Russian hacking

Russian involvement in, and hacking of, the U.S. democratic election has been a major topic during this past presidential election. Many, including trusted and renowned news groups such as CNN, MSNBC, NBC, as well as other politicians, have speculated whether or not Russia had a role, on any level, in the election. 

On page 11 of the “US Intelligence Report” on Russia’s involvement with the previous election states, in bold lettering: “Putin Ordered Campaign To Influence US Election.”

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image from deprogramming101.com

This report was put together by top intelligence officials who testified in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee about the issue and their report. The opening sentence of the main report says, “We assess with high confidence that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election, the consistent goals of which were to undermine public faith of the US democratic system, denigrate US secretary Hillary Clinton, ad harm her elect-ability and potential presidency.”

President-elect Donald Trump has repeatedly disputed the allegation of Russian hacking, resulting in a direct impact of the outcome of the election. Trump has said, “They have no idea if it’s Russia or China or somebody. It could be somebody sitting in a bed some place,” with  “they” referring to the US intelligence Agency.

Trump, however, did briefly acknowledge the possibility of Russian involvement by saying, “it could be Russia” that hacked Democrats. “I don’t really think it is, but who knows? I don’t know either. They don’t know and I don’t know.”

However, they, the various intelligence agencies do know. We, the informed people know. Russia did work to try to impact the US election. “The General Staff’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) probably began cyber operations aimed at the US election by March 2016. We assess that the GRU operations resulted in the compromise of the personal email accounts of Democratic Party Officials and political figures.” It is safe to assume that the GRU is not a “morbidly obese fourteen year old sitting in their bed,” which was previously hypothesized by the future US President, Donald J. Trump.

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image from storypick.com

The report goes on to say, “Russian Intelligence accessed elements of multiple state or local electoral boards. Since early 2014, Russian intelligence has researched US electoral processes and related technology and equipment.”

The intelligence report also seems to anticipate that this will not be the only time Russia will try impact the US elections. “We assess Moscow will apply lessons learned from its campaign aimed at the US presidential election to future influence efforts in the United States and worldwide, including against US allies and their election processes. We assess the Russian intelligence services would have seen their election influence campaign at least a qualified success because of their perceived ability to impact public discussion.”

It is this writer’s opinion that Russia attempted to hack, impact, and manipulate the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential election, which has been clearly stated in the US Intelligence Report. It is so clearly, blatantly stated, that anybody, with the unfortunate exception of the future US president, is capable of understanding. Russia may not have been successful, but the mere idea of them being able to have the tools, and means, to manipulate the American democratic system is frightening. It is something we need to be aware of; something we need to know how to prevent. 

For a copy of the report, please click on this link.
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/01/read-us-intelligence-report-russian-hacking-2016-campaign

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