The people who tend to believe in the notion of US exceptionalism the strongest, typically work for the United States Government. However, it is not unpatriotic to say, in my opinion, that maybe the United States is not the best at everything, ever, simply because we are America! I think this is certainly true for say, oh I don’t know, the average cyber security skills of any of the elderly folk currently working within our Government structure nationwide – on the Federal and State levels.
For example, “the internet” was invented when Diane Feinstein was well over 50 years old – now she pretends to be THE expert on technological encryption? – that is laughable in many ways, or maybe it is just the generational gap.
I have seen all the headlines today, that ‘Putin orchestrated/interjected Russian interests into the United States election‘ and this very well may be true to a degree – at least I do not think there is any way to entirely dispute this fact. But this is not necessarily “news” to those whom have already been paying attention.
For example, did you know that England has already banned banks from doing business with Russia Today in Britain – this summer? Or that the US Department of Defense Press Secretary essentially called a Russia Today journalist propaganda during a live interview? I bring up Russia Today specifically because this Russian press agency is a fairly popular web site – even in the United States.
So, there you have it, this proves “Russian” influence in the US news cycle, which happen to take place over the course of a national US election season, but that is not what everyone is talking about here necessarily – is it?
Most of the headlines today are focused around acts of “blackhat” hacking, malicious cuber attacks on/into US Government controlled infrastructure. What you might not know that perhapas this, indubitably, is a result of a person you might all have heard of before – Edward Snowden.
I am sure you have all drawn your own conclusions about this man by now, so I am going to share some alternative headlines with you about Russia that might paint a larger portrait of all the factors at play here.
First off, it wasn’t “Putin” himself whom orchestrated all of this, he does not have the cyber know-how to pull off world class hacks – but Edward Snowden sure does. Considering how much leverage Russia had to turn Snowden in, it is not exactly a stretch to imagine that the more Snowden revealed, the longer he was allowed to stay.
The influence of Snowdens presence on cyber security laws inside Russia is also clearly visible from the actions of the Russian Government. in 2015/2016 Russia went on to change many laws regulating their internet and the want it is used, they essentially patched the flaws/loopholes in the system, after it was revealed how to bypass/ hack through them after the arrival of Edward Snowden. Do you think it is coincidence Russia drastically started to crackdown on cyber security within the same timeline Russia sheltered Snowden?
Many of the everyday workings of “the internet” that most Americans commonly accept and/or take for granted are not freely available to people in Russia. Moreover, the internet in Russia itself is very closed off to the outside world. For example, it is far easier for Russia to advertise in the USA than it is for the USA to advertise in Russia. I could not easily reach the average person in the Russian public even if I wanted to, but they could reach more or anyone else very easily.
Russia bans websites like Linkdin, which have been in the news a lot this week after being sold for 26 Billion dollars: http://www.wsj.com/articles/eu-clears-26b-microsoft-linkedin-deal-1481040941
Russia also restricts access to other Social Media pages like Facebook and Twitter: http://thehackernews.com/2016/11/linkedin-ban-russia.html
Russia has officially banned Bitcoin, making it a felony to posses: http://news.softpedia.com/news/bitcoin-transactions-in-russia-could-carry-a-four-years-prison-sentence-501670.shtml
Russia even bans things like porn: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/09/russia-bans-pornhub-youporn-tells-citizens-to-meet-someone-in-real-life/
I think you get where I am going with this? By comparison, the internet of the United States is wide open to the outside world in a way that is not the case for other countries – such as Russia. As referenced by the articles linked above, Russia’s internet infrastructure has been getting closed off, abruptly and authoritatively, over the same time period the US electoral season was playing it self out and “allegedly,” being exposed/hacked/”haxxed.“. Another coincidence?
I am not surprised about all of the headlines this week ‘confirming Russian/Putin hacking‘ of the US election and I am not going to attempt to sit here and argue this is untrue – to some degree. I think about all of this in the sense of the internet inside the United States being completely “open,” meaning that the internet here remains a “free market.”
To end the whole argument, lets just say that all these reports are true, that all of these “Anonymous” CIA reports are accurate and that Russian hackers hacked several key Democrats early in 2016, to expose/smear/sabotage them later in 2016.
What I want people to understand is that is is almost irrelevant in a way because Russia did not “sell” anything in the US that the US public did not want to consume. As this whole “fake news” fiasco has taught us all, there are a lot of people in American society just who will read and/or believe just about anything.
This demonstrates a free market decision on behalf of the the US public and I do think it deflects at least some of the blame away from Russia and projects it onto the state of mind of the US public itself.
This is not to bring up the ethical question: is the US Government really going to sit there and call out Russia for something like this on the world stage, pretending like it has never hacked foreign governments itself?
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Categories: Hacking News