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NSA Chief: Nation-State Made 'Conscious Effort' To Sway US Presidential Election (aol.com) 667

The head of the US National Security Agency has said that a "nation-state" consciously targeted presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, in order to affect the US election. From an AOL article:Adm. Michael Rogers, who leads both the NSA and US Cyber Command, made the comments in response to a question about Wikileaks' release of nearly 20,000 internal DNC emails during a conference presented by The Wall Street Journal. "There shouldn't be any doubt in anybody's minds," Rogers said. "This was not something that was done casually. This was not something that was done by chance. This was not a target that was selected purely arbitrarily. This was a conscious effort by a nation-state to attempt to achieve a specific effect." Rogers did not specify the nation-state or the specific effect, though US intelligence officials suspect Russia provided the emails to Wikileaks, after hackers stole them from inside DNC servers and the personal email account of Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, John Podesta. At least two different hacker groups associated with the Russian government were found inside the networks of the DNC over the past year, reading emails, chats, and downloading private documents. Many of those files were later released by Wikileaks.Further reading: Quartz and MotherJones.
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NSA Chief: Nation-State Made 'Conscious Effort' To Sway US Presidential Election

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  • Blah blah blah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 17, 2016 @03:48PM (#53309123)

    I am tired of the military-industrial complex requiring a boogie man to support their funding.

    • Re:Blah blah blah (Score:5, Interesting)

      by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Thursday November 17, 2016 @04:18PM (#53309419) Homepage Journal
      You know....I hope they find exactly who did the break-ins AND the meddling and there are consequences for that.

      That being said, however....if Hillary hadn't been such a weak candidate, and not had so many skeletons in her closet, and hadn't been involved with SO many shady things over her career, then none of her staff would have been talking about all this on those emails that were leaked, and there wouldn't have been so much dirt on her to be leaked.

      While I detest the meddling in our country's election, regardless of the source....this info DID come strait from the Democrats showing their dirty laundry and underhanded tricks, being in bed with much of the main stream media.....and from the Clinton campaign where her staff was rightfully worried about all the baggage she carried and how poorly she was adept at handling it and not causing more problems for herself and public image.

      • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Thursday November 17, 2016 @05:09PM (#53309921)

        You know....I hope they find exactly who did the break-ins AND the meddling and there are consequences for that.

        I totally agree that there should be consequences for whoever exposed this corruption. Maybe a Congressional Gold Medal, or a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

      • Re:Blah blah blah (Score:5, Insightful)

        by budgenator ( 254554 ) on Thursday November 17, 2016 @08:42PM (#53311277) Journal

        Yes Everybody is BooHooing the Russians interfering with the US election by having the audacity of telling the American Electorate the truth.

      • Re:Blah blah blah (Score:5, Insightful)

        by speedplane ( 552872 ) on Friday November 18, 2016 @04:35AM (#53312703) Homepage

        if Hillary hadn't been such a weak candidate, and not had so many skeletons in her closet, and hadn't been involved with SO many shady things over her career, then none of her staff would have been talking about all this on those emails that were leaked, and there wouldn't have been so much dirt on her to be leaked.

        I'd believe Hillary lost because of the Comey email investigation leak. But she also lost for a thousand other reasons... not connecting with a large number of disgruntled underemployed workers being the primary reason. Saying this country is great, when no one feels it is a sure way to lose an election.

        • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

          if Hillary hadn't been such a weak candidate, and not had so many skeletons in her closet, and hadn't been involved with SO many shady things over her career, then none of her staff would have been talking about all this on those emails that were leaked, and there wouldn't have been so much dirt on her to be leaked.

          I'd believe Hillary lost because of the Comey email investigation leak. But she also lost for a thousand other reasons...

          It's like if your football team lost 70-68 because the field goal kicker missed a field goal, while ignoring the abhorrent 70 POINTS that the defense allowed. Sure, the kicker missed, but if the other team allows 68 points, you should have won by a wide margin and have no excuse for letting it get that close anyway.

          not connecting with a large number of disgruntled underemployed workers being the primary reason. Saying this country is great, when no one feels it is a sure way to lose an election.

          Is the country in "great shape?" No, but it's not nearly so bad as Trump's campaign made it out to be either.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by JThundley ( 631154 )

        Not just Hillary, but democrats in general. I was a big Bernie fan and the DNC unfairly shutting him out left more than just a bad taste in my mouth. I mean not only did that show their corruption, but also idiocy. The morons could have won with Bernie had they just followed their own rules!

        They'll be lucky if I ever vote anyone with a D next to their name for the rest of my life.

    • I think this is more of a "takes one to know one" insight by the cyber command.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 17, 2016 @03:49PM (#53309125)

    Hillary didn't lose due to Wikileaks. She lost because she promised absolutely nothing other than to be not Donald Trump.

    Donald Trump promised to bring back jobs lost to off-shoring. He promised to bring back the parts of America that are hurting.

    Hillary Clinton promised to say one thing and public and other things in private. She promised to continue the status quo of the elite ruling over us with little to no input from the public. She lost because her selling point was "first woman president!" and not policy.

    She lost for a thousand reasons.

    Wikileaks is not one of them.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Good thing Trump isn't one of the "elite ruling over us". People are so fucking stupid.
    • by Lisandro ( 799651 ) on Thursday November 17, 2016 @04:09PM (#53309305)

      I'm not a Clinton fan by any stretch, but honestly, if America voted for Trump to break the "the status quo of the elite ruling over us" then you deserve what's coming your way.

      • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Thursday November 17, 2016 @05:40PM (#53310213)

        I'm not a Clinton fan by any stretch, but honestly, if America voted for Trump to break the "the status quo of the elite ruling over us" then you deserve what's coming your way.

        Finally the change that people are expecting after years of ruling class shitting on people?

        The fact you said "America" show's you're not paying attention. World wide elections are turning ugly, Australia at came out of a double dissolution (which normally solves divisive politics) with an almost hung parliament, the British wanted out of the EU, Austria they voted for the greens a party which historically has enjoyed a crappy 15% of the vote, governments around the world see political wildcards and nutcases skyrocketing in popularity.

        People the world over are finally showing how truly sick of the shit they are.

      • by steveha ( 103154 ) on Thursday November 17, 2016 @05:56PM (#53310359) Homepage

        if America voted for Trump to break the "the status quo of the elite ruling over us" then you deserve what's coming your way.

        Of Trump and Hillary Clinton, which of the two has been in politics for three decades? Which of the two had their political party's highest leadership game the primaries to guarantee they won the candidacy? Which of the two engaged in a conspiracy to repeatedly violate the laws pertaining to handling of classified information, and then had the Director of the FBI personally whitewash the investigation? Which of the two had the news media helping to bury strong evidence of felony lawbreaking?

        It wasn't Trump.

        You can be sarcastic all you want, but the news media will be all over Trump, watching for him to do the slightest wrong thing and tell all the voters about it 24/7 for weeks. (He's already in hot water for the crime of telling reporters "I'm done for the night" and then going to dinner with his family. Doesn't he know that the reporters have a right to watch him eat dinner?)

        The Congress will actually push back on Trump if he tries to aggregate more power to the Presidency (contrast to President "I've Got a Pen, and I've Got a Phone" Obama, bypassing Congress to bind the USA to international agreements that sure looked like treaties but were not treaties because he said so).

        The IRS would refuse to follow Trumps orders if he were to try to sic them on his enemies, while the IRS actually volunteered to do this for President Obama. (I don't think the bad actors in the IRS did it because they personally liked President Obama, they did it because he was a "progressive" Democrat... so they absolutely would have continued to do this for Hillary Clinton.)

        The Republican establishment never wanted Trump. He's already shaking things up in Washington D.C.

        So I'll grant you that Trump is in the 1% and thus not very well connected to the daily struggles of the "little people" in America. But of the two candidates, which one just might "break 'the status quo of the elite ruling over us'"? Trump. By a landslide. It's not even remotely close.

        • by Lisandro ( 799651 ) on Thursday November 17, 2016 @06:03PM (#53310419)

          Yeah. Let's see how broken the status quo gets once he announces his Republican cabinet. I can't believe people are so naive about this.

          Oh, and BTW: the really scary thing about Trump is not the potential clusterfuck his presidency might be, but the fact than on a single sweep the GOP gained control of the White House, congress and, as soon as vacancies are filled, the Supreme Court. Don't expect a lot of pushbacks on those ends.

          • by steveha ( 103154 ) on Thursday November 17, 2016 @06:42PM (#53310685) Homepage

            on a single sweep the GOP gained control of the White House, congress and, as soon as vacancies are filled, the Supreme Court. Don't expect a lot of pushbacks on those ends.

            It depends:

            If Trump tries to lighten the amount of regulations on businesses, don't expect a lot of pushback. If he tries to lower taxes, don't expect a lot of pushback.

            But a relative of mine said that Trump will start rounding up minorities and putting them into concentration camps. If Trump tries to do anything like that? Pushback. Expect it.

            If Trump tries to strip LGBT of equal protection under the law? (I don't know why we are even talking about that, he hasn't historically been negative about LGBT, but my liberal friends are saying he will be a disaster to LGBT.) Again, expect pushback.

            In short, don't expect a lot of pushback on the typical center-right issues. But if Trump actually starts doing any of the deranged dictator stuff that my liberal friends are staying awake at night worrying about, do expect pushback. Lots.

            I even expect pushback if Trump goes crazy with Executive Orders. For some reason the Congress just took it when President Obama started overstepping the bounds of the Presidency, but I really don't think the Congress will take it from Trump. All the Democrats would be opposed and enough of the Republicans would be opposed.

            Also, I'm grimly looking forward to the spectacle once the Republicans start nominating Supreme Court Justices. I expect the Democrats to link arms and obstruct every single candidate, no matter how reasonable and qualified. If they actually do this I then expect to see the Republicans invoke the Harry Reid precedent [politico.com] and shut down the filibuster on Supreme Court Justice nominations. I don't actually want to see this happen, but the silver lining would be the entertainment of watching liberals explain how the Harry Reid precedent isn't really a precedent at all, it's totally different this time, etc.

        • Who is more "ruling elite": the career politician who's been doing whatever their billionaire backers tell them to do for decades... or one of the billionaires they've been working for?

    • by unixisc ( 2429386 ) on Thursday November 17, 2016 @04:17PM (#53309409)

      I don't think that Russia was the power that supplied the emails to WikiLeaks. If they really did want Trump to win, they'd have muzzled Snowden, who they allowed to release a statement debunking Trump's claim about how the 2nd investigation could have wrapped up so quickly.

      While I agree that WikiLeaks may not have been the sole reason Clinton lost, I also don't think that people ignored it. While the media may well have ignored it, there was nothing stopping voters from going there and seeing what was out. Whether it was Clinton's statement about a borderless Americas, or her staff's views on Catholics, or Donna Brazille leaking questions to Clinton that she was gonna be asked the next day, people didn't need the media to tell them more if they were interested.

      But yeah, while Trump would have a policy speech a day in each of his 6 rallies in the last few days, the only thing Clinton had was abusing Trump. Okay, but how different would your policies be from Obama's? And if it won't be, why would it result any differently in what we have now? Why would your plan on Obamacare salvage the pocketbooks of people who have to pay enhanced premiums and higher deductables for reduced coverage? Blah blah blah

      And yeah, first woman president was singularly unimpressive, given that she got where she did due to marrying a politically savvy AK governor who went on to become the most successful Democrat president to date. If Warren or Pelosi were to run, the 'first woman president' moniker would suit them.

    • She lost because she promised absolutely nothing other than to be not Donald Trump.

      She promised to be someone with three decades of experience in Washington, someone with strong financial and political ties to Wall St. who didn't tweet weird xenophobic shit at all hours of the day and night.

      That's one disqualification.

      Whereas with Donald, I quite lost track.

  • by HBI ( 604924 ) on Thursday November 17, 2016 @03:53PM (#53309157) Journal

    They inadvertently did the job that our own media should have been doing, if it hadn't been entirely co-opted by the ruling party.

    The lying media should be ashamed of itself, but isn't.

    • by pr0t0 ( 216378 ) on Thursday November 17, 2016 @04:05PM (#53309279)

      Just so I'm clear about your statement, you are saying it was incumbent upon the "lying media" to hack into the computer systems of one or all candidates (fair and balanced), breaking untold number of laws set forth by the computer fraud and abuse act, and disseminate the findings of which to the viewing public?

      That's an interesting point of view.

      • Ain't that what one of them did w/ Trump's tax returns? It was only legal to release w/ his approval, yet they went out and did it anyway. So if they can do that, why not hack into Clinton's server and try and retrieve her deleted emails? Other than being in the tank for her?
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo&world3,net> on Thursday November 17, 2016 @05:07PM (#53309901) Homepage Journal

      Releasing those emails a week before the election so that the FBI could start another investigation into them probably swung it for Trump. Turned out that there was nothing there though, mostly just duplicates and nothing really related to Clinton.

      In other words, they released nothing but innuendo and triggered an investigation. How is that not corrupt and deliberately misleading the public? And in what way did the media lie about it? Seems more like they wouldn't shut up about it even when it turned out to be nothing, all the while damaging her campaign.

      You live in a strange fantasy land where the mainstream media is somehow in the Democrat's pocket while also helping them to go from a near certain win to a loss. They lapped up Trump's campaign too, giving him massive amounts of free publicity every time he said something stupid or outrageous. They were actively helping him, playing into the hands of an obvious demagogue who fed off controversy and being deliberately offensive.

  • by Ionized ( 170001 ) on Thursday November 17, 2016 @03:53PM (#53309163) Journal

    The US has been mucking around influencing foreign governments for many, many decades. Kinda sucks when someone does it to us.

  • That's all fine but (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DarkOx ( 621550 ) on Thursday November 17, 2016 @04:00PM (#53309235) Journal

    As far as I am concerned the only thing that is important was were the e-mails faked. If the were not than all said nation state really did was give us a better informed public.

    Did they maybe not do the same to the other side? Who cares so what? Its not like all sorts of world leaders, and international organizations, didn't make their opinions known about who they wanted to be the next president. Should we image those acts and the resulting media coverage don't impact US elections?

    • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Thursday November 17, 2016 @04:16PM (#53309387)

      Did they maybe not do the same to the other side? Who cares so what?

      I was and am very much against Donald Trump, but I'm not sure what hacking his organization would have accomplished - every kooky thing he seems to believe was already right out there in front of us. Unless he was secretly boiling and eating babies, I don't know what additional info about him could've swayed the election... and, even then, it might not have mattered.

      He famously said "I could shoot somebody and wouldn't lose voters", and apparently he was right.

    • by Software ( 179033 ) on Thursday November 17, 2016 @06:38PM (#53310655) Homepage Journal

      Did they maybe not do the same to the other side? Who cares so what?

      I care. The Soviet^W Russian^W WikiLeaks dumps were giving only half the story. It's like a trial where only one side gets to present evidence. Sure, the opposition can cross-examine, but if the opposition can't call its own witnesses, the jury isn't going to get a complete picture.

  • by quax ( 19371 ) on Thursday November 17, 2016 @04:07PM (#53309285)

    Unfortunately chances are we are dealing with Putin's proxy in the White House. Just the facts:

    1) Trump had no interest in changing the GOP platform presented at the Republican convention, with one exception, he pulled all the hawkish lingo that condemned the Russian intervention in the Ukraine.

    2) His second campaign manager Paul Manafort spent considerable time in the Ukraine working for the former president, and Russian asset, Viktor Yanukovych. He had to step aside when this connection became too much of an obvious liability to the Trump campaign.

    3) The Russian deputy minister confirmed that they were in contact with the Trump campaign through-out the election process.

    4) According to a CNN report, a Kremlin advisor admitted they coordinated with Wikileaks.

    5) Trump has considerable business interests in Russia and visited the country often.

    6) Trump exhibits considerable sexual appetite.

    7) Russian "political culture" perfected the art of compromising politicians with embarrassing material, they even have a word for it.

    8) Mother Jones reported that a retired Intelligence officer came forward, alleging that this is exactly what has been done to Trump.

    • 8) Mother Jones

      Ok, sure. So is quoting Infowars now fair game, too?

    • Trump had no interest in changing the GOP platform presented at the Republican convention, with one exception, he pulled all the hawkish lingo that condemned the Russian intervention in the Ukraine.

      The Russian intervention in Ukraine?

      Russians gave Ukraine a low interest loan and a cheap rate on gas. The west wanted Ukraine to take on IMF loans with crushing austerity measures. The assistant secretary of state, Victoria Nulan, is on video bragging (in front of Chevron banners) about the billions spent to b

  • Possibly (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lisandro ( 799651 ) on Thursday November 17, 2016 @04:12PM (#53309343)

    But i sincerely think it made little to no difference in the result. The Dems are certainly trying to pin what's probably their worse election in history to the CIA but the sad truth is that Clinton was never a good candidate. She certainly was qualified for the job though, but that has little to do with what ends up appealing to the voter.

    If she weren't running against Trump her number would've been way worse. And this is fucking Donald Trump we're talking about.

    • Re:Possibly (Score:4, Interesting)

      by swb ( 14022 ) on Thursday November 17, 2016 @05:08PM (#53309917)

      This was a disaster of the Democrats own making.

      I'd wager Clinton agreed to a forced compromise on Obama getting the nod in 2008 based on his popularity in return for a clear path in 2016 and maximum party support.

      The Democrats did everything -- suppress alternative candidates who could have risen up since 2008, railroad the Sanders campaign -- they could to clear a path for Hillary and Hillary only. And she presented a candidacy that only promised more of what everyone already had, which was great for the professional, ownership and social welfare classes but absolutely awful for everyone else.

  • Fair is Fair (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sehlat ( 180760 ) on Thursday November 17, 2016 @04:12PM (#53309347)

    The United States has been making "conscious efforts," one way or another, since at least the 1960's if not earlier. Unless the US has some super-special unique privilege among nations, then any nation can play in any way it pleases.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 17, 2016 @04:17PM (#53309403)

    China was a big supporter of Bill Clinton:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

  • lol @ nsa (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MrVictor ( 872700 ) on Thursday November 17, 2016 @04:23PM (#53309469)
    The Snowden leaks showed us that the NSA uses lying, misinformation and subterfuge as its three main weapons. They have zero credibility and anything they publicly state are lies until proven otherwise.
  • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) * on Thursday November 17, 2016 @04:49PM (#53309747)

    I'm not sure how to take this statement. Apparently the NSA is good enough to detect a "hacker" and yet powerless to stop it. So if this was an example of "cyber-warfare" are we to expect that the US is completely open and vulnerable, since no counter-measures can be taken? It seems that "the enemy" is so good that they can get in, do damage, get out and get away with it.

    Or MAYBE... this guy is just making all this shit up and John Podesta, who uses a GMAIL account - was simply phished. "I was hacked" is the usual excuse to try and hide your own bumbling incompetence when something like this happens. Risking a diplomatic incident to try and distract from your own or your colleague's incompetence is monstrous.

  • by iggymanz ( 596061 ) on Thursday November 17, 2016 @05:16PM (#53310007)

    I know one superpower that has intelligence service in the business of swaying elections and causing civil wars and fighting in them. it isn't Russia's

  • by DRMShill ( 1157993 ) on Thursday November 17, 2016 @05:39PM (#53310207)

    Another way to look at it is in addition to activists groups, corporations, billionaires, we now have nation stations lobbying for candidates.

  • by DidgetMaster ( 2739009 ) on Thursday November 17, 2016 @06:13PM (#53310471) Homepage
    So John Podesta's fell for some phishing attack that allowed some hacker to access his account which happened to contain a treasure trove of incriminating emails from lots of people in the Hillary campaign, the DNC, and the media....and somehow that means that only one side was targeted??? I have the feeling that if some prominent Republican had also fallen for it and there were a lot of embarrassing emails in their account (i.e. not just yoga lesson schedules and wedding plans), that WikiLeaks would have ZERO hesitation in releasing them to the whole world. We have no proof that the hackers didn't try to get emails from everyone in both campaigns, but only Podesta fell for it.

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