Friday, November 30, 2012

Digital Tunnel Democracy


I didn't really realize how important it was for President Obama to be re-elected until it happened.  It was one thing to elect the first kind of black president in our history, but Oh my, so much more important to re-elect him.  Once again, we were superstitiously at the same election night party we had been at in 2008.  And once again we celebrated and sang and danced with expensive champagne as the election was called.

Democracy had once again won.

Or did it?

Several days later, I saw a story that true or not was at least very fun to read.

Here is the gist thanks to the Free Press

Why Rove failed to deliver Ohio on Election Day: What happened in Ohio – this time around
November 12, 2012

Was the "fix" in on Election Day in Ohio? The questions surrounding Election Day activities in Ohio and Karl Rove’s now-infamous meltdown on Fox TV election night are causing a buzz in the election integrity movement.

Of course we do not know for sure what happened in Ohio – but we do know the circumstances were eerily similar to election tampering techniques the Free Press discovered after the 2004 election.

One major similarity was Rove's insistence to his colleagues on Fox News that the media consortium’s exit polls were wrong in Ohio. This is the same claim he made in 2004 concerning Ohio and 2000 in Florida.

Curiously, the Ohio Secretary of State’s vote tabulation website went down at 11:13pm, as reported by Free Press election protection website monitors, and mentioned by Rove on the news. This was one minute earlier than the time on election night 2004 -- when Ohio votes were outsourced to Chattanooga, Tennessee -- and then the vote flipped for Bush. This isn’t just a Free Press claim, but is well-documented by Vanity Fair Contributing Editor Craig Unger in his book Boss Rove.

This time, the Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) vote tabulation site went down as on election night as well.

In his rant on Fox, Rove argued that Fox News should not confirm Ohio for Obama until votes came in from the southwest Ohio GOP strongholds of Delaware, Butler and Warren counties and suburban Cincinnati. It was after the crash of the secretary of state’s site in 2004 that improbable vote totals came in from Republican counties in southwest Ohio – particularly Butler, Clermont, and Warren counties. These three counties provided more than Bush’s entire Ohio victory margin of 119,000.

Earlier in the day, I filed suit in both federal and state courts seeking to remove uncertified and untested “experimental” software patches from county vote tabulators in at least 25 Ohio counties. Election Systems & Software (ES&S) installed the last minute software on county tabulators linked to the secretary of state's office. Coincidentally, Warren and Cuyahoga counties were two of the counties targeted with the software patch.

When the Free Press investigated Bush’s implausible 2004 victory in Ohio, we discovered ES&S and Triad technicians had placed similar last-minute unauthorized patches on tabulators in an estimated 44 Ohio counties.

All the counties that Rove mentioned on Fox News had irregularities and funny numbers in 2004.

This time, the Fox exit poll number crunchers simply refused to listen to Rove, and well they should not have. While Rove was claiming that the outstanding vote in Hamilton County (Cincinnati), which went to Obama in 2008, should break 60%-40% for Romney –- the exit polls showed 55% for Obama. Obama actually gained 5% of the vote in Hamilton County after Rove made his absurd prediction. The outstanding vote was not in the white suburban areas which had voted early and without long lines, but rather in the African American urban districts where lines were long."

Was Rove hoping to flip votes like he did in 2004?

According to the hacktivist group "anonymous" the answer is yes. This story is from Brian Lynch.

Just a few weeks before Election Day, the hacktivist group Anonymous issued a video statement against Karl Rove.

In the video released prior to Election Day, Anonymous warns Karl Rove that he’s being watched. “We know that you will attempt to attempt to rig the election of Mitt Romney to your favor,” a black-robed figure in a Guy Fawkes mask says in the video. “We will watch as your merry band of conspirators try to achieve this overthrow of the United States government.”

The figure then warns Rove that Anonymous is “watching and monitoring all your servers,” and goes on to say, “We want you to know that we are watching you, waiting for you to make this mistake of thinking you can rig this election to your favor…If we catch you we will turn over all of this data to the appropriate officials in the hopes that you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Then, just two days after Election Day, as the Republican Party was in full-blown despair and Karl Rove was trying to figure out what went wrong, Anonymous released a press statement claiming it did indeed prevent an attempt by Rove to steal the election for Mitt Romney.

The statement reads, “We began following the digital traffic of one Karl Rove…After a rather short time, we identified the digital structure of Karl’s operation and even that of his ORCA. This was an easy task in that barn doors were left open and the wind swept us inside.”The “ORCA” that Anonymous is referring to in the press release is a massive, high-tech get-out-the-vote system created by the Romney campaign this year that will keep tabs on potential voters and coordinate with operatives to target who has and hasn’t voted yet on Election Day.

Romney’s Communications Director Gail Gitcho bragged about how sophisticated ORCA is saying, “At 5 o’clock when the exit polls come out, we won’t pay attention to that. We will have had much more scientific information based on the political operation we have set up.” In other words, ORCA will know who won Ohio better than any exit polls.

But, according to Anonymous, ORCA had nothing to do with getting out the vote and everything to do with rigging the vote.

“We coded and created, what we call The Great Oz. A targeted password protected firewall that we tested and refined over the past weeks. We placed this code on more than one of the digital tunnels and their destination that Karl's not so smart worker bees planned to use on election night.”

Anonymous alleges these “digital tunnels” were leading to servers in three different states. The release goes on to detail what happened on election night as Rove’s operatives attempted to access these tunnels. “We watched as Karl's weak corrupters repeatedly tried to penetrate The Great Oz. These children of his were at a loss-how many times and how many passwords did they try-exactly 105.”

“Karl’s speared ORCA whale was breached, rotting with a strong stench across his playground, unable to be resuscitated,” claims Anonymous.

So might this have really been the reason for Karl Rove’s shock on election night? Under the guise of sophisticated get out the vote operation, had Rove and the Republican Party actually built up a massive system to steal the Ohio election, just like in 2004, only to have it thwarted at the last minute by a group of computer hackers?

If this is true, then the implications are enormous and could take down the entire Republican Party and finally wake Americans up to the fact that our privatized vote system is shockingly flawed and insecure. 
In their press release, Anonymous concludes, “We have a warning for Karl – sail again at your own peril. We may just put all the evidence into a tidy little package and give it to a painfully bored nemesis hanging out in a certain embassy in London.”
As scary as this story is...and as unlikely true as it may be, its just fun to see the bad guys fry on national TV.

Almost as fun as this story. 

Which is most definitely true.


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