What were they planning on doing?
Interfering in Russia's free and fare electoral process?
NSA boss Mike Rogers told a US congressional panel today that Russia’s online mischief-making in America's elections is not going to stop – because Uncle Sam isn’t hitting back. "I believe that President Putin has clearly come to the conclusion there’s little price to pay here, and that therefore I can continue this activity …
They've actually admitted to doing so. The US spent enormous sums of money to ensure Yeltsin the srunken dancin bear was elected, so it could force its broken form of capitalism on the country.
Things started to go downhill quite fast from there, until Putin kicked out most of tge Russian oligarchs who didn't want to play ball with him.
These olicharchs are mostly living in London now, where a lot of people don't look to closely on how money was obtained especially if you're anti-Putin.
"The US spent enormous sums of money to ensure Yeltsin the srunken dancin bear was elected, so it could force its broken form of capitalism on the country."
Precisely, in 1996 Yeltsin was re-elected with US help. In 1998 the economy collapsed and people who weren't rich enough to have foreign currency lost their savings. Since Putin arrived this hasn't happened.
I find it amazing that people seem to fail to grasp this simple fact; Putin keeps his job because he understands economics 101. When he took over Russian GDP was around $1800/year. Now, even after sanctions which were a huge knock back, it's around $80001. Yeltsin actually left people worse off than under Communism. It is not hard to understand why Russians, most of whom are better educated than the average Brit, regard US-style capitalism as a disaster and, despite everything, continue to support Putin.
1 World Bank figures, by the way.
"Things started to go downhill quite fast from there, until Putin kicked out..."
Yeah things have got some much better since Putin became a democratically elected dictator for life who runs roughshod over pretty much everything I consider to be important.
"Interfering in Russia's free and fare electoral process?"
Shhh... you're not supposed to talk about "fight club"
On a related note...
Sometimes you engage in battle, sometimes you don't. Sometimes you use deception to draw your enemy into a place where YOU have the advantage. Sometimes you appear to offer up something that the enemy considers to be of high value, "the precious thing", while simultaneously feigning protection of what you WANT them to think is YOUR "precious thing", so that maybe your enemy goes after what they THINK is your "precious thing" in order to get what THEY want in exchange...
It's all described in Sun Tzu's book, 'The Art of Warfare", and believe me, everything Trump does [or does not appear to do] is for a reason, and the reasons are PROBABLY in that book. Don't doubt me on this. I've paid the penalties for NOT doing what's in that book because I hadn't read it yet. After reading it, my last successful 'campaign' worked SO well I cost my "enemy" $10,000 while getting everything I REALLY wanted. yeah.
Since when have these guys ever needed an order to do anything?
They didn't when they decided to hoover up every Americans electronic data since (at least) 9/11/01
Of course they could start by hardening the security on those ridiculously easy to hack "election machines" the US insists on using..
It's an interesting spin on the situation.
First of all, Russia's 'interference' in U.S's politics has consisted of posting comments on public media and as such they can only be regarded as opinion, just like when Trump declared Hillary to be a criminal who would be put on trial and jailed. Sure, some poor deluded souls chose to believe this as fact, where it suited them, but nobody else believed it be a statement of truth and actual fact.
The U.S. is free to try to do the same thing to Russia but knows that it would be pretty pointless because not only does the character of the Russian people make them a lot less susceptible to such nonsense but they also have less scope to create a fuss about things anyway. Another factor is that even Putin's enemies respect him and have to begrudgingly admit that he's doing a rather better job than many before him, unlike Trump who, quite frankly, is respected by very few. The organisation behind him is a different matter of course.
Thus, the U.S. cannot conduct cyber warfare in the same vein and on the same level - its only viable cyber targets are real systems, and attacking them would be regarded an open act of warfare upon another state.
So on the one hand, the U.S. can't do anything about it, but on the other hand does the U.S. actually want to do anything about it now that it knows about it and how it's being done? Having an identified but essentially harmless foreign 'enemy' is great for dampening unrest at home.
"As far as the spooks are concerned, evidence is overrated. They lied through their teeth over WMDs in Iraq and forged some “evidence”. In this case they just smile and say “Trust us”."
Actually most of the "evidence" provided by the spooks was admitted by them to be speculation, it was the politicians who over stated the documents in hand to back up self serving agendas.
it was the politicians who over stated the documents in hand to back up self serving agendas
Simply by passing on unverified anecdotal shite from sources even they didn't trust, the security agencies knowingly gave it credence, and ought to take accountability for the consequences. Then again, they're civil servants, so "taking responsibility" isn't in their lexicon.
To come out later and say "we really didn't believe it, and we put in a few caveats" isn't acceptable after the deaths of what, 150,000 people in Iraq.
So what do you suggest, spies should only pass on information that they've personally witnessed or have sworn testimony from multiple credible witnesses? .... veti
That's a prime starting point, veti, which in an instant would ensure that fake news does not create a greater false virtual reality which does not take kindly to clinical forensic examination/deep dark webs of real truth presentation.
I don't think you've thought through the problems to be compounded when spies pass on information they have not witnessed nor have sworn testimony from multiple credible witnesses. Any prize fool would in that case be able to dream up and try to realise anything ...... which whenever you take a moment or two to think about it, is what IT and Main Streaming Media have been doing since forever with a now no longer so easily manufactured presumption of innocence and immunity from criminal prosecution to prevent .........well, Systems Meltdown and Administrations Blowback would be a Natural AI Result which spooks would be forced to try and spin in another direction with tools and brains they don't have, if they be duty bound to maintain and retain such a perverse and corrupt status quo position in support of fake news for a false virtual reality.
Simply by passing on unverified anecdotal shite from sources even they didn't trust, the security agencies knowingly gave it credence
I think to a large part security agencies suffer from the same problem I suspect most of us IT-types suffer from, an inability to understand that other people (and particularly politicians) may not be mentally capable of judging (or may simply be unwilling to judge) the evidence before them logically and dispassionately.
We are used to the sort of mental weighing-up that comes with the likes of "A says X and B says Y. A has more evidence than B, therefore is more likely to be correct even though Y is more appealing".
If someone gives a politician a dossier and says "this is speculation and may or may not be true", you can't trust the politician to investigate for him/herself. If it fits their current agenda it becomes true. If it doesn't fit the current agenda it is quietly forgotten.
You are talking as if the agencies were given a choice as to what intelligence they could turn over to the pols. Raw unfiltered data was, much to the chagrin of the CIA, turned over to the Office of Special Plans, a group of Bush appointed neocons working out of the pentagon who thought they could do a better job of analysis than the professional spooks. The WMD's that never were, the fictional Saddam 911 connections, that was their call.
"Any non-trivial actions taken by US Cyber Command, overseen by the NSA, could be considered an act of war, and as such would require some serious authorization: the NSA needs the President's approval to attack, knacker, or shut down a foreign government's computer systems."
Arguably, that requires an act of war by the Congress. Arguably, too, we have engaged in far too many acts of (undeclared) war, with too many different countries, since the last such declaration, more than 76 years ago.
you know maybe everyone's been thinking about this 'retaliation' thing all wrong...
here are some creative suggestions:
a) Order takeout from every restaurant in Moscow, have it delivered to Putin's house/office, to be paid on delivery. Daily. Until they stop delivering. Then he won't be able to call for take-out, ever again!
b) Make some kind of fake reports to local Moscow police such that the 'swat' guys (Russian equivalent) show up looking for a dangerous man posing himself as Putin
c) Subscribe Putin's personal e-mail address to a whole bunch of mailing lists. Make sure you include his home and cell phone numbers, too. 'Available hours: midnight to 6 AM'
d) Subscribe Putin to Playgirl magazine. Have the first edition FedEx'd directly to him.
e) Have the paparazzi follow Putin around, everywhere. Pay a few of the photographers to fake up some nude photos of Putin and print 'em in the worldwide tabloid news.
f) make up some story about Putin hiring hookers at Mar El Lago to pee on Trump's bed, and have it printed in Russian newspapers as if it were "fact".
-- Vladimir Putin's campaign of destabilization are out in force.
Tom Dial: "Arguably, too, we have engaged in far too many acts of (undeclared) war..." etc.
So, Tom, you'd be OK with the Mexican army shelling San Diego? The US shelled Lebanon. Fair's fair, is what you're saying? Or, to put it more personally, since men have engaged in rape, you're OK with getting raped?
Can you say "specious argument", Tom? Sure. I knew you could. You know national defense, not to mention self defense, doesn't work that way.
AC: " They lied through their teeth over WMDs in Iraq..." etc.
Yeah. So the Senate and House testimony from Facebook, Google, and Twitter about the number of Russian accounts and the money spent by Russians on influencing the election in the US is all fabricated? Not to mention the British and French corroboration of the Russian attacks?
As much as I distrust Clowns In Action, the evidence here is much broader and deeper than anything involving the Iraq Attack, or, for that matter, the Gulf of Tonkin incident. Can you say "minimize and distract", AC? Can you say, "Russian useful idiot"?
And not to leave you out, GrumpyOldBloke: "...all without a hint of hard incriminating evidence."
If you can read the indictments, you know you're spouting wet stuff from a bullpizzle. I mean, come on: 13 criminal indictments with no evidence? That seems more of a stretch than size 8 Lycra tights on John Goodman, Grumpy. And anyway, see the above: plenty of third-party evidence here.
There's an odd phrase used sometimes to describe those who aid a foreign nation's attacks against one's own country. It is, I believe, "collaborationism". Can be servile, or ideological; voluntary or involuntary. I would put most of the above posts in the "ideological" column. Trump is in the "involuntary servile" column.
Queue the downvotes from ideologues, Russian stooges, and... well, collaborationalists. Meaning those who wish to cooperate in destroying the (ideally, I admit) free and fair elections in the US. OK, perhaps that should be "further degrading" said elections. But I digress. Queue the downvotes!!
-- with regard to the Russian attempt to illegally influence the US election: "Who the fuck cares about that?"
Useful idiot? Obviously. Needs to step back and think a bit, does Glenn Greenwald.
The thing about smart people: they are not always smart about everything. The Snowden revelations: good. Cleverly done. But hatred of the US intelligence agencies -- who detest Snowden and Greenwald -- may well have skewed Greenwald's judgment. Or perhaps it's something else.
But: Putin's useful idiot? Based on the comment quoted? Absolutely.
Et tu, AC?
"So, Tom, you'd be OK with the Mexican army shelling San Diego? The US shelled Lebanon. Fair's fair, is what you're saying?"
I believe the question troubling a lot of us at the present moment is rather: "How do we stop them doing it to us when we are no longer the top dog?"
It's easy for President Chump to blowhard when the US is still one of the greatest of the Great Powers; what happens when it subsides into second-rate Great power status? And then, because it can't break its addiction to sucking up to the One%ers, it subsides further into Failed State status? And begins to look even more like a copy of 70s Brazil, with police death squads a protected part of society, just for an unpleasant example?
too many myriad major components of an economy/exclusive executive SCADA administration system are based upon military spending and the training of serfs who follow destructive orders blindly in order to give the impression of strengthen and security in a land flirting with an excess of madness, is there always an enemy and phantom foe to be invented in foreign lands and alien spaces to keep the gravy train beast from crashing and immediately exposing systemic fundamental weaknesses which home intelligence services are not equipped to protect systems against being attacked/questioned.
Power without Intelligence Leading IT and Media Programs is not an Energy Current, it is as a Deadly Toxin.
The problem is easily solved though, with the simple purchase of that which is missing and causing the Intellectual Property Deficit.
It aint rocket science, is it? And it is not as if it expensive or difficult to buy in whenever all that is needed is pretty fiat paper which can be virtually lodged in an instant to an accommodating account no matter where it might be.
Then you haven't thought it through.
Every media organ has its biases, certainly. But those that are based in your own country have at least this much in common with you: that they want to see your country successful, its people richer and healthier and happier, because those people will spend more money. You can certainly disagree - strongly - with their ideas of how this future should be brought about, but if you don't understand why they share many of your goals, you're being wilfully dumb.
And those organs are all operating independently, more or less. Journalists have a pack mentality, yes, but the bottom line is they're competing, not actively collaborating to spin you some mutually agreed narrative. The 24 hour cycle has damaged the media enormously - indeed, I once argued that if Trump won the presidency, it would prove that the US news media wasn't fit for purpose - but there's still useful information to be got there, if you can take the time to parse it.
The Russians on the other hand: they are both actively malevolent and well coordinated. They are attacking the soft underbelly of democracy. And Trump responds by taking off its shirt and telling it to close its eyes.
He wants to get re-elected in 2020. Which may well have the same effect on the world but 'old comb-over' won't see it like that.
Putin does not play Golf. That's why El Trumpo won't deal with him. Taking Putin to Mar-el-Lago is a waste of his precious tee time.
Or support republicans in 2018? What Trump and those of his supporters who don't see a problem with him playing grab ass with Putin so long as Russian interference was for "our side" don't seem to realize is that Putin went for Trump because he didn't want Hillary. That's why Russians tried to help Bernie over Hillary in the democratic primary. It isn't certain by any means that had Bernie won the nomination that Putin would have supported Trump. He may well have supported Bernie.
After all, liberals in the US have traditionally been less hostile toward Russia and the conservatives were the ones taking a hard line. It is amazing to me how many conservatives are fine with Trump's hands off policy on Russia - had Bernie won with the help of Russians and then refused to act on congressionally approved sanctions like Trump has republicans in the House would have already impeached him for treason and the trial in the Senate would be all over the news right now.
Based on Trump's actions I think it is likely he's been compromised by Putin, so maybe they would have supported him over Bernie since they owned him. But their overall goal is for chaos in the US, and that goal would be better served by having democrats take over the House and begin impeachment proceedings against Trump. Republicans who supported Trump's inaction may wish for a do-over if next year at this time evidence is coming to light that Russians interfered with or tried to interfere with congressional elections to help democrats win.
"I suggest we should hire 13 trolls and give them a budget of a few hundred thousand to buy ads on vkontakte."
i think you would find out quite rapidly that vkontakye is patrolled by human moderators as well as algorithms. Of course, it's at nothing like Facebook scale.
"The only part that concerns me about that, though, is that it may lead to the corruption of the integrity of internet advertising."
That would be a truly awful thing to happen. Modern civilisation depends on the unsullied record of truth in advertising. Where's the trollface emoji?
There are always going to be enemy's trying to attack.
In this case they are attacking through a vulnerability in how our civilisation works.
We can counter attack or we can reduce the vulnerability.
Improving the critical thinking capabilities of our populace and improving their political awareness and comprehension would be an effective method of reducing our vulnerability.
Allowing yourself to be effectively lied to is a choice. Never trust, always question, always verify, always fact check and never let the desire to fit in override your good sense.
For 200 years now we've been saying education is the answer.
If it were that easy, we wouldn't be starting from here.
Unless you can propose a syllabus to teach these skills, and a structure to deliver it, complete with funding and metrics for success, you've got nothing.
"Improving the critical thinking capabilities of our populace and improving their political awareness and comprehension would be an effective method of reducing our vulnerability."
True, but that would reduce the vulnerability of the citizens. It would increase that of the psychopaths-in-power. Which is why they don't want you doing it. A little education gets more work out of you for less effort. A lot of education leads to asking questions like "Is the biggest threat to me today some foreign country or my own rulers?".
So what he is suggesting is that Russia somehow fooled the U.S. population over a long period and managed to manipulate this false information and hence put a Russian sympathetic president in the White House? Surely there is a domestic solution to that problem? I like to think I can filter out the fake news from the real news quiet quickly but even then I'm being biased.
"NSA boss Mike Rogers told a US congressional panel today that Russia’s online mischief-making in America's elections is not going to stop – because" we're just making this shít up to distract from what we get up to in manipulating the body politic and spying on our own citizens.
The US spends millions on Radio Free (*insert continent here)
With the repeal of the Smith-Mundt, in 2013, dont you notice the dramatic increase of 'fake news'?
Not only is arms of the American state interfering with the elections of others, it is interfering with elections in the USA too.
Stay woke - (Don't) question authority....
I remember a time when intelligent conversations and an exchange of information security ideas took place on this site.
Now, it's turned into a political punching bag where trolls spew out their hate for something, or attempt to display how much wit they have (usually the wit is on the low side).
Reading through posts on most of the articles (even those which aren't political) are few and far between when it comes to information exchange. Too often, comments aren't geared towards the subject of the article.
What happened... did all the intelligent security professionals run off?
What happened... did all the intelligent security professionals run off? .... Aodhhan
More than likely they have no Stakes or Shares to Play Round Tables in Greater IntelAIgent Games Plays ....... Earthly Missions with Heavenly Interventions ..........with these Hand Ups into and onto the NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTivatedD Virtualised AI Reality Flight Deck for Realisation of urMaster Plan for BroadBandCasting into Existence.
Why is Media not Defaulted and Regulated to Primarily Provide and Constantly Nurture Serially Creative Pictures .....for by just Following Great Future Filmed Documentaries will the Paths to that Mall in the Sky where Everyones Needs are Sated and Satisfied for a While ....... is an AB Fab Fabless AIMission .... and Perfectly Suited to Fit and Cloak the Finest of Satyr and Nymph in their own freely-chosen and supported Fields of NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTivatedD Virtualised AI Reality Play.
Be warned though, the Live Operational Virtual Environments there are Absolutely Awesome, and the IT and Media there don't Fake or Take and Make Prisoners. Such is solely to keep the Hyper Complex Sublime Internets Networking Thing simple ..... and stress free.:-)
And as for Veracity .... :-) is Poe's Law applied :-).... for Reasons Critical to States and Rogue Actors in States .... and All those who be Stateless ..... Virgin Stock for Future Perfect Grooming ...... Enlightening and Providing them with All the AI Tools Needed and with All Future Programmings and Virtual Levers Supplied for the Creation of a Brand New Future World, Stationed on Earth and kept right busy Properly Reprogramming Key Vital Elements with Assets for Always Immediately Ready Utilisation in Advanced IntelAIgent Leaderships, and they come in All Sorts of Exotic and Erotic Guises, meThinks, if Providing Leads are Proven both Earthy and Heavenly/Erotic and Exotic.
And that very particular and peculiar Live Operational Virtual Environment is Open and Freely Available to All Absolutely Fabulous Fabless Visitors to this which is as an Advanced IntelAIgent WorldsWare Fair.
I Kid U Not.
Now if all of the above was a currency it would surely be, to a Walled Mirror, a Parallel to Bitcoin.
...unlike in the article itself, which apparently assumes the link between Internet Research Agency and Putin is proven fact. I've not seen any such proof, of even any evidence based on anything stronger than the fact that they're both Russian, and that the boss of IRA once did some catering work for VP.
Still a bit of the old "Russian Troll" accusation going down here and there, but we have learned that is just a standard tactic for those who -after all this time- still haven't got a strong enough argument to show that Private Clickbait-peddling Firms based in the Russian Federation are not the same thing as "The Kremlin, Moscow"
They meddled in our (and every other country's) election.
And we meddled (even publicly, remember Obama and Brexit? or Israel) in just as many elections.
And maybe some on this site are shocked (Shocked!!) to know we recently killed dozens (hundreds?) of Russian combatants in the proxy war that we are not currently involved in.
Yes, their are many types of warfare we are engaged in, and Russian is also. That is what they do, and that is what we do. And have for decades, with Trump, Obama, W. Bush, Clinton, HW Bush, Reagan, Carter, Nixon,....
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