Foisting Blame for Cyber-hacking on Russia

Exclusive: Cyber-criminal efforts to hack into U.S. government databases are epidemic, but this ugly reality is now being exploited to foist blame on Russia and fuel the New Cold War hysteria, reports Gareth Porter.

By Gareth Porter

Recent hearings by the Senate and House Intelligence Committees reflected the rising tide of Russian-election-hacking hysteria and contributed further to it. Both Democrats and Republicans on the two committees appeared to share the alarmist assumptions about Russian hacking, and the officials who testified did nothing to discourage the politicians.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, following his address to the UN General Assembly on Sept. 28, 2015. (UN Photo)

On June 21, Samuel Liles, acting director of the Intelligence and Analysis Office’s Cyber Division at the Department of Homeland Security, and Jeanette Manfra, acting deputy under secretary for cyber-security and communications, provided the main story line for the day  in testimony before the Senate committee — that efforts to hack into election databases had been found in 21 states.

Former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson and FBI counter-intelligence chief Bill Priestap also endorsed the narrative of Russian government responsibility for the intrusions on voter registration databases.

But none of those who testified offered any evidence to support this suspicion nor were they pushed to do so. And beneath the seemingly unanimous embrace of that narrative lies a very different story.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has a record of spreading false stories about alleged Russian hacking into U.S. infrastructure, such as the tale of a Russian intrusion into the Burlington, Vermont electrical utility in December 2016 that DHS later admitted was untrue. There was another bogus DHS story about Russia hacking into a Springfield, Illinois water pump in November 2011.

So, there’s a pattern here. Plus, investigators, assessing the notion that Russia hacked into state electoral databases, rejected that suspicion as false months ago. Last September, Assistant Secretary of DHS for Cybersecurity Andy Ozment and state officials explained that the intrusions were not carried out by Russian intelligence but by criminal hackers seeking personal information to sell on the Internet.

Both Ozment and state officials responsible for the state databases revealed that those databases have been the object of attempted intrusions for years. The FBI provided information to at least one state official indicating that the culprits in the hacking of the state’s voter registration database were cyber-criminals.

Illinois is the one state where hackers succeeded in breaking into a voter registration database last summer. The crucial fact about the Illinois hacking, however, was that the hackers extracted personal information on roughly 90,000 registered voters, and that none of the information was expunged or altered.

The Actions of Cybercriminals

That was an obvious clue to the motive behind the hack. Assistant DHS Secretary Ozment testified before the House Subcommittee on Information Technology on Sept. 28 (at 01:02.30 of the video) that the apparent interest of the hackers in copying the data suggested that the hacking was “possibly for the purpose of selling personal information.”

A busy tourist scene in St. Petersburg, Russia. (Photo by Robert Parry)

Ozment ‘s testimony provides the only credible motive for the large number of states found to have experienced what the intelligence community has called “scanning and probing” of computers to gain access to their electoral databases: the personal information involved – even e-mail addresses – is commercially valuable to the cybercriminal underworld.

That same testimony also explains why so many more states reported evidence of attempts to hack their electoral databases last summer and fall. After hackers had gone after the Illinois and Arizona databases, Ozment said, DHS had provided assistance to many states in detecting attempts to hack their voter registration and other databases.

“Any time you more carefully monitor a system you’re going to see more bad guys poking and prodding at it,” he observed, “because they’re always poking and prodding.” [Emphasis added]

State election officials have confirmed Ozment’s observation. Ken Menzel, the general counsel for the Illinois Secretary of State, told this writer, “What’s new about what happened last year is not that someone tried to get into our system but that they finally succeeded in getting in.” Menzel said hackers “have been trying constantly to get into it since 2006.”

And it’s not just state voter registration databases that cybercriminals are after, according to Menzel. “Every governmental data base – driver’s licenses, health care, you name it – has people trying to get into it,” he said.

Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan told Mother Jones that her I.T. specialists had detected 193,000 distinct attempts to get into the state’s website in September 2016 alone and 11,000 appeared to be trying to “do harm.”

Reagan further revealed that she had learned from the FBI that hackers had gotten a user name and password for their electoral database, and that it was being sold on the “dark web” – an encrypted network used by cyber criminals to buy and sell their wares. In fact, she said, the FBI told her that the probe of Arizona’s database was the work of a “known hacker” who had been closely monitored “frequently.”

James Comey’s Role

The sequence of events indicates that the main person behind the narrative of Russian hacking state election databases from the beginning was former FBI Director James Comey. In testimony to the House Judiciary Committee on Sept. 28, Comey suggested that the Russian government was behind efforts to penetrate voter databases, but never said so directly.

Former FBI Director James Comey.

Comey told the committee that FBI Counterintelligence was working to “understand just what mischief Russia is up to with regard to our elections.” Then he referred to “a variety of scanning activities” and “attempted intrusions” into election-related computers “beyond what we knew about in July and August,” encouraging the inference that it had been done by Russian agents.

The media then suddenly found unnamed sources ready to accuse Russia of hacking election data even while admitting that they lacked evidence. The day after Comey’s testimony ABC headlined, “Russia Hacking Targeted Nearly Half of States’ Voter Registration Systems, Successfully Infiltrating 4.” The story itself revealed, however, that it was merely a suspicion held by “knowledgeable” sources.

Similarly, NBC News headline announced, “Russians Hacked Two U.S. Voter Databases, Officials Say.” But those who actually read the story closely learned that in fact none of the unnamed sources it cited were actually attributing the hacking to the Russians.

It didn’t take long for Democrats to turn the Comey teaser — and these anonymously sourced stories with misleading headlines about Russian database hacking — into an established fact. A few days later, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff declared that there was “no doubt” Russia was behind the hacks on state electoral databases.

On Oct. 7, DHS and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a joint statement that they were “not in a position to attribute this activity to the Russian government.” But only a few weeks later, DHS participated with FBI in issuing a “Joint Analysis Report” on “Russian malicious cyber activity” that did not refer directly to scanning and spearphishing aimed of state electoral databases but attributed all hacks related to the election to “actors likely associated with RIS [Russian Intelligence Services].”

Suspect Claims

But that claim of a “likely” link between the hackers and Russia was not only speculative but highly suspect. The authors of the DHS-ODNI report claimed the link was “supported by technical indicators from the U.S. intelligence community, DHS, FBI, the private sector and other entities.” They cited a list of hundreds of I.P. addresses and other such “indicators” used by hackers they called “Grizzly Steppe” who were supposedly linked to Russian intelligence.

A wintery scene in Moscow, near Red Square. (Photo by Robert Parry)

But as I reported last January, the staff of Dragos Security, whose CEO Rob Lee, had been the architect of a U.S. government system for defense against cyber attack, pointed out that the vast majority of those indicators would certainly have produced “false positives.”

Then, on Jan. 6 came the “intelligence community assessment” – produced by selected analysts from CIA, FBI and National Security Agency and devoted almost entirely to the hacking of e-mail of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta. But it included a statement that “Russian intelligence obtained and maintained access to elements of multiple state or local election boards.” Still, no evidence was evinced on this alleged link between the hackers and Russian intelligence.

Over the following months, the narrative of hacked voter registration databases receded into the background as the drumbeat of media accounts about contacts between figures associated with the Trump campaign and Russians built to a crescendo, albeit without any actual evidence of collusion regarding the e-mail disclosures.

But a June 5 story brought the voter-data story back into the headlines. The story, published by The Intercept, accepted at face value an NSA report dated May 5, 2017, that asserted Russia’s military intelligence agency, the GRU, had carried out a spear-phishing attack on a U.S. company providing election-related software and had sent e-mails with a malware-carrying word document to 122 addresses believed to be local government organizations.

But the highly classified NSA report made no reference to any evidence supporting such an attribution. The absence of any hint of signals intelligence supporting its conclusion makes it clear that the NSA report was based on nothing more than the same kind of inconclusive “indicators” that had been used to establish the original narrative of Russians hacking electoral databases.

A Checkered History

So, the history of the U.S. government’s claim that Russian intelligence hacked into election databases reveals it to be a clear case of politically motivated analysis by the DHS and the Intelligence Community. Not only was the claim based on nothing more than inherently inconclusive technical indicators but no credible motive for Russian intelligence wanting personal information on registered voters was ever suggested.

Seal of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Russian intelligence certainly has an interest in acquiring intelligence related to the likely outcome of American elections, but it would make no sense for Russia’s spies to acquire personal voting information about 90,000 registered voters in Illinois.

When FBI Counter-intelligence chief Priestap was asked at the June 21 hearing how Moscow might use such personal data, his tortured effort at an explanation clearly indicated that he was totally unprepared to answer the question.

“They took the data to understand what it consisted of,” said Priestap, “so they can affect better understanding and plan accordingly in regards to possibly impacting future election by knowing what is there and studying it.”

In contrast to that befuddled non-explanation, there is highly credible evidence that the FBI was well aware that the actual hackers in the cases of both Illinois and Arizona were motivated by the hope of personal gain.

Gareth Porter is an independent investigative journalist and winner of the 2012 Gellhorn Prize for journalism. He is the author of the newly published Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare.

83 comments for “Foisting Blame for Cyber-hacking on Russia

  1. erichwwk
    July 5, 2017 at 11:04
  2. Onno
    July 3, 2017 at 15:51

    The big difference between Russian & US politicians are that the Russians use their brains before they speak & Americans ONLY use their BIG MOUTH or as they say diarrhea of the mouth! Another complication with the Americans is that because their limited intelligence they can’t remember very well what they’ve said. Therefore they use spokespersons to try explaining the lies of their bosses.

  3. NEWS
    July 3, 2017 at 13:45


  4. NEWS
    July 3, 2017 at 13:41


  5. July 3, 2017 at 10:44

    Fucken America is the only one country who create all troubles on this planet. It has its CIA-NSA operating on all countries. Let the whole world embargo that state. It is the only peacefull way to avoid the ultimate apocalypse…

  6. exiled off mainstreet
    July 3, 2017 at 10:11

    Are you sure of the government goon’s name: is it “Samuel Liles” or is that a misprint? The Guardian, before it was neutered in the last several years, gained the nickname “the Grauniad” or “the graun” because the press-men were known for strategic often comic misprints. In this case the obvious one is “Samuel Lies”, but the import of the end result of this anti-Russian posturing has the same level of black comedy as Slim Pickens riding the bomb down to Russia in “Dr. Strangelove.” The deep state elements of this conspiracy such as Liles are, in fact, traitors to civilization and life itself.

  7. July 3, 2017 at 09:51

    Sometimes it feels like we’re Cassandra’s progeny. Every major industrialized “western” state is involved in cyber-intelligence activities and counter activities but none more so than the United States, none more frequently or with a higher budget. And they would be derelict in their responsibilities not to do so. But intelligence gathering is very different from manipulation of voting results. In a globalized society, every state has a responsibility to provide its political perspectives to voters in leading “democracies” (I use the term loosely), especially with reference to the government that claims to lead the world. But the US intelligence agencies and their flunkies in the mainstream media and the self serving losers at the Democratic Party torture that into purportedly inappropriate interference. Did everyone forget Radio Free Europe, and Radio Marti, and the myriad other US information and disinformation generating projects? Were they also inappropriate?

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  8. Hank
    July 3, 2017 at 09:39

    Not appropriate

  9. July 3, 2017 at 07:03

    CitizenOne, thank you for that link on “The Money Powers”. The quotes are very interesting, Lincoln very aware what was happening with corporate powers. I also was thinking of how poor the voting turnout is in the US, because so many people have lost all faith in this system. I know many people who don’t bother to vote.

  10. Michael
    July 3, 2017 at 06:59

    I don’t see any hard evidence in this story either, and now after a few months we’re starting to read about Russia as victim (again). Moles of all stripes are emerging from the woodwork – American Fascists and Soviet apologists. Best to let it all wash over and live your life.

  11. Realist
    July 3, 2017 at 01:21

    The whole thing is clearly just a crock. What motive would Russia possibly have for trying to help either side in an American election when both Republicans and Democrats quite vociferously loath Russia, its leadership and its people beyond the bounds of all reason? No candidate of either political party is going to forward Russian interests one Planck Length (1.6 x 10^-35 m). Why should Russia assist some backstabbing assassin from either party? Makes no sense whatsoever. The more likely explanation for all the hacks would be American participants trying to game the system to their own advantage, and then leaving breadcrumbs leading to some innocent bystander. The whole thing is just more of the usual Dem vs GOPer intrigue. Instead of each blaming the other as typical, both think they are oh so clever to blame the Russians now. If the public falls for it they are as stupid as the media.

    • DFC
      July 3, 2017 at 14:46

      It makes a lot of sense getting big oil Trump elected, so he can open the American petroleum tap, driving petroleum prices downward, the very thing the Russian economy depends on. Putin would have to be an idiot to do that.

      • Beard681
        July 5, 2017 at 15:19

        Well, HRC did call Putin Hitler, and her behavior (vast conspiracies, imaginary Bosnian snipers, sinister frogs, channeling Caesar in Libya) belied deep psychotic tendencies. Maybe they were acting out of pure self preservation…

  12. whiteylockmandoubled
    July 3, 2017 at 00:08

    Hold on a minute. Voter registration information is all public. These files are widely for sale by the registrars themselves.. Any marginally competent campaign consultant has voter registration lists for the entire country in their servers. Google “buy voter lists” and you’ll see page after page of vendors.

    They have to be public. That’s called “transparency.” It’s the first, second, third and fourth lines of defense against voter fraud. For those of you who have ever volunteered on a political campaign, where do you think that snazzy printed walk list, or cool phone app comes from? So why the fuck would the Russians risk getting caught for something that they can buy for what would be pennies to them?

    If people are trying to hack voter registration databases for the purposes of extracting information, it’s people who are too poor, stupid or cheap to buy the data.

    The other possibility is that the spy agencies are lying and people have been trying to hack the data to manipulate outcomes. But the spooks have all the political incentive in the world to allege manipulation. In fact, as the article points out, Comey keeps baiting and switching to get reporters to write that there is manipulation even though the documents not only present no evidence of it, when carefully read they don’t even include allegations of manipulating outcomes. This whole voter reg “hacking” issue is a triple decker nothingburger.

    And as for the apoplexy about Silicon Valley in these comments, sure, technically many states and localities have laws against using voter reg information for commercial purposes — most places only allow you to use it for electoral or advocacy work. But get over yourself. When you register to vote, your registration becomes public, and it SHOULD be public. In what world would secret, government-controlled voter registration work? Do Silicon Valley and Wall Street illegally include voter file data with their other commercial data to develop their intrusive profiles of you so ads that are just creepily close enough to your preferences and just enough off to show that it’s a machine running an algorithm will pop up on your screen? Probably. But we’re talking about information that is literally for sale on the web every second of every day — Apple and Google are not hacking the voter files ffs.

    This is all much ado about very much nothing.


  13. Drew Hunkins
    July 2, 2017 at 23:47

    Even if the Kremlin did “hack” into Killary’s emails (of course fair-minded, cosmopolitan thinkers fully understand Moscow did no such thing, despite the breathless shrieking from NPR, Rachelle Maddow, CNN and MSDNC) what was divulged from the accessed info, and thereby provided to the public, was a totally plausible picture of a craven politician totally beholden to Wall Street predators.

    It was a rare and invaluable truth-trip doled out to the American people. Wikileaks deserves a drink on all of us.

    That Killary recently had the effrontery to hide behind accusations of misogyny as to why she should not be held accountable (“men gave speeches to Wall St and I gave speeches to Wall St… “) was one of the more shameless and disgraceful displays of self-serving b.s. I’ve seen in quite some time. It was as disturbing a use of the dead-end of identity politics as one is to likely ever witness.

    • exiled off mainstreet
      July 3, 2017 at 10:16

      Another weakness in the “Russia hacked and then disclosed Hillary’s emails” theory is that, granted, they likely have the ability to hack it, but they have the ability to hack almost everything in all likelihood. Why then would they limit the disclosure to Hillary’s emails when they could expose all of the malevolent workings of the yankee power structure? May be they ought to comb through what they’ve got and release this evidence, which, after all, is based on true materials which probably should be disclosed in the name of justice, fair play, and posterity’s interest in the truth.

    • DFC
      July 3, 2017 at 14:42

      Imagine if the WaPo got hold off Putin’s incriminating emails and dribbled them out to the Russia populace a month before their elections, ensuring his defeat. The WaPo would be up for the Nobel Peace Prize, and World Democracy / Transparency / Putlitzer Prize award as well as the original hacker getting a job with the NSA. I guess if it is Putin exposing the corruption he gets no such consideration. ** And Putin would have to be a little stupid on top that, why try to get pro oil Trump elected, when you have the goods on Hillary and can blackmail her Presidency by threatening to expose her. It is all backwards!

  14. Bill
    July 2, 2017 at 23:15

    Let’s step back for a minute and look at who started this whole pile of nonsense regarding the Russians. First it was Hillary Clinton, and then it was the Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama. They both knew that the whole thing was a lie. They did it to hurt Trump without regards to other consequences. That is the big hidden story here

    • Drew Hunkins
      July 3, 2017 at 00:17

      Spot-on Bill.

    • exiled off mainstreet
      July 3, 2017 at 10:17

      That is both the elephant and 800 pound gorilla in the Russian room.

  15. mike k
    July 2, 2017 at 22:14

    What do we have here in the USA? Government by liars and con artists who are also thieves and murderers.

  16. July 2, 2017 at 20:47

    Heavens, interference in our vaunted democracy, unparalled in the world! Homelessness in every state, college debt burdening every student who tries to get a degree in order to get an unlikely job that doesn’t exist, prisons filled up with minorities often for very minor crimes, hunger of school children whose parents can’t afford enough food or pay for school lunches, jobs unavailable as they are downsized or robotised, medical systems so burdened they don’t work anymore…. And we are to believe that Russia is interested in our state voting records? More of this bad joke from our non-functional government which does what?
    …nothing but talk nonstop about blaming Russia for their failures! These people are very, very sick and ought to be under psychiatric care.

    • Beard681
      July 5, 2017 at 15:14

      No. It is good politics. You can’t win an argument, change the subject.

  17. nancy Gillard-Bartels
    July 2, 2017 at 20:35

    Russia continues to request participation with Western powers, and has on so many occasions come to their aid. Clearly, these same powers are bigoted and aggressive toward Russia. The reality is that the US is administered by a group of lying, waring, and imperialistic elite, supported by a group of sold-out “journalists”. Thank you, Gareth Porter for providing intelligent investigative reports.

  18. Leslie F
    July 2, 2017 at 20:30

    Thanks Mr. Porter. I was hoping someone would take on the state election databases storyline. It’s really annoying, but I think someone has to keep debunking this junk as it arises. I guess the latest is the supposed hacking of a voting machine software vendor. The Deep State never stops, it goes from one ridiculous claim to another even more fantastical.

  19. Patrick
    July 2, 2017 at 20:02

    People should be made aware that the US is not going to provide proof to the media. That would be the same as asking for satelite pictures of the BUK missile when it crosses the Russian border. The US will not provide such information because it doesn’t want to expose how much they know and to what level of detail they know things. Why not? Well otherwise countries can work arround the detection mechanisms. But, knowing the size of data that they have at the NSA and the intelligent tracking mechanisms that they have, their intel will be highly accurate. For sure more accurate then what the Russian defence minister is passing to Putin.

    • David Ryan
      July 2, 2017 at 20:21

      And yet they can’t keep their tools of the trade in their own backyard, give it to the global hacking community so they can use it for their own gain.

      • Patrick
        July 4, 2017 at 11:45

        The way to make sure that you get the truth from your government is free-speech and freedom-of-press. The proper way to hide secrets is to throw political opponents and critical journalists in jail, or kill them,..
        Now you can figure out yourself what country belongs where. It’s not so difficult, a 12year old child can check it. And the level of punishment the 12 year old child will get is also indicating much. My guess is that if the 12 year child goes to the capital, stands in the middle of the market and holds up a sign saying: president is a stupid power hungry fool! And the xxxxx should be replaced by the local presidents name. Lets test it out in Washington, Berlin, Istanbul, Moscow, Beijing, Pyongyang, Seoul, Grozny, Brussels,..

        • July 4, 2017 at 18:50

          OMG you are a blatant troll…go get your check from Hillary and go away…

          Im really tired of your “poor lil USA” hasnt done anything wrong pony-show…

          at least get a new script to paste eh?

    • Sam F
      July 2, 2017 at 22:08

      One should not uncritically accept an all-purpose excuse to cover up lies alleging info that clearly does not exist.

      There is no such BUK missile information:
      1. Such information can be provided with modifications or explanations to avoid revealing new technology;
      2. No foreign government would act on the assumption of no new technology, so it would seldom matter;
      3. The only info that would be protected would be that revealing specific persons or device locations, not necessary for satellites;
      4. If there were personal sources on MH-17 that could be revealed by now as they would be protected;
      5. If the Dutch inquiry cannot understand Russian radar data, they would not understand newer US sources.

      As to tracking hacking attempts,
      6. Apparently all transmitted information allowing source tracking can be faked and is regularly faked;
      7. There is nothing that cannot be revealed except particular equipment locations and undercover staff;
      8. Agents in RIS would be highly paid and motivated to source politically useful info, making them suspect;
      9. An honest agent in RIS would be unlikely to know more than rumors about effectiveness of hacking efforts;
      10. Russia has for years been the standard blame-target of all kinds of internet hackers covering their tracks: I have seen this myself in falsely-registered domain names and server locations;

      Further, there is no reason to hack voter registration databases:
      11. That info is not useful; if they wanted to predict they would use the same tools the political parties use;
      12. Voter registration info in no way influences an election; there is no statement that registrations were altered;
      13. Why not hack voting machines?

      You are claiming to be an insider in stating that “People should be made aware that the US is not going to provide proof to the media.” But you have not offered any evidence at all, nor any technical information at variance with what I have said.

    • Brian
      July 2, 2017 at 23:36

      I can assure you all major countries know about our detection mechanisms, just as we know about theirs.
      Another twist to this story is the fact that we don’t even know if the DNC was hacked or not. The servers have never been investigated.

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 3, 2017 at 10:22

      Patrick, with all due respect leaving your inquiry left unanswered due to National Security protection, is a certain slippery slop. It’s stuff like this that hides such accusations as the Russians did the MH17 disaster, and that is not only unfortunate, but it’s criminal to boot. A longtime ago I worked while in the Navy with classified information, and I guarded it well, extremely well, but I also know that the citizen must push ever harder to make their government reveal the truth. It maybe a game, but it is an important game to participate in, unless you put trust in something which may possibly be working against your interest,

      I’m not real sure where you are going with your trust, but I just had to interject my thoughts here for you to think about what I had to say to you. With that I’ll leave you to it, and you have a wonderful morning, and a healthy day. Joe

  20. F. G. Sanford
    July 2, 2017 at 19:46

    This whole saga reminds me of one of those “sea stories”. It’s a recurring theme. A guy shows up to work on monday morning with his face all bruised up, maybe a black eye and a fat lip. Somebody asks him what happened, and it’s always the same story:

    “I was sitting in this bar, minding my own business, and these three guys…”

    These victims never get their ass kicked by just one guy. It’s always two or three. So here we have Comey, Clapper, the DNC, Podesta, Clinton and all the alphabet soup agencies, and they can’t admit that some low-life living in his grandmother’s basement hacked their stuff. They can’t admit that the banks, the insurance companies, financial institutions, local and state governments, and healthcare entities are all vulnerable to threats against which these agencies are completely impotent. They can’t admit to that. It must have been some worthy adversary…like Leroy Brown, or Evander Holyfield, or Bruce Lee, or Bud Spencer…or Putin. Yeah, Putin. That’s the ticket, it was Putin…

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 3, 2017 at 01:07

      I always went along with those other guys and their big whale stories, as long as they were buying. When I’m buying, not so much.

      For those people you mentioned and their careerist agencies to admit to defeat against anything other than a Super Power would be beneath them. I must add that by us only having a careerist corporate owned media, that their trustworthiness doesn’t help to get out the real news….like when news was reported by news people, investigative journalists who really did investigate on location. Stupid stuff, because Rachel does so much better, we all exist in ‘Make our own Reality World’. Our whole society feels like we are in a suspended surreal continual animated stage, and we can’t get out. John Lennon was right, ‘and nothing is real’.

      On a happy note, I’ll see you here next time next article…Joe

    • Bernie
      July 3, 2017 at 02:53

      Hillary’s emails were released by an insider in the DNC to Wikileaks. No Russians involved.

      All the recent ransom wear hacks are obviously the work of some teenage criminals working out of Romania. Or maybe Russia. Who knows. Why they can’t track the money paid is bewildering. Is bitcoin really that anonymous? The fact that hackers can do something this basic and nobody can track the source shows that our intelligence services have no idea what’s going on.

    • Gregory Herr
      July 3, 2017 at 12:52

      Bad, bad Leroy Brown…the baddest man in the whole damn town!

  21. GM
    July 2, 2017 at 19:37

    The simple truth is that attribution, unless the perp makes a grievous error, is almost always impossible, as any honest expert will acknowledge.

  22. July 2, 2017 at 19:33

    The focus on Russia is a bit ironic when one considers Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States buy influence by funding our think tanks from which we get our dubious “experts”. One only needs to cite Trump’s recent trip to Riyadh to note the quid pro quo and yes, the Saudi’s generous funding of the Clinton Foundation leads one to believe Hillary’s MidEast policy wouldn’t be much different. In the end it seems to be the neocons in the “intelligence” agencies that run foreign policy.

  23. Joe Tedesky
    July 2, 2017 at 19:07

    What amazes me, is that if you question the Warren Report or the 911 Commission Report you are a conspiracy theorist, but if you don’t go along with the Russian hacking charge you are Un-American. Maybe Un-American is a little too harsh, but then that leaves you to be accused of being a Trump supporter, or a Putin apologist. This is all a concerted effort to delegitimize the Trump White House, but with all of that I ask you why when Trump leaves you with so much more to work with, other than going down this uneventful path of Russian interference in U.S. politics, would you not criticize him over the things he does everyday. I will avoid going through the list of Trump’s transgressions, and leave you readers to reflect upon his many unpresidential acts, and his questionable conflicts of interest, but why pick on the Russians.

    My own feelings to why Russia is being targeted for all kinds of acts of aggression, is that the big money to be made inside the Miltary Industrial Complex is to gear up our offenses to confront Russia. I mean the average jihadist so far as I know doesn’t have a huge collection of nuclear warheads to pick from, but Russia does. How else could the U.S. Government justify sinking a trillion dollars into nuclear warhead updated technology, if Russia or China isn’t a threat? If Putin were the president of Italy nothing would be said about him, other than he’s one heck of an ally (Un pizzico di un alleato).

    • Steven Yourke
      July 2, 2017 at 21:35

      Anyone who disputes the official narrative is labeled a “conspiracy theorist”; but anyone who disputes the official conspiracy theory is called a traitor.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 2, 2017 at 23:00

        I get it all the time Steven. Most people I talk too about the JFK, MLK, or RFK, assassinations take what I tell them pretty well, but still they continue to believe the official story. For many people Lee Harvey Oswald will always be the killer of John Kennedy. A lot of people are unaware that in 1999 a Memphis jury found that the government was involved in the assassination of Martin Luther King, but who knows that? Thane Eugene Cesar will probably never be named as the killer of Robert Kennedy, since Sirhan Sirhan has served the purpose he was intended to serve in regard to the murder of the 1968 presidential candidate, which took place 49 years ago.

        Now when it comes to bringing up the conspiracy of 911 people get angry, and insist that a crime such as 911 was would have come undone, since someone by now would have talked. If you reference the Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth (AE911Truth) most people just give you a funny look, and then they fluff it off as professionals just trying to make a name for themselves. Doesn’t matter that many of these architects and engineers have loss employment over their quest for the truth. I tell people if nothing else they should go on YouTube and watch ‘Loose Change 911’, but then that gets blown off as anything can get made over anything. Frankly I think people are reluctant out of fear, because if they knew the truth then they would be helpless to do anything about it.

        With all of that though these same people I have been referring to seem to fall hook line and sinker for the Russia-Gate story. I question these Russia-Gate believers for the lack of any evidence, and all I get in return is Putin is bad, and he is a Russian thug. If you really want to piss these people off, tell them that Russian athletes aren’t dopers.

        The only thing that is consistent with these stories I tell you, is that the public believes what the Main Stream Media tells them over what some alternative website has to say. They don’t know of Robert Parry, Ray McGovern, Paul Craig Roberts, or Tony Cartalucci just to name a few well respected authors who write mostly on the internet. The only way any of this could be resolved, and made better, is if we in America were to have a honest and truly small but objective and diverse news media. Until that day comes we will need to put up with, or better yet ignore, the corporate owned MSM that we now have….truth is now a commodity.

        • Brad Owen
          July 3, 2017 at 07:35

          I’ve been ignoring the MSM since the early nineties. I spewed out the libertarian Koolaid(Privatization&Deregulation nonsense) the same time, as I saw it leave the people disarmed, unprotected, and vulnerable to the Oligarch onslaught. The Bush-Gore shenanigans told me something big & bad was afoot. Then I read on EIR that LaRouche said “be ready for some kind of Reichstag Fire event” to trigger the coup upon our Constitutional Republic. We officially entered our Fascist police-state era on Sept. 11th. The september event was an Anglo-Saudi funded operation, with US cooperation, to seal the takeover by Synarchist financial cartels (mostly Inter-Alpha Group run from City-of-London). There. Spelled out. What to do about it isn’t clear. If enough people would stop gnawing on their “hate-America” bone long enough to consider a solution for a problem that LONG predates even the existence of USA, and has indeed ENGULFED us as it has Europe (for CENTURIES), we might begin to effect a solution. 1776 was just the first attempt that had legs and really took off…but finally sputtered out the the post-war era.

          • Joe Tedesky
            July 3, 2017 at 09:09

            I’m no historian, but the few real historians I have met over my lifetime would agree with you, Brad. It all makes sense when you take into consideration inheritance. Much gets passed down from father to son, as family status plays a big part. The best thing us little people can do, is keep a rag in our hand, and always look busy.

            Stay well Brad Joe

    • CitizenOne
      July 2, 2017 at 22:18


      My answer is a repeat but since our Orwellian media has no problem playing Big Brother with Big Lie propaganda I will not feel ashamed of repeating myself here.

      You asked a question:

      “This is all a concerted effort to delegitimize the Trump White House, but with all of that I ask you why when Trump leaves you with so much more to work with, other than going down this uneventful path of Russian interference in U.S. politics, would you not criticize him over the things he does everyday. I will avoid going through the list of Trump’s transgressions, and leave you readers to reflect upon his many unpresidential acts, and his questionable conflicts of interest, but why pick on the Russians.”

      Here is my (repeated) answer.

      It is called diversion.

      “Look over there, is that a Russian spy plane up there in the clouds?” as the politicians and charlatans separate you from your money. The defense budget goes up and up and up. We taxpayers fund it to the tune of 582 billion dollars this year with an anticipated 4.6% increase next year. It is roughly double the size of China our next competitor and fully ten times as big as Russia’s.defense budget.

      Plus the twofer you get since it diverts attention away from all the real systematic problems with our elections. We are chasing wild geese while ignoring all the efforts by the conservatives to control the election process by any means possible.

      Obviously nobody even cares not even on this website about Citizens United or McCutcheon vs FEC. Nobody is doing anything about black box voting. Instead the administration is trying to get more people involved in chasing wild geese with wildly unsubstantiated claims that Trump would have won in a landslide if not for the millions of illegal immigrants who voted for Hillary. There is some action on Gerrymandering and even the Scalia puppet has some heartache over it.

      The bottom line is Russia is just one big distraction to draw attention away from the seriously screwed up mess the politicians have placed us all in.

      When most folks feel more sorry for billionaires and their “unfair” tax burden than the folks who have nothing we are in trouble.

      We have exited stage left, passed by the prophets, and are ready to march to war rather than face our demons. Probably not going to end well.

      A quote from “The Money Powers”

      When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.

      Frederic Bastiat – (1801-1850) in Economic Sophisms

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 2, 2017 at 23:24

        Thank you CitizenOne for expounding on what I said about the military spending distraction. I also like how you interjected into the conversation we’re having, the voting diversion, and I think you are right. I think of ‘diversionary tactics’ every time I stand in a TSA line at some airport, and I wonder why we citizens put up with it.

        One time while sitting at a overcrowded gate at the airport I met a very nice older couple, actually I’m their age too. The guy for some reason started talking about the TSA line, and how it scares his wife, but then he suddenly shrugged and said, but it’s all necessary to keep us safe from the Muslim terrorist. That’s when I had had enough, and I said, nothing will get better until we all grow a pair and just march on up into that plane. The man giggled a bit, and then he said I must be crazy or brave. I’m neither, I just know that 911 for no matter what you believe to who done it, was used as a vehicle to place controls on the American people, and that’s a fact….just look around you.

        Tell me why financial services, and banks, since 911 have you now filling out personal forms, and how often have you heard them say, since 911 we are required to have you provide this information? I mean most of us have lived here for all our lives, and everything on us is an open book as it is, so what’s with all the scrutiny…okay it’s probably me with the bank thing, but when is enough enough?

        Again CitizenOne your comment is most appreciated. Thanks Joe

        • Chucky LeRoi
          July 3, 2017 at 03:23

          On the bank thing, last time my bank “requested” that I “update my information” I not too politely told them they had all the information they needed as they had held my account for the last 15 years, and if they “required” more than what already had I would gladly remove all information and my (admittedly meager) funds from their fine institution. They have not asked again.

          This constant “tell us more about yourself” so we may “improve your customer experience” crap has become unbearable. And I have grown so weary of trying to explain to people why the “if you have nothing to hide why do care if they want the information?” question is absolutely upside-down thinking.

          • Joe Tedesky
            July 3, 2017 at 09:24

            Thanks Chucky, now at least I know someone I could share a cell with. I find our world since 911 has become demeaning and invasive to no end. I don’t have anything to hide, but still I don’t quite understand why between business and government so much needs to be known about yourself. It’s like being criminally assaulted, and the police investigate you. That’s the new mentality, and it’s so normal now that everyone accepts it as a way of life. Why my grandchildren, unless their generation changes everything, will never know any other system, and with that I feel sad for them. At least I remember a time when the customer was king, and your privacy was respected. Oh, all of my grandchildren have read Orwell’s ‘1984’, so at least they will have a bench mark to use, if things should reverse itself.

        • exiled off mainstreet
          July 3, 2017 at 10:23

          That is why I refer to 9-11 as “National Reichstag Fire Day”. In the end it doesn’t matter whether the conspiracy theorists have it right, it was used successfully to eliminate the rule of law in the US and, to a lesser degree, in the satellite countries.

          • Joe Tedesky
            July 3, 2017 at 12:49

            And I will agree with you….we’ve been had.

    • Knomore
      July 3, 2017 at 02:25

      They’ve lied about everything. They don’t know what the truth is — but lies have worked for them very well especially for the last two decades since Colin Powell assured us that Iraq was a purveyor of god knows what? It’s worked! It’s worked! If it has worked, why change it?

      So now we’ll lie about Russian hackers and tomorrow we’ll come up with something else… The sky’s the limit. But let me just mention there’s a fantastic documentary out now called A Good American… It’s about Bill Binney’s work at the NSA. Take the time to watch this documentary. Bill Binney created what appears to have been a nearly foolproof cryptographic method to trace cyber shenanigans… And guess what? Michael Hayden (who should be jailed and the key thrown away) came up with a crappy alternative that couldn’t find a rat in your bathroom sink if his (or our) life depended upon it, something called Trailblazer that was a thousand times more expensive and worthless — Get the picture? The people running the US government are dangerously stupid or stupidly dangerous. Either way the American people must finally rise to the occasion and get busy. There’s no way this is going to get any better.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 3, 2017 at 09:38

        Knowing a little about Binney’s problems and Hayden’s Trailblazer software I will definitely be sure to watch that flick you referenced. I think sometime ago there was a article, or two, on this site that spoke to that subject you are speaking about. That’s why I love this site, because news such as you are referencing Knomore isn’t broadcasted in our MSM world. Just the opposite in fact, because news such as the Binney story are treated by the MSM as conspiracy theorist junk. I think somewhere I recall that Senator Dianne Feinstein’s husband was associated to that Trailblazer software, which like you said was around ten times more the cost over Binney’s.

    • Bernie
      July 3, 2017 at 02:38

      Everything that goes wrong in the US from the point of view of the ruling elites is now being blamed on the Russians. I wouldn’t be surprised if they blame the recent collision of a US destroyer with a cargo ship the result of Russia hacking into the destroyers navigation system. Those Russians are everywhere.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 3, 2017 at 09:42

        Yeah like, didn’t the Russians hack into the ships navigational system….yeah, yeah, that’s it the Russians did it. Do you have the evidence Shultz? No, but sir you said we don’t need to stink’n evidence, because it’s the Russians.

    • john wilson
      July 3, 2017 at 04:48

      You have hit the nail on the head there Joe. Had Clinton won we would have heard absolutely nothing about all this Russia gate nonsense. Over here in the UK we still use paper and pencil to cast our votes so fraud is difficult. We have had some problems with postal votes, but overall the system seems to be foolproof. A conspiracy theorist is anyone who has a different view to the main stream media.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 3, 2017 at 09:53

        I like the way England conducts it’s elections over how we do it in America. You are also right about the Clinton thing, but if she had won yes we probably wouldn’t have had Russia-Gate, but then one can only ponder to where we would all be as ‘warmonger Hillary’ would have been at the helm. That woman is scary. Thatcher may have been made of ‘Iron’ but Hillary is made of ‘Nano-thermite’ for sure. I desperately wish Hillary would retire to being a grandma. Myself being a grandfather of 13 grandchildren can only tell Madam Hillary that she should enjoy her offspring, and if she doesn’t well then she loss out of a wonderful life experience. I don’t wish Hillary, or any of those like her any harm, I just wish they would go away and leave the rest of us alone so as we may build a better and more peaceful world. Take care John Joe

  24. ranney
    July 2, 2017 at 19:00

    This whole “hacking ” thing is a crock. Of course Russia and basically the entire rest of the world is attempting to hack and spy on America with varying degrees of success. Even our allies like England or Israel are spying on us – and of course we are spying on them! That goes without saying. ( Maybe that is why our MSM never says it.)
    Our MSM is happy to imply that the poor USA is the victim of evil Russia and we never do the same, despite countless articles outlying how the NSA is basically spying on EVERYONE. You readers do recall that a few years back we had to apologize to Angela Merkle for hacking her phone? (We also hacked some other major politicians, but not as prestigious as Angela) Everyone is spying on everyone else, and WE are the biggest spies of all.
    And when it comes to intruding on elections we get the grand prize for first class interference, and then, if our interference is unsuccessful, we simply go in and overthrow the government and put in who we want. We get first prize for all of that, no one can hold a candle to US when it comes to interfering with the democracy and freedoms of other countries who don’t obey our orders.

    • July 2, 2017 at 19:55

      …and wasn’t Boris Yeltsin our candidate for President of the Russian Federation in 1991…the same fool that spun off Crimea(90% Russian speakers) as part of Ukraine giving us a great pretext to expand NATO? How much of our territory was won in the expansionist war with Mexico…or during the Western push for manifest destiny? Obviously American exceptionalism has its roots in our history.

    • CitizenOne
      July 2, 2017 at 21:34

      It is called diversion.

      “Look over there, is that a Russian spy plane up there in the clouds?” as the politicians and charlatans separate you from your money. The defense budget goes up and up and up. We taxpayers fund it to the tune of 582 billion dollars this year with an anticipated 4.6% increase next year. It is roughly double the size of China our next competitor and fully ten times as big as Russia’s.defense budget.

      Plus the twofer you get since it diverts attention away from all the real systematic problems with our elections. We are chasing wild geese while ignoring all the efforts by the conservatives to control the election process by any means possible.

      Obviously nobody even cares not even on this website about Citizens United or McCutcheon vs FEC. Nobody is doing anything about black box voting. Instead the administration is trying to get more people involved in chasing wild geese with wildly unsubstantiated claims that Trump would have won in a landslide if not for the millions of illegal immigrants who voted for Hillary. There is some action on Gerrymandering and even the Scalia puppet has some heartache over it.

      The bottom line is Russia is just one big distraction to draw attention away from the seriously screwed up mess the politicians have placed us all in.

      When most folks feel more sorry for billionaires and their “unfair” tax burden than the folks who have nothing we are in trouble.

      We have exited stage left, passed by the prophets, and are ready to march to war rather than face our demons. Probably not going to end well.

      • July 4, 2017 at 18:32

        war is coming…make no mistake
        that is their agenda…we appear to be powerless to change it…

  25. David Ryan
    July 2, 2017 at 18:16

    To date there has never been any solid evidence that has bothered myself and other software developers that I work with. It is extremely sad how our government agencies have spun the hysteria for political reasons. The MSM has damaged this country terribly, even attempting to destroy valid journalistic teams such as Consortium News.

  26. July 2, 2017 at 17:36

    Skilled hackers know how to ‘leave bread crumb trails’ that look like (Russians, whoever) are the originators of the hacks.

    Look for skilled hackers who have motive to blame Russia and Putin–perhaps the real perpetrator of 9-11.

    • JWalters
      July 3, 2017 at 03:11

      Excellent point. What are the motives for the Russia-Gate windstorm, so full of sound and fury?

      Something the Russophobes never mention – the Russians are not pushing the worldwide Communist Crusade any more. They’re capitalists. In fact, they’re Oligarchs, with Oligarch interests, like hanging on to their wealth, and not getting overthrown or jailed. At root, pretty similar to the western Oligarchs, e.g. the Israelis, etc.

      The Russia-Gate windstorm is part of a deep marketing campaign. This type of campaign is described by Edward Bernays in “Propaganda”. The “news” coverage is setting the stage. The ultimate transaction will happen in the halls of Congress. There, the weapons company guys and the military guys will team up to maximize spending by Congress.

      President Eisenhower “was especially alert to the military’s desire to build as many new weapon systems as possible, regardless of need”, writes Evan Thomas in “Ike’s Bluff” (great read). He quotes Ike as saying, “Some day there is going to be a man sitting in my present chair who has not been raised in the military services and who will have little understanding of where the slashes in their estimates can be made with little or no damage. If that should happen while we have a state of tension that now exists in the world, I shudder to think what would happen in this country.”

      “Eisenhower knew the defense budget,” said his aid William Ewald. “He knew where the fat was. He knew where people were trying to load extras on … things you didn’t need.”

      Ike routinely griped “about the coziness between the defense contractors and congressmen”, and was concerned about “Cold War profiteering”.

      With the arrival of atomic weapons, Eisenhower felt strongly that disarmament was necessary for the human race to survive, given the history of war. The problem he wrote, “is not merely man against man or nation against nation. It is man against war”.

      The anti-Russia hysteria is coming from the same place as the anti-Islam hysteria. It is the same tactic aimed at two different foes. Anti-Islam hysteria is part of Israel’s stock in trade, a standard tactic to rouse supporters and intimidate critics, to deflect attention from relevant reality.

      The anti-Russia hysteria is Israel’s attempt to torpedo US-Russian cooperation on peace in the Mideast. Israel felt threatened by the way Putin and Obama cooperated to get rid of Syria’s chemical weapons (which were destroyed on a U.A. Navy ship set up for the purpose). The reason Israel wants to torpedo peace is that the bankers who established Israel wanted, and still want, a religious war. EVERYBODY knew a religious war would occur. How could it not? Importing an army of Jewish supremacist fanatics, and having them drive out hundreds of thousands of civilian inhabitants because of their religion, slaughtering many to terrify the others into fleeing – what else would anybody expect? But that didn’t bother these bankers, who had been making money from both sides of wars for centuries. The bankers invest in the subsidiary war industries, and control their boards.
      War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror

      Their thin case for “Russia-Gate” suggests some panic. They may feel the information hounds are close on their heels. They didn’t foresee the internet. Sites like Consortium News are blabbing all these facts out there where everybody can see them. It didn’t used to be like this.

      • markIVa
        July 3, 2017 at 08:15

        “The sequence of events indicates that the main person behind the narrative of Russian hacking state election databases from the beginning was former FBI Director James Comey.” What this suggest to me, Comey was one of the main weapons used by the intelligence communities to defend their pipeline profit objectives gone bad by the Trump led crowd.. Trump’s assent to power disposed global intelligence communities hold on gas and oil profits, and a Trump Putin Pharaoh backed partnership could only worsen intelligence community expectations of profits.
        Mr. J. Walters..great post, but why no mention the rising Chinese Trade Routes, SCO, Brics, Nord II pipeline, Russian circumvention of regime changed Ukraine {Porostinko’s failure}, Qatar’s massive natural gas output undersea connection to Brussels and Europe via Chinese financed Iranian pipeline; nor the Assad-Iran-Russian (AIR maneuver) performed by Assad which deprived pipeline profits to Erdogan:Saudi:Israeli:NY:WALL_Street_Pharaoh Investors.. Maybe all eyes should focus on Vegas Casino Chinese partnerships?

        • JWalters
          July 3, 2017 at 20:04

          I haven’t looked much at how the other oligarchies are responding to “our” oligarchy. Definitely relevant. Our choice should not be which oligarchy we want ruling us. I’m hopeful this information and internet age will be the new playing field that enables eliminating oligarchies, because they can’t tolerate transparency, and fairness. Once their reputation is gone, they’re gone. Honest people will replace them. Full, rational discussions can then be had about the problems facing humanity, truly aimed at finding humane solutions. Dealing with the remaining oligarchies will be one of those issues. It will be handled with justice rather than private deals. We could set an example for those other oligarchies to follow.

      • Max
        July 3, 2017 at 20:05

        “the Russians are not pushing the worldwide Communist Crusade” True, but the modern Russian State was forged in The Great Patriotic War, led by that arch COMMUNIST Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin(he slaughtered bazzilions god dammit!). And the West, the apotheosis of Freedom and Democracy, can’t abide that.

        • Beard681
          July 5, 2017 at 15:05

          Ummmm….Sarcasm? (Geez, I can’t tell anymore.)

  27. July 2, 2017 at 17:24

    Sorry, but it is not hysteria. It’s reality. I wrote a piece about the mounting evidence of collusion between Trump’s administrative team and the Russian FSB in election hacking. >>>

    • David Ryan
      July 2, 2017 at 18:18

      As with our own intelligence agencies you shed absolutely no proof, your sick.

      • Blue Pilgrim
        July 2, 2017 at 18:28

        All I saw at Morton’s link was fluff.
        Clickbate nonsense…

    • GM
      July 2, 2017 at 19:35

      A blog whore? You don’t say!

    • Adrian Engler
      July 3, 2017 at 08:41

      There are claims that Trump wanted a confirmation from some intelligence services that they don’t have evidence about Russian “collusion”. But at the linked websites, I have not seen any fact-based claims that there actually is evidence for such collusion.

    • Max
      July 3, 2017 at 20:02

      lol, wannabe Ian Fleming…

  28. Danny Weil
    July 2, 2017 at 17:17

    Cyber war is what it is. And this will be the new war that will be played out in years to come. Hacking, false reports, cyber breakdown, all of this is part of the new war.

    • GM
      July 2, 2017 at 19:34

      When criminals are responsible for the acts in question, we call them what they are — “crimes”, and not “war”.

  29. Tom Welsh
    July 2, 2017 at 16:36

    “… the personal information involved – even e-mail addresses – is commercially valuable to the cybercriminal underworld”.

    And, for that matter, the ultra-respectable corporate overworld. Selling members’ personal information is, after all, the core business of Facebook, Google and other “social media” corporations.

    Fancy that! Citizens’ personal details are of consuming interest to three types of party: corporations, criminals… and government.

    • CitizenOne
      July 2, 2017 at 21:06

      I am sure this is why Google is not on the net neutrality bandwagon as well as most companies. Their bold vision for a free and open internet has been swallowed by the profit motive and a guarantee that as long as they fork the cash over to the ISPs just like the pharma companies do at ABC, CBS and CBS, their corrupt practices will never see the light of day.

      • tina
        July 2, 2017 at 22:57

        see what google wants to do in san jose ca

      • tina
        July 3, 2017 at 00:56

        read the san jose local news San jose is welcoming ,yet about google investing providing affordable homes for teachers, workers, educate yourself. Google is moving into San Jose, but Google is building affordable housing for all the non Google employees,, throwback to the Company town, Ford in Detroit . How many of you commenters have actually been in Silicon Valley? How many of you have lived on El Camino Real , in an RV.? How many of you have been to Stanford? So, you all might want to reconsider your opinions and judgements. For you anglophiles, it is judgments, no e.

        • Anon
          July 3, 2017 at 08:41

          That is beyond carelessness. In fact the high-tech employees drove out low-income residents by causing rent increases, and Google is obviously not building new housing for all of the poor displaced, they are generating propaganda. Likely you know that.

        • CitizenOne
          July 3, 2017 at 10:21

          Sounds like you read the playbook. The problem is you haven’t been watching the game. Pharmaceutical companies are supposed to be wonderful ethical companies saving lives and they do, but they are most certainly NOT ethical when it comes time to gouge people and make obscene profits.

          There is little doubt that the flood of advertising dollars pharmaceutical companies pour into the media (especially airing the ads during the news) guarantees that there will be few news stories on the MSM about how badly they are ripping us off.

          So stick to the topic. Google’s public display of charity is just something at the local level which will have zero impact on the planet. Ending net neutrality will have a giant impact. If Google cared, they would be protesting the end of net neutrality, which they only begrudgingly did in the past, as well as now. Their lawyers and the sting of many lawsuits against them for the way they use their monopolistic power to gather and sell personal data which violates privacy rights all ads up to a lawyers dream like an arbitration clause where they can pay the ISPs hush money for no bad press.

    • tina
      July 2, 2017 at 22:48

      Talk to Mark Z , and Brin, and Elon, and Thiel, I am so sure they will understand your concerns, Try it , just contact them, for sure . They totally are sympathetic to your very own private concerns. Really, they believe you. And they will monetize your information, gotta love Silicon Valley. And I do know , because my kid just graduated from there in chemical engineering. He got the hell out of there as fast as could. Not all of us are Silicon Valley cheerleaders

    • Realist
      July 3, 2017 at 01:50

      That is why I refuse to join Facebook or any other social media con game, even though it precludes me from expressing a public opinion at most venues. CN is one of the few places you will find a comment left by me. I even stopped making snarky quips about the comics when they all jumped on the obligatory social media bandwagon. Well, it’s the world’s loss more than mine. There will be a price to pay for stifling truth, or attaching strings to “free speech.”

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