Funny how this dropped merely several days before electors vote (https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/obama-orders-review-of-russian-hacking-during-presidential-campaign/2016/12/09/31d6b300-be2a-11e6-94ac-3d324840106c_story.html?utm_term=.7baa6d300b9e). In any case, there is still a significant lack of demonstration of what evidence showcases such activity taking place. Just because an IP address or Internet hub seems to identify someone…or a place…as being Russian doesn’t mean that it is the case. Such things can be faked after all. At the same time, even if such an instance of hacking is proven to have taken place, that doesn’t necessarily invalidate what was released concerning emails, or that the American electorate couldn’t make up their own minds of what was going on. Whether such data is foreign or not is irrelevant in that case.
I would also add that the defense that such a thing must have happened simply because intelligence agencies said it did is a logical fallacy (appeal to authority). Intelligence officials aren’t infallible. They got wrong the circumstances regarding WMDs that justified the War in Iraq over a decade ago. The NSA has blatantly disregarded the Constitution in it’s spying on everyday Americans. Let us not also forget historical moments were they were either putting together or involved in activities that were outright insidious (http://io9.gizmodo.com/5838778/operation-northwoods-the-1960s-government-plan-to-fake-terrorist-attacks-on-the-us; http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/fbi-suicide-note-dr-martin-luther-king-jr-revealed-article-1.2009368), and were just plain off the mark (https://mises.org/blog/cia-has-always-been-incompetent). What should be focused on is the quality of evidence at hand, not just the identity of the reporters. Although at this point, considering it is a “secret” assessment, I’m sure ordinary civilians won’t get a look at the details. How convenient.
While we are on the subject of tinkering with election hacking, perhaps there can be further investigation into whether someone from our own government hacked into Georgia’s voter-data computers. In many cases, what we should be concerned with aren’t supposed threats beyond our shores…but those that are in our own backyards (such as our own leadership). After all, they are the ones that have the most immediate effect on our livelihoods – http://www.wsj.com/articles/georgia-reports-attempt-to-hack-states-election-database-via-ip-address-linked-to-homeland-security-1481229960
Some are making sense of the administration opening an investigation of whether the Russian government hacked us as if it is something new…or that Putin had an ulterior method of de-legitimizing our election process in allegedly ordering a hack to take place (which is kind of ironic considering the media playing up such charges without proven evidence plays right into that supposed aim). What isn’t really talked about in all that is the fact that the FBI had conducted an investigation a few weeks ago into such an alleged connection, and found nothing. Indeed such a conclusion isn’t beyond debate considering recent developments concerning the agency…or necessarily mean that hacking couldn’t have taken place…but just a reminder that the idea that there was a connection is hardly of consensus – http://ijr.com/wildfire/2016/12/752947-blockbuster-new-cia-report-says-trump-won-with-help-of-russians-but-fbi-investigation-tells-different-story/
Between this (https://theintercept.com/2017/01/04/washpost-is-richly-rewarded-for-false-news-about-russia-threat-while-public-is-deceived/) and the fact that the declassified version of a report concerning alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election has no actual corroborative evidence of such (except a curiously slanted focus on the network Russia Today, with particular attention to the fact that they focused on “third party candidate debates” and “alleged widespread infringement of civil liberties, police brutality, and drone use”…cause apparently having any ties to such concepts offers suspicion…how disquieting https://reason.com/blog/2017/01/06/report-on-russian-involvement-in-us-elec), the narrative concerning Putin’s Russia has reached ridiculous heights of late. Let us not forget that even if such a thing could be proven, that doesn’t necessarily prove significant on a global scale. No doubt nations across the world have hacked and spied on one another for as long as spying has occurred. The United States has had no qualms getting involved in international elections itself (https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/apr/22/barack-obama-brexit-uk-back-of-queue-for-trade-talks; http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/jul/12/obama-admin-sent-taxpayer-money-oust-netanyahu/; https://www.cato.org/blog/hypocrisy-election-interference; http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0738894216661190). Therefore, it isn’t quite clear why our leaders should take such a vapid attempt at moral superiority given such circumstances. What should instead be debated is what measures need to be taken to bring our public institutions to better secure grounds. How about opening up the marketplace toward innovation of technological capabilities in energy and security instead of crushing it under regulation? How about looking at companies like Apple that dabble in encryption growth as an asset instead of an enemy? That might do far more than continuing the mere saber rattling that hasn’t done much to protect our shores from further cyber attacks.