On November 12th, the website VelvetRevolution.us,
posted a letter, which they claimed to "accept at face value" from "The
Protectors". This letter claimed
that a shadowy hacker group had
clandestinely defeated Karl Rove's latest vote rigging machinations. A few weeks earlier, some subset of the
hacker group Anonymous posted a video to youtube promising intervention in any
Rove directed electronic election fraud.
Coupling these claims with Rove's Fox news election
night meltdown, and you have just enough speculation to go to print.
Flickr image By JD_WMWM
"The Protectors" became conflated with Anonymous and thus a myth was born:
Anonymous saved American democracy. I
was asked to examine this myth by my editor at the Columbus Free Press, Bob Fitrakis,
and render an opinion. My opinion as a
trained computer security person and as a journalist is that these claims have
a number of huge cultural and technical flaws in them. These flaws and improbabilities cast grave
doubt over the truthfulness of the claims.
So much doubt in fact that I am willing to bet my mouse finger against
Press engaged me in late August to provide fresh research, insight and
reporting on electronic election fraud.
We had done serious
reporting on election fraud. We have
brought suit. We have published a
number of books. What the Free Press
wanted from me was a fresh look, not a re-hash of what happened before.
I began by
examining the myth circulating in the right wing blogsphere that George Soros
owned a Spanish voting machine company called Scytl. I looked at Scytl's technology, their
ownership, the owners'
histories and their business connections.
George Soros wasn't involved, but a number of other people and companies
tied to the intelligence community were.
the same logic I began to look at Hart
InterCivic, famous for its connection to Mitt Romney's
campaign finances and his son Taggart.
Late in the
election season, we followed up on a disclosure from a source close to the Ohio
Secretary of State about a secret
software contract. Eventually, the
Free Press sued. Although
denied an injunction, our case is still open, and we may well bring fresh
evidence to court.
that electronic election fraud does not exist.
This might be contrary to what some well paid
experts say, and contrary to the unresearched opinions of some liberal
media pundits. Peer review of our
research by Forbes,
Insider, The Christian
Science Monitor and Computerworld
confirm our claims.
covering the intersection between computer crime and politics as a journalist,
one must be very clear about facts. One
must also make facts clear to the non-technical reader. After examining the letter from the
"Protectors", and examining the reportage surrounding it, I find very few
facts. I also find what I consider to be
outright lies and misinformation. No
journalist should take a c laim
from an unknown source at "face value".
This is especially true when the claims come from someone with no face.
taken the liberty of re-printing claims from the letter, so that I may better
explain why I think it is an outright lie, and one open to further
misinterpretation. I will list my
in the letter do the authors ("The Protectors") claim to be part of Anonymous.
Anonymous always signs its communications the same way: "We are Anonymous, We are legion, We do not
forgive. We do not forget. Expect us."
Anonymous did threaten Rove prior to the election. Anonymous did not write this letter.
as a whole did not act on election day.
This is evidenced by a lack of election day IRC traffic. Also absent is an operational codename. These are typically expressed as a hashtag
with an operation name, such as #optunisia (for actions in support of the
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