Journalism

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
dnc, dnc hack, hack, journalism, news, russians

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wikileaks



Whether Or Not Russians Hacked DNC Means Nothing Concerning How Newsworthy The Details Are

from the sony-hack-redux dept

As you almost certainly know by now, on Friday Wikileaks released a bunch of hacked DNC emails just before the Democratic Presidential convention kicked off. While Wikileaks hasn't quite said where it got the emails, speculation among many quickly pointed to Russian state sponsored hackers. That's because of the revelation last month of two sets of hackers breaching the DNC's computer system and swiping (at the very least) opposition research on Donald Trump. Various cybersecurity research firms, starting with CrowdStrike, which was hired by the DNC to investigate, pointed the finger at the Russians.

Of course, whether or not you believe that may depend on how credible you find the big cybersecurity firms like CrowdStrike, FireEye and Mandiant (the big names that always pop up in situations like this). For what it's worth, these guys have something of a vested interest in playing up the threat of big hacks from nation-state level hackers. For a good analysis of why this finger-pointing may be less than credible, I recommend two articles by Jeffrey Carr, one noting that these firms come from a history of "faith-based attribution" whereby they are never held accountable for being wrong -- and another highlighting serious questions about the designation of Russia as being responsible for this particular hack (he notes that some of the research appeared to come pre-arrived at that conclusion, and then ignored any evidence to the contrary).

Still, the claim that the data came from the Russians has become something of a story itself. And, of course, who did the hack and got the info is absolutely a news story. But it's an entirely separate one from whether or not the leaked emails contain anything useful or newsworthy. And yet, because this is the peak of political silly season, some are freaking out and claiming that anyone reporting on these emails "has been played" by Putin and Russia. Leaving aside the fact that people like to claim that Russia's behind all sorts of politicians that some don't like, that should be entirely unrelated to whether or not the story is worth covering.

And yet, we already have stories arguing that "Putin weaponized Wikileaks to influence" the US election. That's ridiculous on multiple levels. Wikileaks releases all kinds of stuff, whether you agree with them or not. And the idea that this will actually impact the election seems... unlikely. Is the (not at all surprising) fact that the DNC is fully of cronyism and favoritism really suddenly going to shift voters to Trump? Of course, Wikileaks implicitly threatening someone with legal action for saying there's a connection between Russia and Wikileaks is pretty ridiculous as well.

To some extent, this reminds me of some people who freaked out over the Sony Pictures hack, a while back. There the culprit blamed was North Korea, a claim that at least many people remained skeptical of. But, even so, there were some (including Sony) who tried to argue that no one should report on the contents of the emails because it would somehow support the North Korean regime's goals.

That's laughable.

Yes, whoever is behind such hacks is a story. But it does nothing to lessen or impact whether or not the leaked emails themselves are newsworthy. Arguing against anyone publishing stories about them just because they may have begun with Russian hackers is just a way of desperately trying to block embarrassing stories about the DNC from getting published.

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  • identicon
    Jake, 25 Jul 2016 @ 8:42am

    So Right

    A-fucking-men. I'm seeing a lot of Hilary lovers clutching their pearls today now that it's obvious the primary was rigged. Sorry, it's doesn't matter if Putin himself did it at Trump's command. The story is that the DNC rigged the election via email and got caught. If they hadn't rigged the primary, there would have been nothing for "Russia" to embarrass them with.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Jul 2016 @ 8:51am

      Re: So Right

      now that it's obvious the primary was rigged


      zzzzzz..... skunth... what?

      It was obvious a couple of centuries ago. Too bad a lot of people were too stupid to see it until now, heck some still do not see it.

      In fact, George Washington... the very fucking first and most badass president we have ever had talked about it in his farewell address.

      The very idea of a political party IS to corrupt and rig elections. They also drive Americans apart and do no good for the nation.

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    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 25 Jul 2016 @ 10:23am

      Re: So Right

      Remember back in 2000 - not 2008, but 2000 - when McCain was still his own man? Anyone running for office as a Republican was given what was essentially a loyalty oath, stipulating that they would support George W. Bush in the forthcoming primaries exclusively, and not McCain, and if they didn't agree, the Party would withhold its financing from their election bid.

      Good thing the primaries weren't rigged though. Unlike this year when even the guy WON the RNC primaries says that they were rigged.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Jul 2016 @ 10:35am

      Re: So Right

      The rigging didn't seem like much more than the republican rigging against Trump. Not that it says much... When that is said, organising such crap is stupid to begin with.

      By the way, if you have followed the democratic primary process you would not be surprised by this. The democratic caucuses were absolute farces of, if not illegal, highly immoral obstructionism against Sanders.

      This presidential cycle has been quite a farce: Trump is completely empty politically and an asshole. Clinton has got some very dirty political past and is a criminal (moral, if not legal!). None of them would be even remotely electable in any other circumstance!

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 25 Jul 2016 @ 10:45am

        Re: Re: So Right

        Probably the same kind of people that think anyone in the DNC is fit for even the lowliest of offices.

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      • icon
        nasch (profile), 26 Jul 2016 @ 9:47am

        Re: Re: So Right

        The democratic caucuses were absolute farces of, if not illegal, highly immoral obstructionism against Sanders.

        He did very well in the caucuses, it's the primaries where Clinton won.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Jul 2016 @ 12:26pm

      Re: So Right

      I'm seeing a lot of Hilary lovers clutching their pearls today now that it's obvious the primary was rigged.

      Umm... No, just No, the emails reveal no such thing.

      The fact is Hillary Clinton beat Bernie Sanders by 3 million votes out of over 23 million votes cast. See the below link if you don't believe me.

      http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-system-isnt-rigged-against-sanders/

      The DNC didn't even run the elections in the first place either, so they couldn't rig the outcome by removing Bernie Sander voters or adding Hillary Clinton votes.

      Plus even if the DNC changed the delegate selection rules to one of the following
      -The same as the GOP's rules.
      -Winner takes all state-wide.
      -Winner takes all by congressional district.
      -No Super Delegates
      -Super Delegates bound to vote for whoever wins their state
      -Super Delegates bound to vote for whoever wins their congressional district

      Bernie Sanders STILL loses.

      If you were to give Sanders the Democratic nomination you'd be disenfranchising the majority of voters who cast a ballot in the Democratic primary this cycle.


      Should the DNC have been a lot more neutral and impartial then they were? Yes definitely. But that's a FAR cry from them rigging the elections, or claims that Hillary Clinton would have lost the nomination without them.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 25 Jul 2016 @ 12:54pm

        Re: Re: So Right

        You're ignoring the effect of the Democratic Party's actions. The superdelegates declared for Hillary before Bernie even announced his candidacy. That is influential.

        The DNC fed negative stories to national media outlets to sway voters. I've seen a whole bunch of posts from individuals over the last several months in which they said something to the effect of, "I liked Bernie Sanders, but [insert DNC/Clinton campaign-originating article here]." This undisclosed (though obvious) collusion with supposedly neutral media outlets put Bernie at a significant disadvantage. You may or may not be swayed by media reports, but a lot of people are. The whole fiction of chair throwing at the NV convention is still being passed along as truth to make Sanders' supporters look bad.

        You're ignoring that the DNC may not run every primary and caucus, but they do set the tone for the state party committees. Regardless of whether there was any voting fraud, the fact that allegations of fraud were ignored when the DNC got its desired outcome in favor of Clinton is another advantage Clinton got from it. The answer to any dissenting complaints was almost always, "move on, nothing to see here."

        DWS specifically helped Clinton in the much-criticized scheduling of the debates. Even allowing a former Clinton campaign co-chair pretend to be neutral was an inherent flaw within the judgment of the DNC. The fact that Clinton has now given DWS another position on her campaign shows Clinton has no problem with DWS because her actions helped Clinton.

        Even when rules were followed by the DNC and the state committees, the rules are rigged to support the entrenched powers, so the system is rigged by the rules already enforcing an inequitable system. They are rigged by nature, regardless of outcome. They'd still be rigged even if Bernie won the nomination.

        It's entirely possible the Clinton may have gotten more of the vote had there been a neutral DNC and a neutral media and an equitable and open primary/caucus system in every state, but you can't actually know that, so claiming it as a certainty is just opinion.

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  • icon
    orbitalinsertion (profile), 25 Jul 2016 @ 8:57am

    Putin and Russia do a lot of stuff. But it's always amusing to see them blamed for an insane variety of things that have about as much credibility behind them as Russia's own propaganda.

    No one is even trying anymore.

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    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 25 Jul 2016 @ 9:17am

      Re:

      Because in Soviet Russia the Internet hacks you.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Jul 2016 @ 9:19am

      Re:

      I'm amused that in our rush to always blame someone else our elected officials have granted Putin superpowers he doesn't posses.

      At some point the people will get scared and demand we do something about the big old scary superbear and at that time our elected officials will have to face the lies they keep spinning.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jul 2016 @ 9:06am

    the commies are coming

    OH NO commies hacked your emails form crap tech you want to back door....by law.....perfect example why security and encryption are needed for everyone.....

    and whats in those emal how much the establishment hated bernie and didnt want him ...now they gone handed it to trump..id vote for trump over her any day....

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    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 25 Jul 2016 @ 9:19am

      Re: the commies are coming

      The joys of a bipartisan system. Who to choose? A bigot that has no clue about what he's doing or the corrupt puppet corporate America, the establishment has chosen? Ah the doubt.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonmylous, 25 Jul 2016 @ 10:02am

      Re: the commies are coming

      You say it sarcastically but this is the reason behind the FUD: older people are more likely to vote. Older people grew up with the threat of communism and a Russian invasion. This is purely to get that demographic to ignore the contents of the cache release and dismiss anything about them as a plot by the Russkies.

      In that light, its actually a kind of brilliant reaction. Disgusting of course, but brilliant.

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  • icon
    Yakko Warner (profile), 25 Jul 2016 @ 9:09am

    If you can't fight the message, fight the messenger

    It's a classic example of misdirection. If you can put the focus on discrediting the messenger, then people will assume the message itself is meaningless. It's why people dismiss right-wing arguments by accusing the speaker of getting his information from "Faux News" and left-wing arguments by claiming they're from the "liberal-controlled MSM", for example.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jul 2016 @ 9:14am

    I've been yelling this article's point at my computer screen all weekend. If the DNC hadn't done nefarious shit and communicated about it over an insecure medium, there'd be nothing for whoever, Russian-sponsored or otherwise, to hack and release! This is shooting the messenger - the same way Edward Snowden was blamed for endangering Americans when it was the illegal and nefarious actions by the government that he exposed that had done that.

    I don't care if the email leaks came from Satan himself. If the content is factual, it's relevant.

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    • identicon
      Satan, 25 Jul 2016 @ 9:22am

      Re:

      Son, I would not expose things done by my underlings. It must be that awful God and His minions. This smells Gabriel all over. That pest.

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    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 25 Jul 2016 @ 10:28am

      Re:

      > I don't care if the email leaks came from Satan himself. If the content is factual, it's relevant.

      Assuming that Trump publicly agrees with this, I hope that someone will ask him if he'll pardon Snowden.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jul 2016 @ 9:28am

    Politicians anc corporations have a vested interest in convincing people that hacking is hard. While it takes some skill to find and write exploits, their ready availability means that anybody who can search the net, and edit scripts, can indulge in a bit of hacking.

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  • icon
    lars626 (profile), 25 Jul 2016 @ 9:34am

    and then...

    When do we get to see the RNC emails on Wikileaks?
    Those ought to be Really interesting. Especially the ones from the last couple of months.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Jul 2016 @ 10:15am

      Re: and then...

      Who needs to see RNC emails to know that neither Trump nor anyone else in the RNC should ever be elected chair of the local co-op, much less president?

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    • identicon
      redr0bin, 25 Jul 2016 @ 3:23pm

      Re: and then...

      At least the RNC made it completely obvious it was working against Trump. The Dem's tried to hide it and then got surprised when no one was fooled.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jul 2016 @ 10:07am

    The blunt facts of the matter is that dirty laundry is dirty laundry. That someone broke in to hang it out where everyone can see does not change that fact. Nor does the identity of who did the breaking and entering, whether it was North Korea, Russia, or the Devil himself.

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jul 2016 @ 10:14am

    Are you...
    Are you stupid?



    The issue with the emails being Russian, is that they've intentionally cherry picked emails from long email chains to share.



    Like that one email about Bernie's religion. It's missing the previous email, and the response to that email.


    If the context was something like, "Could Bernie's religion hurt us in the general election? Maybe we should ask this question at a town hall, and see if it has a major impact on his numbers?". And then a reply email saying, "Don't be stupid, we're not going to do that" completely changes the email.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Jul 2016 @ 10:21am

      Re:

      It would be smart to actually research before you spout nonsense like this. They released 19,000 emails on Wikileaks. It's not like they released 4 emails. The news organizations are combing through and finding the most newsworthy/damning and reporting on them.

      And here's the email thread you're referring to, just so you don't continue to delude yourself that it could have been about protecting Sanders in a general election. The email thread started by Marshall saying:

      It might may no difference, but for KY and WVA can we get someone to ask his belief. Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.

      https://wikileaks.org/dnc-emails/emailid/7643

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  • identicon
    RRob, 25 Jul 2016 @ 10:20am

    FYI - Mandiant/FireEye

    FireEye owns Mandiant, for about 2.5 years now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 25 Jul 2016 @ 10:21am

    And yet, we already have stories arguing that "Putin weaponized Wikileaks to influence" the US election. That's ridiculous on multiple levels. Wikileaks releases all kinds of stuff, whether you agree with them or not. And the idea that this will actually impact the election seems... unlikely.

    Yup. If the hackers (whoever they are) had truly wanted to influence the elections, they'd have released it a few months ago, while the primaries were still going on and there was a chance to change things.

    Right now, looking at the facts of the matter, Hillary has no chance, embarrassing leaks or no embarrassing leaks.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Jul 2016 @ 10:31am

      Re:

      You are kidding right? She wanted to be up against Trump. Probably because they have enough evidence against him to ensure that he will never be elected. As long as she stays in the election, she is going to win.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Mason Wheeler (profile), 25 Jul 2016 @ 11:03am

        Re: Re:

        The people who aren't voting for Hillary tend to hate her. There are a huge number of them. The people who are, though, tend to grudgingly admit that she sucks but she's better than the alternative.

        The people who aren't voting for Trump tend to hate him. There are a huge number of them. The people who are, though, tend to be very enthusiastic about it and honestly believe he's the change that America needs.

        I could point to a few dozen other factors, but I really don't need to. Based on that alone, Hillary has no chance.

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        • identicon
          Wendy Cockcroft, 26 Jul 2016 @ 5:45am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I'm hoping that a Trump win will reset the system. It really does need to change.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 26 Jul 2016 @ 9:43am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The only thing a Trump win will do is get him impeached before his four years are up, the Republicans won't win the next election, and the US will enter a new economic downturn because the markets will jump off a bridge on November 9th.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          nasch (profile), 26 Jul 2016 @ 10:15am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Based on that alone, Hillary has no chance.

          Sounds like you haven't thought about the electoral system much. Even if Trump has more supporters and more enthusiastic supporters, it still depends on where the voters are. He is going to lose big in New York, California, and Texas (Hispanic vote). Lots of electoral college votes in those states alone. I think he'll have a tough go in Florida at best. His support among blacks is right around zero in some polls, which makes some other states challenging for him. He has basically no organization at all, no TV advertising, and no ground game.

          Basically his only support is among conservative whites, particularly the less educated, which is a smaller group than ever before, and the less educated vote less than the more educated. Those voters that he might turn out to vote for him in large numbers who haven't been voting recently mostly live in deep red states that will go for whoever the Republican is no matter what. So they won't make a difference.

          "At the moment, [Trump] is running on par with Romney’s 17-point margin with white voters during his race against Barack Obama. It was not enough for Romney; Trump would need more, and though he succeeds with white voters without a college degree, he is doing worse than his predecessor among those with a diploma."

          He has a steep uphill climb to win this. I won't say he has no chance, but in my opinion your assessment is way off.

          http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/missing-white-voters-might-help-trump-but-less-so-where-he-n eeds-it/

          https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jun/11/donald-trump-hillary-clinton-disaffected-vot ers

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Mason Wheeler (profile), 26 Jul 2016 @ 12:15pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            New York and California are traditionally liberal states that the Republicans wouldn't have won anyway. Texas is just the opposite, and do you really think there are enough Hispanics there to change the equation? (They're called "minorities" for a reason.)

            You'd be hard-pressed to find a more committed far-left ideologue than Michael Moore, but even he says the numbers add up:


            Midwest Math, or Welcome to Our Rust Belt Brexit. I believe Trump is going to focus much of his attention on the four blue states in the rustbelt of the upper Great Lakes – Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Four traditionally Democratic states – but each of them have elected a Republican governor since 2010 (only Pennsylvania has now finally elected a Democrat). In the Michigan primary in March, more Michiganders came out to vote for the Republicans (1.32 million) that the Democrats (1.19 million). Trump is ahead of Hillary in the latest polls in Pennsylvania and tied with her in Ohio. Tied? How can the race be this close after everything Trump has said and done? Well maybe it’s because he’s said (correctly) that the Clintons’ support of NAFTA helped to destroy the industrial states of the Upper Midwest. Trump is going to hammer Clinton on this and her support of TPP and other trade policies that have royally screwed the people of these four states. When Trump stood in the shadow of a Ford Motor factory during the Michigan primary, he threatened the corporation that if they did indeed go ahead with their planned closure of that factory and move it to Mexico, he would slap a 35% tariff on any Mexican-built cars shipped back to the United States. It was sweet, sweet music to the ears of the working class of Michigan, and when he tossed in his threat to Apple that he would force them to stop making their iPhones in China and build them here in America, well, hearts swooned and Trump walked away with a big victory that should have gone to the governor next-door, John Kasich.

            From Green Bay to Pittsburgh, this, my friends, is the middle of England – broken, depressed, struggling, the smokestacks strewn across the countryside with the carcass of what we use to call the Middle Class. Angry, embittered working (and nonworking) people who were lied to by the trickle-down of Reagan and abandoned by Democrats who still try to talk a good line but are really just looking forward to rub one out with a lobbyist from Goldman Sachs who’ll write them nice big check before leaving the room. What happened in the UK with Brexit is going to happen here. Elmer Gantry shows up looking like Boris Johnson and just says whatever shit he can make up to convince the masses that this is their chance! To stick to ALL of them, all who wrecked their American Dream! And now The Outsider, Donald Trump, has arrived to clean house! You don’t have to agree with him! You don’t even have to like him! He is your personal Molotov cocktail to throw right into the center of the bastards who did this to you! SEND A MESSAGE! TRUMP IS YOUR MESSENGER!

            And this is where the math comes in. In 2012, Mitt Romney lost by 64 electoral votes. Add up the electoral votes cast by Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. It’s 64. All Trump needs to do to win is to carry, as he’s expected to do, the swath of traditional red states from Idaho to Georgia (states that’ll never vote for Hillary Clinton), and then he just needs these four rust belt states. He doesn’t need Florida. He doesn’t need Colorado or Virginia. Just Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. And that will put him over the top. This is how it will happen in November.


            That was point 1 of his recent article, "5 reasons why Trump will win." Points 2-4 basically cover the same ground as the point I made above, that Trump has a decided edge in constituency enthusiasm. Don't underestimate this; it means he's likely to win the voter turnout game hands-down!

            And point 5 is that he represents real change. Remember how many people voted for Obama's "hope and change" and ended up getting 8 years of more of the same? Hillary's the ultimate insider, but whatever else you may say about Donald Trump, he's anything but "politics as usual!" (Sure, he represents a horrible, chaotic, destructive change for the worse, but he undeniably represents real change, and that's good enough for a lot of people, and a lot of voters!)

            I don't like it, but I think Moore's right more than he's wrong with these points.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 31 Jul 2016 @ 5:54pm

        Re: Re:

        God help us if that she devil and her tom cat get in the white house

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jul 2016 @ 10:32am

    ?

    "Whether Or Not Russians Hacked DNC Means Nothing Concerning How Newsworthy The Details Are"

    Aka "The end justifies the means". Okay. Let's apply the same concept to other typical TD stories:

    "Whether or not parallel reconstruction is a bad thing means nothing when the bad guy obviously deserved to get locked up because terrorism/children/drugs/walking-while-black"

    "Whether or not the governent concealed evidence from the defence means nothing when the defendant was obviously innocent as we now discover after he's been rotting in jail 30 years"

    "Whether or not the NSA spied on everyone means nothing concerning how newsworthy the leaked juicy details are about my boss/mother/ex-gf/children/congresscritter."

    "Whether or not DMCA takedowns are valid means nothing when they get all that nasty free-speech stuff off the internet as well as all that Shakespeare crap (because, obviously, I hated my English teacher).

    I think I'm getting the hang of it.

    (No horse in this race before anyone says anything, I am a furriner)

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 25 Jul 2016 @ 10:44am

      Re: ?

      Nice try, but no. The point is that whether it was a nefarious plot by those dirty commies or just some bored hackers the contents of the emails remain the same, and as such remain just as newsworthy no matter who got them.

      It has nothing to do with 'Ends justify the means' thinking and everything to do with 'the source doesn't really matter so long as the contents are legitimate'.

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    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 25 Jul 2016 @ 11:25am

      Re: ?

      Aka "The end justifies the means". Okay. Let's apply the same concept to other typical TD stories:


      No, not saying the ends justify the means. Simply pointing out that whether or not the info is newsworthy doesn't depend on who released the info or their motives.

      The other examples you cite are totally different and all have to do with actual due process.

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    • icon
      techflaws (profile), 25 Jul 2016 @ 10:22pm

      Re: ?

      I think I'm getting the hang of it.
      Yeah.... no.

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    • icon
      Jeremy Lyman (profile), 26 Jul 2016 @ 5:10am

      Re: ?

      There's a big different being tried in a court of law vs tried in the court of popular opinion.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jul 2016 @ 10:34am

    Perhaps Thiel + Palantir ?

    How to get to speak at the RNC, by P. Thiel.

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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 25 Jul 2016 @ 10:35am

    "Don't be conned by them, be conned by us!"

    And yet, because this is the peak of political silly season, some are freaking out and claiming that anyone reporting on these emails "has been played" by Putin and Russia.

    Leaving out of course the fact that those that don't cover the leak because it supposedly came from those dirty commies is being played by the DNC. As the article and numerous others have noted, content matters, who it came from not so much. It's a laughable attempt to try and deflect attention away from said contents, and disappointing that anyone bought it, but I suppose politics are politics...

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  • identicon
    Stosh, 25 Jul 2016 @ 10:39am

    "the (not at all surprising) fact that the DNC is full of cronyism and favoritism"

    This is news?!?! A breaking story...LOL

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  • icon
    bureau13 (profile), 25 Jul 2016 @ 11:17am

    Ummm...no

    The big story IS the apparent fact* that the Russians are behind this. No, that doesn't mean the content shouldn't be reported, or that it's not itself a big story, because of course it is. But Russians hacking the DNC, releasing info to WL and then setting up a false flag "lone hacker" story is absolutely massive.

    *Plenty of credible evidence points at the Russians. Where is your alleged evidence that does not?

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    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 25 Jul 2016 @ 11:46am

      Re: Ummm...no

      The big story IS the apparent fact* that the Russians are behind this. No, that doesn't mean the content shouldn't be reported, or that it's not itself a big story, because of course it is. But Russians hacking the DNC, releasing info to WL and then setting up a false flag "lone hacker" story is absolutely massive.

      Did you read my post? I said both things may be a story, but my post is specifically responding to the allegations that no one should report on the emails because it aids the Russians.

      *Plenty of credible evidence points at the Russians. Where is your alleged evidence that does not?


      Linked in the story that you apparently didn't read. Though I agree that it's likely the Russians, there are still some questions remaining.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 25 Jul 2016 @ 12:30pm

        Re: Re: Ummm...no

        This comment should probably be its own article, and maybe I'll write it up as one. But, briefly:

        - The amount of money available to finance a hack like this is enormous.

        - The DNC clearly did not and does not now understand even the basics of how to operate its IT securely. I'm looking at a job ad for a DNC security expert and one of the things it requires is AWS. Um...no. Because -- see comment above about money -- any competent attacker is already waiting there. They've already hacked every plausible cloud provider OR they've simply purchased some of the personnel. The DNC should be setting up their own dedicated hardware, with a lot of attention to its physical security.

        - Given the money available, and given that the DNC doesn't know what it's doing, it would hardly take a master hacker with the backing of a major government to pull off this hack. One disgruntled insider could easily do it, for example.

        - Attribution is not a solved problem in security.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          nasch (profile), 26 Jul 2016 @ 10:25am

          Re: Re: Re: Ummm...no

          They've already hacked every plausible cloud provider...

          Are you saying it's possible to hack Amazon once, and then have access to every current and future EC2 virtual machine ever created? If so, that sounds extremely implausible and like you probably don't know much about AWS architecture. Or if not, what do you mean?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jim, 25 Jul 2016 @ 11:28am

    But:

    Love it! Someone overseas wanting to decide our election. Damn, love it. Russia? China? Better yet some company that works there? That's not afraid of eliminating others, they have done it. Does not like peace, makes money off war. That don't narrow it down much. But they have controlled the US since korea, I wonder if they are located in the subject area?
    I would say, it sounds as if someone cherry picked some emails? Political motive, to sew up votes? Create distention? Nah! Who? Assange is a puppet. So who?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jul 2016 @ 11:48am

    Of course it's a weaponized leak!

    Just like every 'leak' to every news organization in history.

    Leaking damaging things is part of the stock in trade of politics, domestic or foreign. Here they're just indulging the the 5-year-old's classic whine that 'he hit me back, that's not fair!'

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jul 2016 @ 11:53am

    Depends --

    for when that wiki leaks.

    (Just be glad you don't need a catheter.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Robert P (profile), 25 Jul 2016 @ 1:10pm

    Who did the hacking isn't the important part

    I agree that it's not terribly important who got the data. What struck me was reading that it's possible that they (Russia) modified the data. I think that changes the value and credibility of what was released. If it can be proved that one page was changed or created, what does that say for the rest of the data?

    http://motherboard.vice.com/read/all-signs-point-to-russia-being-behind-the-dnc-hack#

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Jul 2016 @ 9:31pm

      Re: Who did the hacking isn't the important part

      Not one word has been refuted and a blanket public apologiy has been issued with no caveats.
      That should tell you something.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jul 2016 @ 4:48pm

    I Doubt Any Hacking Actually Happened Anyway

    The idea that any real "hacking" happening is absolutely laughable. Those emails show a couple-dozen political ducks with no technical knowledge forwarding marketing emails their friends got and making dumb remarks like "It begins". I'd wager someone sent them an email with an attachment labelled "familyphotos.tar" and one of these idiots opened it.

    This isn't like picking a lock, this is like telling the home alone toddler you have candy. Don't call it being hacked if you're too dumb to use a computer.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Scott (profile), 26 Jul 2016 @ 3:09am

    Cherry Pick Much?

    Ok. This is bad on several levels. First just a couple of stories previous you seem to take issue with Turkish emails that WL released that contained private info, but dont care to mention that WL failed to redact all of the donor info in these emails ss#'s names and addresses as well as credit card numbers. That in and of itself is enough to despise them. Dont try to tell me they could not have redacted innocent people's info and still reported the story. Now, about the story (or non story). Bernie was telling everyone this was happening months ago and they acted accordingly. So it really isnt big news. Most people see DWS as beyond inept so her firing is not a sad day for almost anyone (only wish it had been sooner).
    As for Russia, as the day has proceeded there is much more evidence being presented that Russia was indeed involved, and that the Trump campaign has some unmistakable ties to Putin via Paul Manafort or the Trump organization itself which is highly leveraged to Russian Banks since he cant get financing. You site Jeffery Carr yet his reporting has received a thorough takedown from Josh Marshall. You should check the links and generally do a less sloppy job of reporting than you did on this one (something I will say you rarely do...but you are way off here).
    Link for original reporting
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/trump-putin-russia-connections
    The response to Carr
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/the-trump-and-putin-thing-a-detailed-response

    Josh Marshall has been on this from the beginning questioning the cozy Russian ties. You'd do well to read both

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 26 Jul 2016 @ 6:21am

      Re: Cherry Pick Much?

      You site Jeffery Carr yet his reporting has received a thorough takedown from Josh Marshall. You should check the links and generally do a less sloppy job of reporting than you did on this one (something I will say you rarely do...but you are way off here).

      FWIW, the links you point to are a takedown of a totally different article by Jeffrey Carr, and not the two links I gave.

      I made no mention of Marshall's argument because that's totally unrelated to the question of whether or not Russia was behind the hack.

      Josh Marshall has been on this from the beginning questioning the cozy Russian ties. You'd do well to read both


      I had read both already. Neither have any impact on this story. They are about something different.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Jul 2016 @ 9:32pm

      Re: Cherry Pick Much?

      Josh is a party hack, has been for some time.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mason, 30 Jul 2016 @ 11:47am

    Consequences

    I don't care about the context of the emails because it wasn't meant for me to read. Whoever stole them should be punished and whoever shared them Wikileakes should be punished and shut down. End of Story.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Scott F, 30 Jul 2016 @ 4:35pm

    Though slightly tangent to point of article

    Though slightly tangent to point of article, there's something I find fascinating.
    Let's see here:
    DNC was hacked. Clinton campaign was hacked. Office of Personnel Management was hacked. IRS was hacked more than once. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had websites hacked. US Postal Service was hacked. Veterans Administration was hacked, text from databreachtoday, "Since 2010, hackers from other nations, including China and perhaps Russia, have repeatedly breached Department of Veterans Affairs computers containing unencrypted data on some 20 million veterans, the chairman of a House panel said at a June 4 hearing." There's this from NBC in 2014, "Much of the State Department's unclassified email system is out of commission after "activity of concern" was detected recently, a senior official told NBC News on Sunday. It's the latest of several acknowledgments that sensitive government systems have been successfully targeted." There's this from CNN, "How the U.S. thinks Russians hacked the White House." There's this from the Wall Street Journal, "Obama administration personnel are among a larger group of people who have had their computer systems hacked in recent weeks, including journalists and academics, the officials said. Those attacked in the administration included officials working at the State Department’s Office of Iranian Affairs and its Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs." There's this from the LA Times, "Computer hackers constantly take aim at the Defense Department, and they’ve been successful a few times at defacing websites and reaching into networks where they don’t belong."
    And yet the Secretary of State's private server existed in an unhackable alternate universe.
    Fascinating.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Steve, 12 Aug 2016 @ 11:20pm

    DNC Hacked but not RNC?

    Seems strange so much time spent hacking DNC emails but nothing heard about RNC. Apparently hackers think RNC not relevant or are saving their hacked emails for a more useful time.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chris, 2 Nov 2016 @ 5:04pm

    Russians hacking

    The fact that the democrats are blaming the wiki released e-mails on the Russians is disturbing because it goes into the narrative that she shouldn't have been using a private server because it might get hacked by a foreign government ---hello --so your saying your private server was hacked. By a foreign government--hmmmmm??

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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