Saturday, December 29, 2012

Anonymous and the Supposed Hack.

Anonymous and the Supposed Hack.

Some DUers are gleefully celebrating Anonymous having supposedly thwarted some nefarious election manipulation. Since there is no evidence that such a thing happened, except for a rambling, fact-free announcement by someone claiming to represent Anonymous, I will simply ignore that.

What I won't ignore is the glee some are expressing that a third party organization is claiming to have interfered with a US election. The ORCA system was designed to improve communications with GOP campaign workers on election day. The software in the voting machines and tabulation system in Ohio is another thing altogether.

If Anonymous hacked ORCA, that would be bad enough. If they hacked the actual software used by the state of Ohio, that is shocking and alarming. That it is even possible to hack such a system should be shocking and alarming. For those who think having a third party organization of any kind manipulating the computer system involved with any state's election process is even a marginally good idea, please think again.

Does Anonymous have the good of the United States in mind and would it never, never doing anything to disrupt an election? Would it be just fine if it manipulated the election toward the Democratic side? Would that be a good thing? It would not. It would be a horrible thing.

I maintain that it does not matter one bit what the motivation of a third party organization is when it comes to interfering with an election in this country. Now, I don't believe for a minute that the script kiddies of Anonymous actually did any such thing. They're good at DDOS scripts to interfere with operations of websites, but are almost certainly not competent to actually do what was claimed. So, that's not really the issue for me.

The issue for me lies in the celebration of some of the idea that this actually might have occurred. There is nothing "white hat" in interfering with the software used by a state in its elections. Any such attempt or actual manipulation is a terrible thing. That it could even happen is frightening in a way that should alarm us all.

The GOP showed its incompetence in the misbegotten ORCA system. If, in fact, there had been some sort of plan to flip the votes in Ohio, the GOP was incompetent in that as well. But Anonymous has no business screwing with any election software or process. Period. I don't think they actually did, but to cheer such a thing is the height of folly.

We either have fair elections or we do not. Whoever manipulates an election to change the results in any way is a felon of the worst kind, since such actions take away our freedom to choose our leaders. Anonymous, the GOP, or anyone else who attempts such a thing is nobody to cheer. No way. We should not cheer any such activities. Instead, we should condemn all such activities. Let's have fair elections. Let's create a system where no such manipulation is possible, but let's not cheer any interference, even if we believe that those interfering are on our side. That's not the point. Next time, they may be on another side. Let's eliminate the possibility altogether.

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