Tag Archives: election hacking

The Green Party Was Right to Challenge The Vote Count – They chose the Wrong Two States

The leaked NSA Report on the Election and Russian hacking validates something I have said here consistently since the Election…

There has been a significant level of effort to cover this up.

The Russians did hack the election databases and disrupted operations – the true target states were Florida and North Carolina all along, and not Wisconsin and Michigan as the Greens apparently thought..

Why? Because the votes from those two states were more likely to impact the result of the election. And second – because both state systems are porous.

They (the states) knew it, and after the election quickly moved to erase much of the data.

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Leaked NSA documents show Russians could access voting infrastructure. What impact they had is unknown.
The Greens were right during 2016’s presidential recounts when they pressed states to allow computer security experts to examine their election computing systems for evidence of possible hacking.

That is one of the top takeaways from leaked National Security Agency documents that describe how Russian intelligence services targeted and infiltrated e-mails and computers of a private contractor servicing state voter registration databases in eight states and also sent phishing e-mails to 100-plus local election officials before Election Day.

Another top takeaway is the NSA documents show Russians are capable of copying basic moves from the Republican’s catalog of voter suppression tactics to impede voting: in this case by possibly scrambling voter files used to create polling place voter lists. (A related example of that GOP tactic is Ohio’s mass purge of infrequent voters, which comes before the Supreme Court next fall.)

But what the NSA document doesn’t prove is what many people are looking for—an evidence trail that Russia stole the election for Trump and the GOP. The NSA documents, disclosed in a Monday report in The Intercept, simply affirmed what the Greens said was a real issue and wanted to investigate in its 2016 presidential recounts—the extent to which cyber-stalkers, Russian or domestic, had infiltrated election systems in swing states.

Until the Intercept published its report, the Green’s concerns, their court filings by nationally known computer security experts and the issue writ large, had been dismissed by the mainstream media. But now that leaked NSA documents said these concerns had merit, and because Russians are involved, the issue is reborn—or at least the most superficial aspects.

“I don’t believe they got into changing actual voting outcomes,” Sen. Mark Warner, D-VA, told USA Today. “But the extent of the attacks is much broader than has been reported so far… None of these actions from the Russians stopped on Election Day.”

The NSA confirmed that Russian hackers had targeted a Florida-based election software firm that specialized in state voter registration databases and also targeted local election officials and their computer systems. The Intercept’s report had comments from respected computer scientists who said the cyber attacks could allow hackers to rummage through election office files and possibly scramble voter registration records in several states. They pointed to North Carolina, where on 2016’s Election Day there were complaints of broken-down e-poll books at precincts. The experts said precinct voter lists are generated from those voter registration databases.

Anything further was purely speculative. The experts said that getting inside more routine election office computers and networks are a necessary, but an insufficient step to possibly accessing separate counting systems—central tabulators. There are a lot of steps for that to happen and no proof it did.

What’s frustrating is the Green Party raised these red flags during their 2016 presidential recounts, including filing testimony by the same experts in the Intercept report. But mainstream media portrayed the Greens as conspiracy theorists or electoral meddlers or sore losers, or some mix of all those.

AlterNet also reported these then-likely, now-proven Russian hacks into the Florida-based registration database contractor last November. We noted the Election Day e-poll book confusion in North Carolina, quoting some of the experts in the Intercept’s report who raised the same questions being asked now. Namely, how vulnerable are government election computer systems?

There are more than 10,000 government jurisdictions nationwide running elections. They use different computer systems. But they’re not immediately nor readily interconnected. Voter registration databases are not on the same networks as vote-count tabulators. What they have in common is that most run on hardware that dates to 2005. They’re easy prey for Internet predators.

The question of infiltration by Russians—or as likely, domestic Republican hactivists—was a line of inquiry in the Green Party’s push for a presidential recounts in three states, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

The Greens Tried To Expose These Very Issues

Remember the recounts? The Greens raised millions from progressives over the Thanksgiving weekend and filed in the three states where, collectively, Trump won by 80,000 or so votes.

In Michigan, tens of thousands of paper ballots read by electronic scanners in black urban counties were missing presidential votes. The Greens wanted to hand count those ballots because commercial high-speed scanners have known error rates. They wanted to look inside Pennsylvania’s completely paperless voting machinery for traces of malware that could fractionally adjust vote totals. Both states and Republicans refused to cooperate, even though Pennsylvania has a Democratic chief state elections officer.

In Wisconsin, where a recount was not stopped midway in court, election transparency activist observers saw its machines had cell-phone modems, a hacking pathway that police regularly use to spy on suspects. Couldn’t these be accessed to plant malware, they asked, echoing the Green’s court filings.

They got nowhere. State election officials and Republicans scoffed when the Greens or democracy activists wanted a closer look. The known electronic vulnerabilities and stonewalling from officialdom led many people to blur important distinctions and conclude ‘this is how it could be stolen.’

That’s not different from some of the coverage following from Intercept’s report—where many people are excited, or scoffing that it didn’t prove the election was stolen by Russia. That’s not what the NSA documents prove. That’s not what Virginia’s Sen. Warner told USAToday.

So what do we really know that’s new? We know that state voter registration databases were targeted and accessed. These databases are electronically tied into state motor vehicle records, state department of corrections records and federal Social Security records—because all are used to verify registration information. If you scramble voter registration records in key precincts, in swing counties, in swing states, you can cause delays at polls when people show up expecting to vote but find they are not listed and raise a fuss.

That’s apparently what resulted in North Carolina last November—which the Greens mentioned then and was one of the more solid examples in the Intercept report. Why that happened is more complex and still unknown.

“Was the shut-down of the electronic poll book system in Durham County the result of a benign malfunction or an intentional hack?” the Green’s lead attorney told AlterNet last fall. “If it was the latter, who was behind the cyber attack? These questions must be answered immediately, especially if the answers lead to questions about the integrity of the election process in other jurisdictions.” 

But here’s the key point: there could be other causes for this shabby result. There were so many nasty things that Republicans in North Carolina were doing to likely Democratic voters that could also explain why the poll books were a mess in some Durham County precincts.

This is the same state where the Supreme Court issued two rulings in the past month concluding that its GOP racially discriminated against blacks when drawing congressional and state political districts. This is the same state where a federal court last summer said the GOP targeted black voters with “surgical precision” to block them from voting: by narrowing ID laws, curtailing early voting and more. This is the same state where its top election official, a Republican, told their legislators in June 2016 that she had a list of 30,000-plus illegal voters—after getting a list from a notorious Republican vote suppressor, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, casting suspicions on 455,000 voter registrations statewide. Were some purged?

Was that the real reason there were poll book snafus last November? Nobody who knows is saying. When Intercept asked North Carolina election officials for statements, those Republicans said there was nothing wrong. A blanket denial obscures a range of possibilities. That’s what the Greens wanted to probe via a recount while the evidence trail was still fresh. The leaked NSA documents had a May 2017 date—six months later.

The notion that Russians hacked into the voting machinery and they alone could swing presidential and other federal elections is too one-dimensional when cast against the Republicans vast voter suppression playbook. That’s not to discount what the Russians did or didn’t do.

One could argue, as Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes do in their new book about Hillary Clinton’s campaign, Shattered, that the Russia-fed Wikileaks emails that dethroned DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and hounded campaign chair John Podesta for months last fall was more damaging. That was another example of a cyber attack with serious electoral consequences.

But because Russians were tinkering with America’s election machinery, because Russian President Vladimir Putin denied but then admitted some role, and because Trump’s Russia ties are not fully known and the subject of multiple congressional investigations, America’s rickety election machinery is now under new scrutiny.

Or perhaps it isn’t. Because as the focus keeps shifting to the Kremlin instead of how voting is run across the country, the same issues the Greens tried to raise in November 2016 will likely recede. And America’s wobbly voting infrastructure will remain mostly unchanged for 2018 and 2020.


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The Chumph Tried to Get Intelligence Heads to Roadblock Comey Investigation

Yet another attempt at cover up of the Russia-Trump election collusion. This time by trying to order the heads of intelligence agencies to clam up.

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Trump asked intelligence chiefs to push back against FBI collusion probe after Comey revealed its existence

President Trump asked two of the nation’s top intelligence officials in March to help him push back against an FBI investigation into possible coordination between his campaign and the Russian government, according to current and former officials.

Trump made separate appeals to the director of national intelligence, Daniel Coats, and to Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, urging them to publicly deny the existence of any evidence of collusion during the 2016 election.

Coats and Rogers refused to comply with the requests, which they both deemed to be inappropriate, according to two current and two former officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private communications with the president.

Trump sought the assistance of Coats and Rogers after FBI Director James B. Comey told the House Intelligence Committee on March 20 that the FBI was investigating “the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”

Trump’s conversation with Rogers was documented contemporaneously in an internal memo written by a senior NSA official, according to the officials. It is unclear if a similar memo was prepared by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to document Trump’s conversation with Coats. Officials said such memos could be made available to both the special counsel now overseeing the Russia investigation and congressional investigators, who might explore whether Trump sought to impede the FBI’s work.

White House officials say Comey’s testimony about the scope of the FBI investigation upset Trump, who has dismissed the FBI and congressional investigations as a “witch hunt.” The president has repeatedly said there was no collusion.

Current and former senior intelligence officials viewed Trump’s requests as an attempt by the president to tarnish the credibility of the agency leading the Russia investigation.

A senior intelligence official said Trump’s goal was to “muddy the waters” about the scope of the FBI probe at a time when Democrats were ramping up their calls for the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel, a step announced last week.

Senior intelligence officials also saw the March requests as a threat to the independence of U.S. spy agencies, which are supposed to remain insulated from partisan issues.

“The problem wasn’t so much asking them to issue statements, it was asking them to issue false statements about an ongoing investigation,” a former senior intelligence official said of the request to Coats.

The NSA and Brian Hale, a spokesman for Coats, declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation.


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73% Don’t Trust Republican Congress To Do a Honest Investigation of Russia-Trump

Liars, traitors,  and scumbags like Nunes and Chaffetz have eliminated any trust in Republicans putting Patriotism over Party…

Poll: 73% Back Independent Probe of Russian Election Interference

Nearly three-quarters of Americans say they want an independent, non-partisan commission instead of Congress to investigate Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

Seventy-three percent of respondents prefer the independent investigation, versus 16 percent who pick Congress.

Still, a majority of Americans — 54 percent — believe that Congress should investigate whether there was contact between the Russian government and the Trump campaign, which is essentially unchanged from February’s NBC/WSJ poll.

That includes 84 percent of Democrats and 51 percent of independents who want to see this congressional investigation, but just 21 percent of Republican respondents who want it.

Yet a combined 61 percent of Americans say they have little to no confidence in Congress conducting a fair and impartial investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election.

Only a combined 39 percent say they have “some” or a “great deal” of confidence in Congress conducting a fair and impartial investigation.

These numbers come as committees in both the House and Senate are looking into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election. But the House investigation erupted in controversy after House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes, R-Calif., suggested that Trump and his associates may have been monitored by U.S. intelligence officials during the transition.

Nunes stepped aside from the investigation earlier this month.


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Treason and Perjury!

A Quid pro Quo with the Russians! Michael Flynn, the Chumph’s dirty  collusion in treason with the Russians promising them relief from Obama’s sanctions in exchange for Election Hacking.

Flynn has already been caught lying about the conversations with the Russian Ambassador. There is a law against Civilians conducting discussions on anything that has to do with the US Government with foreign powers.

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National security adviser Flynn discussed sanctions with Russian ambassador, despite denials, officials say

National security adviser Michael Flynn privately discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador to the United States during the month before President Trump took office, contrary to public assertions by Trump officials, current and former U.S. officials said.

Flynn’s communications with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak were interpreted by some senior U.S. officials as an inappropriate and potentially illegal signal to the Kremlin that it could expect a reprieve from sanctions that were being imposed by the Obama administration in late December to punish Russia for its alleged interference in the 2016 election.

Flynn on Wednesday denied that he had discussed sanctions with Kislyak. Asked in an interview whether he had ever done so, he twice said, “No.”

On Thursday, Flynn, through his spokesman, backed away from the denial. The spokesman said Flynn “indicated that while he had no recollection of discussing sanctions, he couldn’t be certain that the topic never came up.”

Officials said this week that the FBI is continuing to examine Flynn’s communications with Kislyak. Several officials emphasized that while sanctions were discussed, they did not see evidence that Flynn had an intent to convey an explicit promise to take action after the inauguration.

Flynn’s contacts with the ambassador attracted attention within the Obama administration because of the timing. U.S. intelligence agencies were then concluding that Russia had waged a cyber campaign designed in part to help elect Trump; his senior adviser on national security matters was discussing the potential consequences for Moscow, officials said.

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The talks were part of a series of contacts between Flynn and Kislyak that began before the Nov. 8 election and continued during the transition, officials said. In a recent interview, Kislyak confirmed that he had communicated with Flynn by text message, by phone and in person, but declined to say whether they had discussed sanctions.

The emerging details contradict public statements by incoming senior administration officials including Mike Pence, then the vice president-elect. They acknowledged only a handful of text messages and calls exchanged between Flynn and Kislyak late last year and denied that either ever raised the subject of sanctions.

“They did not discuss anything having to do with the United States’ decision to expel diplomats or impose censure against Russia,” Pence said in an interview with CBS News last month, noting that he had spoken with Flynn about the matter. Pence also made a more sweeping assertion, saying there had been no contact between members of Trump’s team and Russia during the campaign. To suggest otherwise, he said, “is to give credence to some of these bizarre rumors that have swirled around the candidacy.”

Neither of those assertions is consistent with the fuller account of Flynn’s contacts with Kislyak provided by officials who had access to reports from U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies that routinely monitor the communications of Russian diplomats. Nine current and former officials, who were in senior positions at multiple agencies at the time of the calls, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.

All of those officials said ­Flynn’s references to the election-related sanctions were explicit. Two of those officials went further, saying that Flynn urged Russia not to overreact to the penalties being imposed by President Barack Obama, making clear that the two sides would be in position to review the matter after Trump was sworn in as president.


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Posted by on February 10, 2017 in High Crimes, Second American Revolution, The Clown Bus


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