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Putin: Russia’s new Peter the cyber Great

Posted by on November 24, 2016.

PutinAnyone half as old as me will remember the reds under the bed. Well, they’re back; only now they’re in our computers – and fridges and cameras and light bulbs and anything else that is IP-enabled or Putin-reachable.

This is the message we’re getting from western media and western governments (who pretty much control the western media). And it’s scarily believable.

The story goes that having failed to turn the world red by coercion from the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation is now attempting the same by subterfuge. For example, the old USSR wanted to make the West socialist. It failed. Now Putin has realised he can achieve better results more easily by turning the west fascist — or at least right wing — and that this can be done with modern technology providing complete, if not necessarily believable, deniability. That way, the west will tear itself to pieces, and he can pick them up.

In this plot, we are led to believe that there were and are two primary aims. Firstly weaken the EU by fostering, and funding, right wing parties. Well, you only have to look at European politics to see that the right wing is stronger than it has been for many, many years. This growing nationalism has worked. Britain has brexited; and both the UK and Europe are already weakened by it.

The second target was and is to foster nationalism in the US to such an extent that white supremacists would gain the upper hand and the coloured and immigrant populations would be forced to fight back. This would require not just a Republican president, but a particular type of Republican president. And Putin would need to ensure his (or her, but let’s say his) election.

Beginning to see a picture here yet?

Today, J. Alex Halderman (Professor of Computer Science, University of Michigan) wrote in Medium,

2016 has seen unprecedented cyberattacks aimed at interfering with the election. This summer, attackers broke into the email system of the Democratic National Committee and, separately, into the email account of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, and leaked private messages. Attackers infiltrated the voter registration systems of two states, Illinois and Arizona, and stole voter data. And there’s evidence that hackers attempted to breach election offices in several other states.
Want to Know if the Election was Hacked? Look at the Ballots

These attacks have already officially been blamed on Putin and Russia. In fact, Halderman (and others) went further yesterday:

Clinton received 7 percent fewer votes in counties that relied on electronic-voting machines compared with counties that used optical scanners and paper ballots.
Experts Urge Clinton Campaign to Challenge Election Results in 3 Swing States

Put the two together and the conclusion is simple: Donald Trump won the US election courtesy of Vladimir Putin; who is now sitting back waiting for the United States to pull itself to pieces in the same way as Putin-inspired forces are pulling the European Union apart.

Is it true? Well Russia would say that the Wolves of Wall Street are doing worse in their own way to Russia. And western law enforcement agencies are using Russian cyber aggression to demand and justify increasingly draconian (think IP Bill in the UK) surveillance laws. Who to believe? Problem is the Wolf has already cried Peter far too frequently to be easily believable.

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