Tuesday, January 3, 2017

There Are No Secrets

The following article was rejected by American Thinker for the following reasons: 

There are some serious problems with this piece. Chief among them is the citation from Maxine Waters as an authority on IT. In fact, the database she's talking about is the new DNC voter database, which has nothing to do with security or surveillance.

This piece could work as a blog item if you cut that out and cut the rest to about 500 words or so. If you can do that, I'll take another look.

I disagree with American Thinker about the importance of the remarks made by Maxine Waters.  I mistakenly attributed the database she referred to as a U.S. government creation when it was actually a creation of the Democratic Party.  This “new DNC voter database” is based on the "Organizing for America" database.  It was restructured as a 501(c)4 and renamed "Organizing for Action" in 2012.  You do not have to be paranoid to believe that it will include more than Democratic voters and that it will be abused.

On 30 December 2016 Larry King interviewed John McAfee, a pioneer in computer security and founder of the McAfee anti-virus company.  McAfee, who does not appear to be a fan of Donald Trump, reaffirmed Trump’s assertion that the Russians were not responsible for hacking Clinton’s emails and influencing the U.S. election.  It was a very revealing and disturbing interview.  He touched on the vulnerability of the U.S. government databases and the extent of government intrusion into the private affairs of Americans.  He claims the U.S. government has the capability of monitoring all electronic transmissions.

McAfee’s assertion that the Russians were not responsible for the hacking relies on his experience and common sense:

When the FBI or any other agency says the Russians did it or the Chinese did something or the Iranians did something, that’s a fallacy.  Any hacker capable of breaking into something is extraordinarily capable of hiding their tracks.  If I were the Chinese and I wanted to make it look like the Russians did it, I would use Russian language within the code.  I would use Russian techniques of breaking into organizations.  So there is simply no way to assign a source for any attack.  This is a fallacy.  This is what the FBI and other agencies want us to believe so that they can manipulate our opinions.  I can promise you, if it looks like the Russians did it, it was not the Russians.  

McAfee pointed out that the Chinese stole every record that the FBI had; and in February, “a 15 year old boy hacked the FBI and published 30 thousand records including undercover agents of every agent within the FBI organization.”  The teenage hacking group, "Cracka with Attitude," has hacked into the email accounts of CIA director John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. 

This reveals just how vulnerable government databases are.  McAfee claims, “If the U.S. government believes that the Russians, the Chinese and the Iranians do not already have all of our secrets because of their hacking technologies then our government is deluding itself.”  This would also apply to the U.S. government’s ability to access others’ databases.  McAfee suggests that the U.S. Government is overly concerned with information on U.S. citizens.  The prevalence of data collection of private information has been revealed by Representative Maxine Waters.  Waters remarked:

The President has put in place an organization with the kind of database that no one has ever seen before in life.  That’s going to be very, very powerful.  That database will have information about everything on every individual on ways that it’s never been done before and whoever runs for President on the Democratic ticket has to deal with that. They’re going to go down with that database and the concerns of those people because they can’t get around it. And he’s [President Obama] been very smart. It’s very powerful what he’s leaving in place.”

Waters was referring to a database described as "Organizing for America."  This database was restructured as a 501(c)4  in 2012 and renamed "Organizing for Action."  Waters does not say this database contains information on only Democratic voters.  She says it “will have information about everything on every individual.”  A Washington Post article claims, “If you voted this election season, President Obama almost certainly has a file on you.”  The article continues to include the type of information the database will contain.  The description makes it appears very innocent.  However, you do not have to be paranoid to foresee abuse.  One only has to recall Hillary Clinton’s 1996 Filegate scandal.

The campaign to attribute the hacking to the Russians has been remarkably effective. This is illustrated by the large number of people who have accepted the government tale.  The media have been joined by Obama sycophants like Chuck Schumer, John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Paul Ryan.  When reporting on this situation they do not use the word “alleged.”  It is asserted that the Russians were responsible without qualification.  Sen. John McCain has called the alleged Russian cyberattacks an “act of war.” He almost appears belligerent enough to call for a nuclear response.  These threats should concern all Americans.  We know about the expulsion of 35 diplomats and the economic sanctions.  The more serious concerns are the details of the announced “covert” cyber attack on Russia.  Larry King asked McAfee, “What can the United States do?”  McAfee responded, “We could destroy every nation on the planet.”  This may be something of an exaggeration.  However, a cyber attack can be very damaging and Vladimir Putin my not be able to laugh off a more serious attack. 

McAfee believes that this attempt to blame the Russians, “is what the FBI and other agencies want us to believe so that they can manipulate our opinions.”  This reminds one of H.L. Mencken statement, “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”  Politicians like John McCain are aware of the cyber security situation.  They are intentionally trying to manipulate the public.

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