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Government United States Politics

Russian Arrested in Spain 'Over US Election Hacking' (bbc.com) 312

Spanish police have arrested a Russian programmer for alleged involvement in "hacking" the US election, BBC reported Monday, citing local press reports. From the report: Pyotr Levashov, arrested on 7 April in Barcelona, has now been remanded in custody. A "legal source" also told the AFP news agency that Mr Levashov was the subject of an extradition request by the US. The request is due to be examined by Spain's national criminal court, the agency added. El Confidencial, a Spanish news website, has said that Mr Levashov's arrest warrant was issued by US authorities over suspected "hacking" that helped Donald Trump's campaign.
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Russian Arrested in Spain 'Over US Election Hacking'

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 10, 2017 @02:04PM (#54208441)

    Let's assume they got all the DNC mail and released it. How was that hacking the election? Hacking the election would be changing votes in a database.

    If someone finds out that a candidate murders babies, I would prefer they release it...and not be arrested for "hacking the election".

    • by XXongo ( 3986865 )

      Let's assume they got all the DNC mail and released it. How was that hacking the election?

      If you actually read the article, it states "El Confidencial, a Spanish news website, has said that Mr Levashov's arrest warrant was issued by US authorities over suspected "hacking" that helped Donald Trump's campaign."

      So there are two statements there.
      1. Mr Levashov was arrested for suspected "hacking", and
      2. this suspected "hacking" helped Donald Trump's campaign.

      Breaking into the DNC computers and stealing e-mail is illegal. Period. This was done, plausibly, on behalf of Russia: http://www.bbc.com [bbc.com]

      • Russia's goals were to "undermine public faith" in the US democratic process

        I think the republicans and democrats did that themselves when they put their two candidates forward.

      • According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security report, Russia's goals were to "undermine public faith" in the US democratic process and "denigrate" his Democrat opponent Hillary Clinton, harming her electability and potential presidency. "We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election." http://www.bbc.com/news/world- [bbc.com]... [bbc.com]

        This is a fair assessment and while I can agree with the concept, there is one thing that really bugs me about this. It assumes that the average US voter is so pathetically inept, that bad stories about a political (who had some of the worst favorably ratings even before the election!) some how translates into undermining public faith in the democratic process. Just... no.

        Clinton was hated long before the 2016 election. She had a lot of baggage and any party revealing the details of that baggage no more und

    • by dszd0g ( 127522 )

      What we know the Russians hacked:

      1) DNC e-mails. Publishing these e-mails hurt Hillary in the election. It is believed this alone caused her to drop at least 5 points which was more than the difference in the election. This might be called more of hacking the voters than hacking the vote.

      2) The US Election Assistance Commission. The EAC is responsible for national voter registration, establishing voluntary guidelines for voting, and certifying and auditing voting machines. Some news outlets reported th

    • Look at the unapologetic baby-lover. You probably think they're cute. That's great for you, but the rest of us hate babies, and we don't appreciate you bringing needless publicity to our perfectly-justified culling campaign. Look: babies are assholes, and the sooner they're gone, the better off we'll all be. Let's make America old again!
  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Monday April 10, 2017 @02:04PM (#54208443)

    The only way "Hacking" affected the election was that things Hillary and the DNC said in private became public. So I don't think it makes a lot of sense to claim the election was really "hacked", it's just the more you know about what Hilary really thinks the less likely you are to vote for her.

    In the same vein every major newspaper was trying for a year or so to "hack" the election with negative stories about Trump, most of which turned out to be false... so that was actually a lot worse than the Russians simply illuminating the truth.

    • by cant_get_a_good_nick ( 172131 ) on Monday April 10, 2017 @02:32PM (#54208729)

      By your metaphor, i can take your wallet and take your credit card, since you're just going to hand it over to a store anyway. I mean, it's the same thing right? Information wants to be free and all that.

      Hillary lost for a bunch of reasons, including Comey, including hacks, including the fact that she had the wrong message, including after having to listen to a black man for 8 years white males didn't want to listen to a woman. And ignore all the times where the US interferes in other elections. Anyone remember the "don't elect Lula or we'll make things hard for you" we said to Brazil?

      But ignore all that. They hacked the mail servers, current law is that is a crime, they should be punished.

      • The proper metaphor would be stealing a stolen credit card - most people honestly wouldn't care if a credit card thief had his stolen credit cards stolen in turn. Amazingly, the press has turned the Russian hacking thing into a story about the hacking, and have pretty much ignored what the hack revealed (e.g. Hillary being emailed debate questions in advance, making the televised debates a sham).

        If a stowaway hiding the bowels of a ship points out the ship is sinking, do you fret over punishing the stow
    • The only way "Hacking" affected the election was that things Hillary and the DNC said in private became public.

      I'm pretty sure Donald Trump, and perhaps every other Presidential candidate in history, have said things in private that if they became public would result in them losing the election, so that's a big problem.

      • Did they now (Score:3, Interesting)

        by SuperKendall ( 25149 )

        I'm pretty sure Donald Trump, and perhaps every other Presidential candidate in history, have said things in private that if they became public would result in them losing the election

        Trump DID say something in private, that was made public also - the whole "grabbing" fiasco.

        It would have ended any other candidate, and indeed many were sure that was the end of Trump. Even many Republicans said he should end his candidacy.

        But EVEN with that, Trump still won because (on the whole) what Hilary did and support

    • And this, ladies and gents, is what a partisan hack looks like when modeling his shiny new tinfoil hat.
    • and esoteric. It didn't even register with voters. OTOH there's evidence linking the Russians to the "Bernie Bros" campaign (not that folks don't love Bernie, he's the most popular politician in America today and for good reason). Then there's the mounting evidence that Russia hacked voter rolls and shared that data with team Trump. That sorta data is a gold mine beyond value and if true that more than anything would explain Trump's win.
      • So wrong (Score:5, Informative)

        by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Monday April 10, 2017 @02:56PM (#54208975)

        The DNC stuff was minor and esoteric. It didn't even register with voters.

        Are you nuts? It registered strongly with EVERY Bernie Sanders supporter. Search Twitter around that time and you'll find it was far from "esoteric" that Sanders had been ejected from the race by the DNC leadership.

        Then there's the mounting evidence that Russia hacked voter rolls

        Where is that exactly? The only effort ever put forth (by the Green party) showed no Russian involvement and resulted in a few more votes for Trump than were originally counted.

    • by Arkh89 ( 2870391 )

      I think the term "hacking" for the election fits perfectly... in the context of the tech audience here. Because hacking does not have, for us, the same meaning that it acquired through the media : that of breaching electronic systems, most often for criminal gain (note the extra negative connotation).
      Instead, here its meaning is about finding and implementing a subversive approach to work around the limitations or rules of a system : all the news manipulation, polls, fact-checking wars are the expressions o

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      "election hacking" is a very disingenuous way to refer to what happened. Everyone is treating it like votes were fraudulent, when what really happened was fraudulent activity was exposed via hacking. This should actually be a good thing.

      But the truth doesn't matter as much as the narrative.

      • by Ichijo ( 607641 )

        Yes, it was a good thing in the same way that racial profiling by the police is a good thing because it gets criminals off the streets. Right? Or is there some value in equal enforcement?

      • by unimacs ( 597299 )
        So it's OK with you that a foreign power hacked the systems of one of our political parties for the express purpose of swaying the election towards a candidate of their liking?

        If it were a FOX reporter, I'd feel differently about it, but it wasn't. My assumption and hope is that reporters (collectively) go after both parties. Democracy doesn't exist without free and fair elections.

        Regardless of whether the actions of the Russians actually made any actual difference in the outcome, what has happened is
        • So it is OK with you that one of our political parties conducts secret, distasteful activities that, if revealed to the public, would sway the election toward the other candidate?

          Personally, I see the hacking of DNC emails as an intelligence test that they failed miserably. If your party cannot conduct their unpleasant business clandestinely they surely do not deserve to win office. Imagine what would happened if these idiots were actually allowed to run the country. Our entire ruling party would have be

          • by unimacs ( 597299 )

            So it is OK with you that one of our political parties conducts secret, distasteful activities that, if revealed to the public, would sway the election toward the other candidate?

            Where did I say that? What I did say is that if it were a FOX reporter that had done that hacking, it would be different. I still have some moral issues with breaking into systems and exposing private communications.

            Personally, I see the hacking of DNC emails as an intelligence test that they failed miserably. If your party cannot conduct their unpleasant business clandestinely they surely do not deserve to win office. Imagine what would happened if these idiots were actually allowed to run the country. Our entire ruling party would have been compromised from day one.

            The problem I see with your argument is that you're assuming that the Republicans can't or haven't been compromised.

            • We are operating on different assumptions, so the communication between us will be flawed. Here are some of my suppositions and logic:

              We do not know the provenance of the DNC emails. Conjecture abounds, from a Russian hack to a voluntary disclosure by a now-dead DNC staffer. Nothing is proven, no smoking gun exists. Therefore, your assertion that a foreign power was the source of the leaked emails is irrelevant, as there are sufficient questions about where the emails came from to render it a moot point

        • So it's OK with you that a foreign power hacked the systems of one of our political parties

          Nope, not OK.

          If it were a FOX reporter, I'd feel differently about it

          Why? It's still not OK.

          My assumption and hope is that reporters (collectively) go after both parties.

          Even if that means using illegal means to do so? I want them going after both parties also.

          However just because what was done was wrong, does not mean the outcome has to be bad. Just that the means to obtain it were wrong.

          But I also place blame on

    • by j-beda ( 85386 )

      In the same vein every major newspaper was trying for a year or so to "hack" the election with negative stories about Trump, most of which turned out to be false... so that was actually a lot worse than the Russians simply illuminating the truth.

      This is probably my selective memory acting up. What were the negative stories about Trump which turned out to be false? Were there vastly different numbers of negative stories about Clinton? Were they substantively more or substantively less often false? Were these false stores products of the press either through outright fabrication or through poor reporting?

    • The WAY that information was leaked about Hilary was somewhat timely, and metered out. There wasn't a dump of it.

      So, here's what i don't understand. Trump kept saying the election was rigged - right up until the point where he won, then he suddenly claims it wasn't. Why wouldn't the Trump administration WANT to expose some kind of hack on the election? That would prove him right, and if Russia hacked her email server, then it would also prove his point about how much her email was a security threat for

  • As an american im always deeply concerned when our witch hunts proceed without so much as a ghoulish evil monster to subject to ye olde tribulations. After this, I suspect the good witch -- whos time it was to be elected to president because she did the mannequin challenge-- will prevail and righteousness will be restored to america.
  • Bigger hack (Score:5, Insightful)

    by religionofpeas ( 4511805 ) on Monday April 10, 2017 @02:15PM (#54208543)

    The biggest hack to support Trump was to put Hillary forward as a candidate.

    • Re:Bigger hack (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Mike Van Pelt ( 32582 ) on Monday April 10, 2017 @02:38PM (#54208811)

      Hillary being the Democrat candidate was just party politics as usual. I think the hack was to get a completely non-viable candidate trumped (ha) up as the Republican candidate to pave the way for the coronation of Her Hillaryness. Note how NBC News sat on the "Grab the Cat" video all through the primaries, when it might have done some good, in order to ("Oh, *please* let it be Trump!") spring it as an October Surprise.

      Also, note the utterly absurd way the "debates" were handled. The immoderators (deliberately?) steered the "debates" in such a way as to dumb them down into ridiculousness, which plays to Trump's strengths, such as they are.

      I think the biggest factor in Trump's win is that the attitude of Hillary and most of the Democratic Party, which is basically "How dare those unwashed nobodies in flyover country fail to show proper gratitude that their betters are willing to take up the burden of running their lives for them?!?", doesn't really play well in those parts of the country they show such open and complete contempt for.

  • by mtmiller100 ( 884473 ) on Monday April 10, 2017 @02:26PM (#54208655)
    and find some common ground... like the fact that Hillary and The Donald are BOTH scumbags who don't deserve to be president?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jwhyche ( 6192 )

      I really have a issue here. I really wanted to mod you up but I also want to comment on this thread. But but when it comes right down to it. I think you are spot on.

    • I wish more people looked at things this way instead of total polarization.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Archtech ( 159117 )

      and find some common ground... like the fact that Hillary and The Donald are BOTH scumbags who don't deserve to be president?

      And right there you have the issue with the USA as a "liberal democracy". How can it be a liberal democracy when the "democracy" part gives voters the choice between a vile rich callous selfish lying warmonger and a vile rich callous selfish lying warmonger? And how liberal can it be when absolutely no one in the senior ranks of the government - or of either major political party - is in the least liberal?

      I use the word "liberal" in its original and correct sense:

      liberal
      n adjective
      1 respectful and acc

      • Both of the major political parties have devolved into businesses, which sell our tax dollars to those who can pay. The words that come out of their mouths are just "advertising" to entice the people to vote for them. On occasion, we actually hold them accountable for their deceptive advertising, but not very often. It is basically Coke vs Pepsi, where the cola who's ads appealed to the most voters, gains power and gets to wallow in, and sell, our tax dollars.
    • Hillary and The Donald are BOTH scumbags who don't deserve to be president?

      You have highlighted a very important issue: how our voting system works. If we used ranked voting in the US, we would have a more representative government. I mean that in the literal sense that they would be mathematically more representative of who people want to vote for. The question you should be asking is how we can we improve our voting system.

    • by DogDude ( 805747 )
      and find some common ground... like the fact that Hillary and The Donald are BOTH scumbags who don't deserve to be president?

      Nope. Not even close.
    • Common ground doesn't win a two party election, but one thing is damn certain and that is that MY scumbag is better than yours.

    • Don't deserve to be president?

      While I am no fan of the Don he does deserve and is entitled to be president because he won the contest(s) that decided who is deserving and entitled to hold that position. That contest does not pick the best and brightest because democracy isn't about picking the best and brightest. While that isn't a great thing it is still the best thing we have for government.

  • Absurd (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Archtech ( 159117 )

    What ridiculous nonsense! Everyone knows Putin did it.

  • by exabrial ( 818005 ) on Monday April 10, 2017 @02:52PM (#54208947)
    He's not being arrested for "hacking the election" he's being arrested because of other crimes:

    * https://krebsonsecurity.com/20... [krebsonsecurity.com]
    * https://www.nytimes.com/2017/0... [nytimes.com]
  • My $0.02 USD (Score:2, Interesting)

    by TheDarkener ( 198348 )

    No foreign country or entity should have *anything* to do with a country's election process. Period.

    And yes, I am aware that the U.S. has interfered in foreign countries' elections as well. Karma?

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