a reply to: keenmachine
So what's your solution? We should continue to do it and take action that other countries can't do it to us? None of it is ok.
Let me ask you this question:
* Would the US be justified in interfering in a hostile country's elections, if we can alter the result such that the US and its allies would be less
threaten by terrorist actions and military conflicts?
I think most people would agree that a covert move like that, as distasteful as it is, would be preferable to terrorism or warfare. Certainly many
conservatives and most Trump supporters believe that a "fighting them over there" offense is the best defense against their invasion of our
Why do you think NOW, after all this time is suddenly foreign influence is such a problem
With respect to why we are more aware of foreign influence in the US presidential election, I think this is the best opportunity they've had, to date,
to execute their attack. There have been social, cultural, political, and technological paradigm shifts in democratic Western nations that has left
us open to attack vectors that never existed before.
The Internet, and all of its socially connective agents like Facebook, has completely altered the ways that we interact with one another; as well as
where we go to meet our daily needs for news and information. It is a means by which our ability to enjoy our freedom of expression and liberty is
amplified beyond comprehension. But, by the same token, it has exposed weaknesses in that social order. So, the power of exploits that can now be
used against the electorate is also magnified significantly.
This target-rich environment provides an intruder the opportunity to construct a platform to disseminate disinformation and shape the narrative in a
way that suits its purposes. A well-funded covert operation can effectively launch a multi-channel, multi-layer, multi-dimensional cyber-psyops
campaign to subtly alter public opinion. That subtlety achieves it goals by a continuous stream of small, but well-placed, victories that excite the
supporters and introduce doubt in the minds of the detractors.
Hanging chads and confusing ballots in 2000 lead us to rush into using a variety of digital voting systems, most of which were not of good quality and
design. Some of them were so operationally faulty that it made it more difficult to vote in some precincts. Nearly all of them possessed some
security flaw that could compromise the outcome of its recorded vote. Yet, many localities were still using these machines in 2016 because they
didn't have the budget to get anything newer.
To be clear, I'm not suggesting there was any kind of widespread hacking of the voting infrastructure in 2016. However, we'll never really know if
the systems were hacked. There was very little, if any, hardcopy backup or other verification practices in place. And to the best of my knowledge
there is still no defined and approved standard of how modern elections should be conducted.
And in many cases this attack vector is still available to be exploited. After the 2016 election, rather than explore how the election process can be
conducted in a more verifiable fashion given our current technological infrastructure, the government convened a council to search for the phantom 5
million illegal votes that went to Hillary Clinton.
No military force on the planet could go toe-to-toe with the US military war machine. The only way to attack a much stronger enemy and win the day is
through asymmetric warfare. I looked for a good Sun Tzu quote
this one appears to most apply here:
The opportunity to secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy
So, an enemy with a much more restricted society is able to take advantage of our own values and freedoms, and then turn them against us by utilizing
the technology that has allowed us to more widely exercise them.
How do you defend against an enemy that can so brutally twist our freedoms in order to achieve a goal that is so contrary to the very foundation of
those principles. We view our freedom as God given, and enshrined in the sacred documents that underlie the foundation of our nations. We chafe at
any government effort to limit those freedoms. So, how do our leaders, those whom we elect to defend our values and principles, decide how those
freedoms are exercised?
I see some efforts on the part of the information and social platform business communities. I see some efforts on the part of some governmental
entities. Unfortunately, so far their effectiveness is at least questionable; and in the end their actions could be detrimental by inadvertently
filtering out valid criticisms and inconvenient facts.