire, he is best placed to somehow give the very same level of people work that he had previously ripped off via his business activities.

      Yes, 2017 will be interesting but for most people, however, it won't be much fun. Facts no longer matter - until you cannot provide for your family. At that point, even the most byzantine bullshit will not be able to hide the truth - but trust the media to keep massaging the statistics.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Even *if* it was the Russians that leaked the information

      The circumstantial evidence is a bit ambiguous here.

      1. If it was Russians, I would have expected them to put out a detailed laundry list of all "interesting" sponsors of Clinton and Blair foundations with special emphasis on which Ukrainian oligarch gave how many millions and how many billions would they gain from various changes in the Ukraine political landscape. Nearly all of this is in the public domain by the way, what is missing is the analysis (you cannot really blame people for being afraid here).

      2. At the same time, exactly because of 1 Clinton (and Blair) are definitely not Vladimir Christmas card list. So Vladimir making her pay the bill for all the various "regime changes", "election influencing" and other political incursions in Russia and its periphery by her and her family for the last 25 years... Hmm... Cannot really blame him there...

      In any case, if you cannot stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Quoting the Greek rep to NATO when Turks presented their side on shooting that Su-24: "If we treated each of your incursions like this, we would have been shooting an F16 a day".

      If the rest of the world would decide to treat US diplomats meddling in their elections the way US is treating the Russians here, there would be ZERO US diplomats left outside US borders. In fact, the rest of the world be looking for someone hidden in the closet to extradite.

  16. Julian Bond
    Black Helicopters

    Assange?

    The executive order is extraordinarily wide ranging. And it should make it possible to demand direct extradition of Julian Assange to the USA without going through Sweden and the "rape" charade. Looks like Assange is NEVER leaving that Embassy.

    I'm sure the incoming administration will find both the order and the "Countering Disinfo and Propaganda Act" useful in the near future.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Assange?

      To be brutally frank, Assange has just created a reason why he should be extradited, but as he helped Trump get into office I suspect that justice will never be served. He actively participated in interference with the election of the US, which is (AFAIK) a criminal offence.

      But hey, Putin is mates with the incoming President to a degree that he even foregoes the usual diplomatic tit-for-tat after the current administration ejected a whole bunch of Russians.

      It means that Assange will be given the customary stiff ignoring (which will hurt him more than any acknowledgement and leaves him with the problem of being wanted in the UK for jumping bail), but if I were Snowden I'd be worried. Unless, of course, someone finds a way to claim that all he revealed was somehow the Democrats' fault - in that case he might at least get his passport back.

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: Assange?

        He actively participated in interference with the election of the US, which is (AFAIK) a criminal offence

        If this is a UK offence, which particular UK law did he violate? I cannot think of any. You are not allowed to fight abroad. To meddle in politics abroad is not prohibited. If it was we would have to extradite a large contingent of exile politicians and oligarch "refugees" from every country under the sun.

        If this is a US offence, anyone can publish any dirt they like on any candidate - the only laws which apply to that are civil ones - like libel. The US law on the subject addresses only a US politicos under foreign influence (it is in the constitution). There is bugger all about anything which is purely foreign..

        I am not familiar with LatAm laws, but they are probably no different as there everyone has traditionally hosted the neighbour's government in exile after it was loaded on the boat across the river by the yet another military coup in their homeland.

        So, there is _NO_ law whatsoever (yet) under which one can claim that someone in a foreign country interfering in US elections is committing an extraditable criminal offence. I can see the congress hastily drafting it in the next session though (and the Eu governments following suit). However, as it cannot be backdated, this cannot become the basis for AssAnge extradition request. Any attempt to have him shipped under a backdated law addressing this will get shot down in the courts.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Assange?

          So, there is _NO_ law whatsoever (yet) under which one can claim that someone in a foreign country interfering in US elections is committing an extraditable criminal offence

          Good points, but that principally declares Russia's hacking as perfectly OK too which strikes me as strange.

          1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

            Re: Assange?

            Good points, but that principally declares Russia's hacking as perfectly OK too which strikes me as strange.

            AssAnge has not been proven to hack anything. There is no law about handing stolen general purpose data. Bank secrecy, personal data, financial data - sure, there is law and precedent. General purpose data such as the emails of a political party - nope, nothing suitable to apply besides the usual laws on handling stolen goods and those have had no precedent in this area.

            By the way, Russians have not been proven to hack anything. There is no evidence, only claims and conjectures based on target selection while using similar malware. That level of evidence will not stand up in any court, even the well known kangaroo court show running on an island in the Caribbean.

      2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: AC Re: Assange?

        "....He actively participated in interference with the election of the US, which is (AFAIK) a criminal offence....." Debatable. Assange himself didn't put them up on a website, Dickileaks did, but only after they let a worldwide network of accredited journalists go to town on them. Once again, stop trying to bash the source in avoidance of the damning content. Assange is happily getting more of the revenge on "the Big Bad US" he has dreamed of ever since he got convicted of hacking US systems, but he didn't create the material out of thin air. Podesta and the DNC did.

  17. Magani
    Mushroom

    Cue retaliation...

    ... in 3... 2... 1...

  18. sysconfig

    Gesture to appease Joe Public

    Expelling known spies is and has always been just a gesture to show Joe Public, "Look, we're doing something about it." Just political bullshitting, to be honest.

    Much harder to expell spies the US doesn't know are spies. Even more difficult to expell those who have an American passport. And those are the one to worry about.

    On a side note, I don't buy this RU interference nonsense. It's a desperate attempt to depict Trump as an illicit successor in the White House. (Disclaimer: I think he is a shite candidate. But so was Clinton. Choosing the lesser of two evils was particularly hard this time around.)

    1. Alien8n Silver badge

      Re: Gesture to appease Joe Public

      In diplomacy you only ever expel the spies you know about once their usefulness is over. In other words, you expel the ones who know their cover is blown. The most useful spy to any government is the one that doesn't know that you know they're a spy.

      Also doesn't hurt to expel a few that you suspect aren't spies, but have diplomatic connections. Keeps the opposition on their toes...

  19. graeme leggett

    Choice of words

    "Cold War deja vu"

    The USSR lost that one as I recall.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Choice of words

      Yeah, but then the US inflicted the Brezhinsky gambit on itself. It's like a virus writer who nukes his lab.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The USSR lost that one as I recall.

      You recall wrong.

      Both sides lost it - one by imploding, and the other by becoming exactly like the abhorrent monstrosity it set out to defeat.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: The USSR lost that one as I recall.

        > the other by becoming exactly like the abhorrent monstrosity it set out to defeat.

        Isn't that the part of the movie where Israel is founded?

    3. Lars Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Choice of words

      And you lost the meaning of deja vu.

    4. JohnG

      Re: Choice of words

      "Cold War deja vu"

      "The USSR lost that one as I recall."

      Yes - but this time around, they aren't supporting an unsustainable empire and political system - and they aren't broke. The Russian Federation happens to be one of a rather select group of countries which have a positive net international investment position.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Choice of words

        The Russian Federation doesn't have Poland, Baltic States, (most of) Ukraine, and other productive areas any more.

        There's also those (slightly annoying to Putin) sanctions....

  20. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Why?

    Normally Lame Ducks take a caretaker role doing the bare minimum to keep the government functioning until the new President is sworn in. Obama has done several administrative and political actions that seem to be giving everyone the "finger".

    The issue of tossing out Russians over the hacking seems to be silly because hackers can be based any in the world. So tossing out a few bodies looks good for getting a perp walk in the media but not much else. Also, in Pennsylvania, the judge throw out the recount claims of hacking after reviewing the PA procedures and practices. He found that the alleged hacking was a fiction in the minds of Stein and her funders. Since other states follow similar procedures and each state has its own system hacking an election is not that easy. Each state will have different equipment, methods, and procedures. Thus to hack the election, the Russians would need to guess which states are going to be critical to hack and figure out appropriate methods to hack each state. In the case of PA, the state allows, apparently, each county to use one several approved methods. So in PA you would need to hack at the county level. In the US there are about 3000 counties/parishes/boroughs (states are inconsistent in their terminology).

    Also, in Michigan the recount found major problems with Wayne County (Detroit) unrelated to hacking; more like old fashioned ballot box stuffing. In Wisconsin, the recount (again no evidence of hacking) increased Trump's total by about 150 votes - a reasonable swing statewide for either candidate.

    Applying Occam's Razor, the Russians are interested in the outcome of the election. They will attempt to hack political parties and campaigns probably for information. They are not likely to have the fine grained local knowledge to stuff the ballot box successfully. These comments can probably be said about any competent (and most incompetent) spookhauses.

    So the better question, is what does making the Russians the evil heavy gain the donkeys? Trump does not seem to be enthusiastic about getting involved in any shooting wars. So unless his hands are tied, he is likely to have a very different policy in the Middle East. This means US policy towards Russia will be changing to probably a less hostile one.

  21. Florida1920 Silver badge

    "next week"

    Trump will put off getting the intel briefing until next week? Wow, that's presidential --NOT!

    SAD!

  22. CJ Hinke

    April Fool's is early this year!

    Why would an outgoing president pander to the American public's belief in conspiracy, rumour and innuendo under every nearby rock!

    No wonder they could only choose Bozo the Clown or Killary for the next one!

  23. Mahhn

    For crying out loud

    I see obomber talking, but all I hear is "Whaaaaaa, waaaaaaaa"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: For crying out loud

      Sorry, that was his teleprompter playing an SJW talk tape. He can't actually offer any "intelligent" comments without being told what to say via the teleprompter.

      Dumbest.President.Ever

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Dumbest.President.Ever

        I'd put Warren G Harding up there, but he was smart enough to know he was dumb.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    HAHA! They got lovely parting gifts though

    A complementary assortment basket of (counterfeit) body lotions! Which they all promptly drank, and then they died. And the West was saved, and they lived happily ever afterwords.

    Who are these assholes who love Putin and Trump so much? What fucknuts! Please forget about science and government regulations and drive a motorcycle really fast without a helmet and crash and die. That would be funny too! :) The world thanks you!

    1. Bob Rocket

      Re: HAHA! They got lovely parting gifts though

      Arse

      1. PTW
        Pint

        Re: HAHA! They got lovely parting gifts though

        Bob Rocket have an up vote! And a beer ---->

        Why are leftists so full of bile, vitriol and hate!? Yet always try to claim the moral high ground?

        Socialism, 200 million deaths and counting...

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: HAHA! They got lovely parting gifts though

      Hillary Clinton, is that you?

  25. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Holmes

    When "Joint Analysis" means being high on the good stuff

    FBI/DHS Joint Analysis Report: A Fatally Flawed Effort

    The FBI/DHS Joint Analysis Report (JAR) “Grizzly Steppe” was released yesterday as part of the White House’s response to alleged Russian government interference in the 2016 election process. It adds nothing to the call for evidence that the Russian government was responsible for hacking the DNC, the DCCC, the email accounts of Democratic party officials, or for delivering the content of those hacks to Wikileaks.

    It merely listed every threat group ever reported on by a commercial cybersecurity company that is suspected of being Russian-made and lumped them under the heading of Russian Intelligence Services (RIS) without providing any supporting evidence that such a connection exists.

    A common misconception of “threat group” is that refers to a group of people. It doesn’t. Here’s how ESET describes SEDNIT, one of the names for the threat group known as APT28, Fancy Bear, etc. This definition is found on p.12 of part two “En Route with Sednit: Observing the Comings and Goings”:

    "As security researchers, what we call “the Sednit group” is merely a set of software and the related network infrastructure, which we can hardly correlate with any specific organization."

    Unlike Crowdstrike, ESET doesn’t assign APT28/Fancy Bear/Sednit to a Russian Intelligence Service or anyone else for a very simple reason. Once malware is deployed, it is no longer under the control of the hacker who deployed it or the developer who created it. It can be reverse-engineered, copied, modified, shared and redeployed again and again by anyone. In other words — malware deployed is malware enjoyed!

  26. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Trollface

    Sure is hardcore retaliation out there!!

    The International Business Times (who they?) reports:

    Drudge Report was down briefly around 7 p.m. EST, but working hours later. The top headline read: "MOSCOW MOCKS OBAMA 'LAME DUCK'" Meanwhile, the conservative Washington Times wrote: "Matt Drudge suggests U.S. government cyberattack on Drudge Report website. DDoS attack comes same day Obama announced countermeasures against Russia for hacking of Democrats."

    Conservatives on Twitter also accused the government of shutting down the Russian news website, RT. "Numerous reports of Russian state-run Network RT being unavailable. Drudge Report also under 'Biggest DDoS attack since site's inception,'" wrote one user.

    Or maybe it's the run-up of the CIA-powered coup (Hopefully we will get a cool logo and martial patch out of that, I'm preparing banana-flavoured popcorn now and tuning into CNN. Robert Ludlum phonebook-sized thrillers? Pah! We do real now!)

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Big Lie

    Well, the administration released its promised "proof" of Russian involvement - and there is none.

    Interesting article here: http://arstechnica.com/security/2016/12/did-russia-tamper-with-the-2016-election-bitter-debate-likely-to-rage-on/

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is why I come here

    Discounting some of the last few post, this is why I love The Reg. For the most part, very civil, very intelligent, very logical discussions about a wide range of subjects. (Should it all be tech related? Sorry, I really don't care).

    This is so lacking from most discussions I read, where it is all "fsck X, he/she/it is an a-hole and should go to jail" or "screw Y, he/she/it is an a/b/c and should be killed".

    Hail Britannia. (our mother country after all) God bless.

    1. Lars Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: This is why I come here

      Same with me, and I am OK with the "Hail Britannia" too, but for the sake of "facts", there are perhaps a few things one could add. The majority of people who emigrated to America came from the rest of Europe and that does not include the first wave from Spain and Portugal.

      And when you Americans think about the "The Declaration of Independence" you love, and seldom read, note, no Kings, Queens or Lords. The Declaration has its background in the very French/German "Age of Enlightenment" (an intellectual movement which dominated the world of ideas in Europe in the 18th century).

      And in "The Law of Nations (French: Le droit des gens) a work of political philosophy by Emerich de Vattel".

      The Scot, Adam Smith joined in as a key figure in the Scottish Enlightenment and in "Book V of The Wealth of Nations", Smith comments on the low quality of instruction and the meager intellectual activity at English universities.

      I would add "Hail Europe" to your comment.

      And if you like to feel England as your mother country then think about it like the son who travelled Europe, decided to lave England for the Americas and told his father to keep his old system as he wanted non of it.

      Some links for those who find facts interesting.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_Enlightenment

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Law_of_Nations

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Declaration_of_Independence

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Smith

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_colonization_of_the_Americas

      And when you are at it, what have you done to the "separation of church and state" you will find non of that aim in the Inauguration of Trump.

      You understand a lot more when you realize that the Brits read English history as the World history, it also partly explains the Brexit vote.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BTW

    This whole thread has been about discussing 1 possible reason why Hillary lost, and if A or B was behind it, and how big a difference it made. There also has been another discussion of the popular vote vs the electoral college and what the "perfect" system would be.

    Reasons Hillary lost. Obama said "Kill coal". Hillary echoed "Kill coal".

    Election. Let me suggest an alternative to the electoral college as is, or the popular vote, counties.

    Pennsylvania has 67 counties. Trump won 58, Hillary won 9. Ohio has 88 counties. Trump won 81, Hillary won 7. West Virginia... Doesn't matter how many they have, Trump won them all, Hillary 0.

    Seems coal killed Hillary rather than the other way around. Goldman Sachs. Simply deplorable.

  30. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Media Smoke and Mirrors ....... but to ever diminishing effectiveness these days.

    The Global Command and Control Systems as Are and the Elite Establishment Executive as Is Is, are all too aware of the mortal danger and deep dark waters they are in, and the consequences they will suffer in near future times.

    Avail yourselves of their shenanigans with the reading and sharing of Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars ...... and realise their very real fears are surrounding them for a reckoning ........

    It is only a matter of time before the new breed of private programmer/economists will catch on to the far reaching implications of the work begun at Harvard in 1948. The speed with which they can communicate their warning to the public will largely depend upon how effective we have been at controlling the media, subverting education, and keeping the public distracted with matters of no real importance.

  31. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Trollface

    Russki hacks flap now reaching UFO hysteria levels!

    ‘Russian hackers’ penetrate US power grid with ‘outdated Ukrainian malware’ (Warning: RT.com, labeled by such truth-providing outfits as WaPo a "fake news" site, i.e. news that someone doesn't want you to hear or think about, i.e. actual news)

    A Vermont utility sounded the alarm after finding malware code on a laptop that the FBI and DHS had touted as associated with Russian hackers. However, cybersecurity specialists say the code came from an outdated Ukrainian hacking tool.

    The US media reported the incident as if Russian hackers had penetrated America’s electric grids, prompting some officials to call on the federal government to protect Americans from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    “Vermonters and all Americans should be both alarmed and outraged that one of the world’s leading thugs, Vladimir Putin, has been attempting to hack our electric grid, which we rely upon to support our quality-of-life, economy, health, and safety,” Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin said in a statement.

    “This episode should highlight the urgent need for our federal government to vigorously pursue and put an end to this sort of Russian meddling,” he said.

    smug_putin.jpg

    (obligatory: "who is a thug and a gangster-spook-scum of the lowest order and capable of anything" ... lefty writers like Matt Taibbi really let rip when they feel they are on the goodthink side)

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Russki hacks flap now reaching UFO hysteria levels!

      Worst is that's it's WaPo pumping out the frack news Russian operation hacked a Vermont utility, showing risk to U.S. electrical grid security, officials say. ("Officials", huh?) Looks like they have rewritten it and put an "Editor's Comment" at the top (aka non-apology). Oh well. On to the next headline shocker.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019