17 October 2016   2 comments

The evidence seems clear that Russian hackers broke into the computers of organizations associated with the Democratic Party in the US.  Whether the Russian government was involved in the hack, or what the motives for the hack were, remain unclear.  But interfering with elections is not unusual.  The US has a very long record of electoral interference:  in Guatemala in 1954, in Iran in 1953, in the Congo in 19161, and in Chile in 1973, to name just a few.  So outrage at the Russians should be tempered with a large dose of humility.

Speaking of elections, Saudi Arabia has just hired its 10th lobbying firm to press its agenda in Washington, DC.  The recent law allowing American citizens to sue Saudi Arabia for damages associated with 11 September 2001 has clearly spooked the Saudis and they are not taking any chances of missing an opportunity to  revise the law.  But it also reflects the Saudi fear that the US is getting too close to its mortal enemy, Iran.  For a monarchy, the Saudis definitely understand how a democracy works.

Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, has been in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for the last four years.  He sought refuge there after Swedish police wanted to question him about charges against him for sexual assault.  He is a hero to many because of his willingness to publish highly classified materials that shed light on government activities that were (and are) highly controversial.  But Wikileaks has been publishing many documents that were stolen from organizations associated with the US Democratic Party and it seems clear that the leaks have a clear political objective.  Today we learned that Assange’s internet access from the Embassy has been severed, according to Wikileaks, by a “state” actor.  Hacking the hacker?

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Posted October 18, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

2 responses to “17 October 2016

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  1. As technology advances, I think citizens of the modern society cannot avoid the question of what are the new definitions to important political idea and means. Take the Russian hacker’s case for example, we want the polluted data to all be corrected to its original forms if possible. This wish presumably can be extended to all attacks, be it from other countries or from within the U.S. But if the an agent shows us certain manipulates to the electoral data could much accurately represent the will of the U.S. citizens — for example, if these manipulations can help eliminate the effect of misleading campaigns and illegal financial transactions during election seasons — then how many people would accept this new process (the manipulations to the election data) when we all still understand the raw data as the data that’s most contingent to our social ideals?

  2. You open up some genuine possibilities, but I am not sure how we could ever be sure of the intentions of the leakers of classified information. All information is useful for informed opinions, but sometimes the information is false and deliberately misleading. Such information could rarely contribute to a better discussion.

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