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What an amazing coinky-dink:

Leading French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron’s campaign said on Friday it had been the target of a “massive” computer hack that dumped its campaign emails online 1-1/2 days before voters choose between the centrist and his far-right rival, Marine Le Pen.

Macron, who is seen as the frontrunner in an election billed as the most important in France in decades, extended his lead over Le Pen in polls on Friday.

As much as 9 gigabytes of data were posted on a profile called EMLEAKS to Pastebin, a site that allows anonymous document sharing. It was not immediately clear who was responsible for posting the data or if any of it was genuine.

In an exclusive interview with Lawyers, Guns & Money, FBI Director James Comey assured us that there’s no reason to think that the hackers are favoring any particular candidate.

Seriously, this shouldn’t matter — Macron is way ahead and in this case the hacking may actually be a net negative for Le Pen. But the general trend is worrisome.

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  • jim, some guy in iowa

    I must be going around the bend, my first thought was, “that’s an old picture of Assange?”

    this really is bad, though. With any luck these huge data dumps end up being yawned at as obvious attempts at manipulation- but I wonder how long that will take

    • Colin Day

      Donald Segretti. He was the committee to re-elect Nixon.

      • jim, some guy in iowa

        thanks, I had figured it out by running the cursor over the photo and then his name showed up in the url. No shortage of rat-fuckers ever, is there

      • efgoldman

        Donald Segretti. He was the committee to re-elect Nixon.

        As Tricksie Dicksie Nixie’s ratfuckers went, Segretti was a minor fumctionary

        • Davis

          But he was important in the Watergate investigation. Back then, I knew a government lawyer who went to the same law school as Segretti who, at a reunion, bragged about being Nixon’s ratfucker. My acquaintance then called Carl Bernstein. One of the book’s chapters begins with his call. He was very afraid of being outed and, even though it’s been so many years, I have never revealed his name.

      • Pseudonym

        Enough with the CREEP-shaming!

    • Mellano

      Yup. I only hope the ploy becomes less effective with repetition.

      Because God knows this country’s administration isn’t going to lift so much as one tiny finger in warning, much less reprisal.

      • Phil Perspective

        Because God knows this country’s administration isn’t going to lift so much as one tiny finger in warning, much less reprisal.

        Yes, because we’ve never done anything so nefarious. Do you think we’re going to start a war over this?

        • cpinva

          “Do you think we’re going to start a war over this?”

          Wars have been started, and raged on for years, over lesser matters:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_Jenkins%27_Ear

          • Warren Terra

            My go-to example is always The Pig War, casualties: one pig. It lasted twelve years and featured some heavy drinking and a guest appearance by George Pickett, of later Charge fame.

            • cpinva

              interesting, I don’t believe I’d heard of that one before, thanks for the cite. I wonder whatever became of the pig though, did it become the BBQ’d main dish for a “pig pickin” party? thank goodness wiser heads on both sides prevailed, preventing wholly needless bloodshed, over a pig.

              I sort of keep expecting some morning to hear that old blighty secretly transferred title to the Falklands to Argentina, just to get rid of the headache (and costs) involved in keeping it. Were I an MP, I think I’d tell the people living there that, if they wanted to be British, move to GB, we aren’t going to continue paying the costs of keeping it.

              it’s not like the Falklands have any natural resources of great value going for them (unless you’re really, really into sheep. if you are, I don’t want to know!), nor is it of particular strategic value, militarily or otherwise. it’s just a little crappy island, off the coast of Argentina. their claim of “ownership” rests on the fact that they owned it for five minutes, one hundred sixty years ago, before the Brits took it away, keeping it ever since. Give it back, and it will be one less nuisance the UK has to deal with. and one less excuse for the Argentine Gov’t to have, for not doing anything constructive for their people.

              • Hogan

                Without coaling stations, how will Her Majesty’s Navy maintain its command of the precious, precious trade routes?

              • Jorge Luis Borges likened the Falklands war to a couple of bald men fighting over a comb.

              • Aziraphale

                I believe there was some talk of oil rights under the Falklands’ territorial waters. But irrespective of that, it should have been possible to avoid war.

        • Shorter PP: what’s the big deal about 9/11? Like the U.S. has never blown up a couple of buildings.

        • Mellano

          We have? Quick, commenter, hie thee to Wikipedia and start listing whatever it is you think rationalizes this latest document dump.

        • Hogan

          You literally did not read the part you copied and pasted before you replied, did you?

          • tsam

            It’s brilliant though. “We do bad stuff. We won’t do bad stuff because we’re bad.”

            I’m digging it. It’s like breitbart doing a logical exercise.

            • Hogan

              Moebius derp.

  • Davis X. Machina

    Jean-Luc aurais gagné

  • efgoldman

    According to Google translate, “rat fucker” is the same in English as in French.

    ETA: I am not a computer or IT person, but i can’t believe that in this stage of development, nobody in government has, or knows somebody that has, the ability to send back a little piece of code that ratfucks them right back.

    • Pseudonym

      For an email hack? No. It’s much easier to find a bug to exploit on a widely-used email platform than it is in likely custom hacking tools funded and built by state operatives.

      • efgoldman

        For an email hack? No. It’s much easier to find a bug to exploit on a widely-used email platform

        Have we no 12-year olds?

      • Gwen

        Honestly? It’s probably not even that clever.

        They may have social engineered or phished the password (as with John “What Century Am I In” Podesta).

        Or they might have brute-forced it.

        In either case those involved likely were not, shall we say, “computer geniuses.”

        Rather, like the old-fashioned rat-fucker, the people responsible likely had time on their hands and someone powerful motivating them to do the work.

        (It’s quite possible that Russia is blackmailing others to do their dirty work for them).

  • Murc

    The Democratic Party needs to start taking infosec seriously. It truly does.

    • Pseudonym

      The Democratic Party democratic countries need to start taking infosec seriously.

    • efgoldman

      The Democratic Party needs to start taking infosec seriously.

      Wouldn’t help France very much
      And the Republiklowns were hacked, too, it just didn’t serve Rootie Patootie’s needs to release it.

    • Phil Perspective

      Meaning what, exactly? If you mean just regular IT security, they should have been doing that a long time ago.

      • Gwen

        Here are a few things that need to be considered high priority, I think:

        * A serious discussion needs to be had about whether e-mail should be used by DNC staff. I don’t think you can ban e-mail, but the fewer things that are out there, the fewer things that can get stolen…

        * We need to use multi-factor authentication as much as possible; for example requiring e-mail users to log in with both a password and a code that is SMS’d to their phone. The Podesta hack would not have happened had multi-factor authentication been in place.

        * The DNC needs to get away from using Microsoft Windows for its servers. The CrowdStrike analysis of the COZY BEAR breach pins the blame on weaknesses in the WMI. Linux has its own share of vulnerabilities, but Windows has been, is, and probably always will be the easiest OS to crack. Moreover, one reason why organizations go with Windows, frankly, is because they often believe it has “lower cost of ownership” which is a nice way of saying you can hire some guy off the street to run everything, and when it comes to IT security, you get what you pay for!

        * The command and control channel appears to have been HTTP, which to me suggests that the DNC’s technical team probably weren’t strict enough about blocking outbound ports / addresses in their firewall.

        * VAN is probably still a disaster area when it comes to security. The DNC should demand its partners and vendors do full audits and adopt better practices.

        * Training, training, training…

        (I am not a security expert but do work in IT).

        • Pseudonym

          Definitely use multi-factor authentication, but don’t use SMS for it. Use a hardware security token or at least an app like Google Authenticator.

          • Warren Terra

            I think it’s absurd that people are discussing the details of best practices for anti-hacking security here. Yes, this stuff matters, but:
            1) Anyone who fears they’re a target, and especially a large organization or wealthy person, shouldn’t and won’t be getting their advice from blog comments.
            2) How better to secure this information isn’t really the point: far more important is the way the story is told and the information is misused.
            3) In any case, it’s a little late for Macron to better secure his data, or for the 2016 DNC to do so.

            • Pseudonym

              I wouldn’t normally be offering security tips in random blog comments (and definitely don’t look to random blog comments for your security policy!), but I know people (who may or may not be wealthy and blog comment readers) whose accounts were hijacked via SMS so I wanted to correct one specific point.

              But being defensive isn’t enough: the governments need to be going after these hackers as well (which becomes a problem when the hackers are state-sponsored themselves).

        • I work at a tech company employing slightly less than a thousand employees, most of whom are reasonably tech-savvy, in their thirties or fourties, and work fixed hours in a fixed location while managing their lives on their personal devices. Your suggestions would be tough-to-impossible to implement in that environment, much less in one where there are tens, if not thousands of employees, with huge turnover, long and irregular hours, lots of travel, high pressure, and where almost all employees will be, at best, skilled but ignorant end-users, and at worst, tech-illiterate. Take getting rid of email, for example. When the people who answer to you can be in six different cities over the course of a week and have to communicate large amounts of information across different time zones, how exactly do you suggest they do that except using email? For too long, the InfoSec community’s answer to users’ needs has been “suffer”, but even that isn’t enough in this situation.

          Or take switching operating systems. Switch to what? Do we think that tens of thousands of mostly non-techie users are going to switch to Linux, a system that is famously opaque and unfriendly to new users? Or do we think they’ll do what users always do when IT forces them to go out of their comfort zone and there’s work to be done – find workarounds that actually decrease the overall level of security in the organization?

          Which brings us to the whole issue of IT in political organizations, and I agree that there’s work to be done there. The DNC and organizations like it need to hire a CTO who will formulate best practices for security, and be in charge of setting up on the ground infrastructure and hiring local people to support it (though that’s assuming there isn’t already someone like that, which I would find surprising). But that ignores the fact that most IT tends to treat users, not hackers, as the enemy, has little or no sense of how to design a system so that users will want to use it correctly, and frequently mistakes making a system unusuable for making it secure (which, again, leads only to insecure workarounds). Not to mention that “we need to hire the best” is not actually a viable strategy, especially when you need so many people to do the work under not-great conditions, and especially in tech, where there are a lot of people who will tell you that they’re geniuses at something when really they’re only adequate at it (and which the person doing the hiring has no way of distinguishing). As a solution to problems of organizational security, “get a genius IT guy” is not a viable alternative to “come up with systemic solutions that even an OK IT guy can implement well”.

          The fact is, as far as end-user solutions are concerned, the InfoSec community has been sitting on its hands for twenty years – literally the biggest things they’ve come up with in all that time is two-factor identification. And because until a few years ago, hacking was mainly a retail business – this person’s accounts drained, that person’s nudes leaked – they were able to get away with that, along with a hefty dose of victim-blaming. But now that hacking is being used a major geopolitical weapon, that approach simply won’t cut it anymore, and the community needs to come up with actual tools that will still leave the internet usable for everyone, no matter their age or level of tech-savviness. That’s not an easy problem, and it may be insurmountable, but continuing to approach it as if the solution is “get better users” is not going to work.

          • Shantanu Saha

            most IT tends to treat users, not hackers, as the enemy, has little or no sense of how to design a system so that users will want to use it correctly, and frequently mistakes making a system unusuable for making it secure (which, again, leads only to insecure workarounds).

            Ironically, this is why Clinton got her own email server in the first place, and even more ironically, it was better secured than Colin Powell’s AOL account.

            • Warren Terra

              And better secured than the State Department’s email system.

              • efgoldman

                And better secured than the State Department’s email system

                No it wasn't. It automatically projected all the email onto the side of a building. That's why Podesta's risotto recipe didn't work - one ingredient was out of focus

          • Taylor

            Come on, two-factor authentication done right (Google Authenticator is a free download FFS) would have prevented the Podesta fiasco. Also Podesta’s problem was that he used the same password at DNC and at a third party Web site. Beyond the fact that stupidity like this should be a firing offense, there are password managers that make it a lot easier not to do this.

            This is not rocket science, you just have fucking idiots making the decisions. It is an absolute scandal that the only 2FA I can get from any bank I have an account with uses SMS, when there are known cases of bank accounts being emptied with that kind of “security.”

            Don’t muddy the waters by saying “more research needs to be done,” there are obvious and not-hard things that could be done today. If you tell people they’re fired if they don’t do it, they’ll learn quickly how these tools work.

            • Also Podesta’s problem was that he used the same password at DNC and at a third party Web site.

              I agree that any political operative or organization should be using 2FA (Yubikeys are cheap, too), but Podesta was spearphished with a fake “suspicious activity” message from Gmail. As far as I know he has never been affiliated with the DNC.

              • Taylor

                I meant that the password for his hacked email account was shared with an insecure Web site where he had a user account.

          • Colin Day

            Or take switching operating systems. Switch to what? Do we think that tens of thousands of mostly non-techie users are going to switch to Linux, a system that is famously opaque and unfriendly to new users?

            I don’t know if Linux is that opaque. Also, couldn’t one use a non-Microsoft server while allowing Windows clients?

            • tsam

              It’s common to have Windows clients on Linux servers. It’s also common to have passwords phished off of users–especially if there’s a giant target on their backs. Linux can’t stop that from happening.

          • Murc

            For too long, the InfoSec community’s answer to users’ needs has been “suffer”,

            This isn’t true at all. The answer to users’ wants has been that, and that’s an entirely different thing.

            If someone were to refuse to lock their doors and windows when they leave the house, routinely left sensitive and important information laying on a table next to the door, and in fact often told their co-workers “sure, go right over to my house and rummage through the pile to find what you need” we would regard that person as a fool and would not be surprised when their shit got stolen.

            But people often do precisely equivalent things in their IT equivalent for no better reason than that they’re straight-up lazy and don’t want to do things the right way.

            Or take switching operating systems.

            The specific context of the post you’re replying to refers to switching operating systems on the servers. You know, those things end users don’t see and usually don’t know exist. It is entirely possible to run something other than windows on a server that has windows clients.

            Or do we think they’ll do what users always do when IT forces them to go out of their comfort zone and there’s work to be done – find workarounds that actually decrease the overall level of security in the organization?

            Part of the work to be done is securing your shit. Nobody is asking end users to become conversant with cryptology and current state of the art in the black-hat hacking community.

            We are, however, asking them to do things like not write their passwords down on a sticky note they keep on the lid of their laptop. To not use the same goddamn password for everything that they increment by one every three months, that’s also the same password as on all their personal stuff, and to maybe not mix up all their personal stuff together with their work stuff in a giant tangled mess. To not hand out their credentials to co-workers and subordinates and say “log on as me, it’s no big deal.” To keep control of information they know is confidential and only supposed to be kept in the secure repository, and not make their own personal copies of it because it is easier.

            This is basic stuff that most people just won’t do.

            But that ignores the fact that most IT tends to treat users, not hackers, as the enemy,

            That’s because securing a system requires the co-operation of users. It 100% does. You cannot secure a system if the users won’t co-operate. What, pray, should we do in that situation aside from treating them as problems that need to be overcome?

            has little or no sense of how to design a system so that users will want to use it correctly,

            That is because what users want to do is sit down, hit a button, and get all their stuff, and jumping through any additional hoop will lead to them getting stroppy.

            It’s extraordinarily difficult to even get users to take physical security seriously; telling people “swipe your keycard every time you enter and leave the building” can provoke massive resistance!

            and frequently mistakes making a system unusuable for making it secure

            Hogwash.

            The fact is, as far as end-user solutions are concerned, the InfoSec community has been sitting on its hands for twenty years – literally the biggest things they’ve come up with in all that time is two-factor identification.

            That’s because end-user solutions require end-user cooperation that they refuse to give on even the most basic level. Any possible solution with current widely-available technology is going to require end users to meet us at least halfway.

            But now that hacking is being used a major geopolitical weapon, that approach simply won’t cut it anymore, and the community needs to come up with actual tools that will still leave the internet usable for everyone, no matter their age or level of tech-savviness.

            Are we talking about the internet or are we talking about organizational intranets? Those are two different things.

            When it comes to the former, any solution is going to require government buy-in, and the odds of that coming are somewhere between “slim” and “quite a bit slimmer.” Governments, or more specifically their security apparatuses, have been systemically crippling the ability of the internet to be a secure platform ever since its inception.

            That’s not an easy problem, and it may be insurmountable, but continuing to approach it as if the solution is “get better users” is not going to work.

            Then nothing is going to work.

            I don’t understand why “get better users” isn’t possible. The reason we don’t have better users is because many organizations do not make “getting better users” a priority and inculcate a culture in which proper use is required.

            The reason users behave the way they do is that many organizations refuse to force them to behave otherwise.

            When an organization needs to change how it does things to comply with government regulations or face huge fines, it manages to enforce user compliance pretty fucking quickly.

            When an organization needs to change how it does things because its client base is demanding new features, products, or implementations before they’ll fork over cash money, it enforces user compliance pretty fucking quickly.

            Hell, when an organization needs to change how it does things because it has a new CEO who wants them done in a certain way, it enforces user compliance pretty fucking quickly!

            If you want your shit to be secure, you need to spend the money necessary to design and maintain a secure system, and then you need to constantly, vigorously, enforce user compliance in the same way you enforce their compliance in the rest of their job. Security needs to be seen by them as part of their job, in precisely the same way that delivering their weekly reports is, and not treated as some weird impediment.

            • Ahuitzotl

              You’re basically wrong on -everything- here, but to pick up one easy bit:

              Hell, when an organization needs to change how it does things because it has a new CEO who wants them done in a certain way, it enforces user compliance pretty fucking quickly!

              No, it doesnt. It does a certain amount of kabuki to convince the CEO that compliance is getting enforced, for a few months, then status quo ante. I speak specifically of 4 different large organisations I’ve done IT for

        • searcher

          Particularly re:

          * A serious discussion needs to be had about whether e-mail should be used by DNC staff. I don’t think you can ban e-mail, but the fewer things that are out there, the fewer things that can get stolen…

          One of the stated goals of WikiLeaks is to raise the cost of conspiracies (Assange views political parties as conspiracies). They want to force people to spend so much time and money on security and remove useful tools like email from them so that it becomes impossible (or not worthwhile) to maintain a conspiracy (or a political party).

          So when assessing the threat model of WikiLeaks, it is important not just to think about how to prevent hacking and leaks, but how to do so without letting them achieve their secondary goal. That is, you want to a level of security that will still allow the DNC to function.

          One cheap solution: pre-emptive leaking. Some things a political organization does need to be secret, eg, you might want to keep your talking points secret until you talk them, so that your opponents can’t pre-empt you. But nothing the DNC does should need to be secret forever. The DNC could take the step of publishing their email archives with a 3- 6- or 12-month delay.

          • Warren Terra

            A lot of the people in the comments here need to take a good long look at themselves. Privacy is not conspiracy, hacking is not leaking, and even leaking requires justification. WikiLeaks are sh!ts not because they don’t want it to be feasible to maintain a conspiracy, but because – as you yourself note – they don’t want it to be feasible to maintain a political party, at least not one that doesn’t suit their sick worldview and their Kremlin sponsor. Your proposed “cheap solution” is a form of surrender, and would in any case do little or nothing to address the problem. More to the point, it’s morally bankrupt, and I suspect you are, too.

            • humanoid.panda

              One cheap solution: pre-emptive leaking. Some things a political organization does need to be secret, eg, you might want to keep your talking points secret until you talk them, so that your opponents can’t pre-empt you. But nothing the DNC does should need to be secret forever. The DNC could take the step of publishing their email archives with a 3- 6- or 12-month delay.

              I seriously wonder if people who post comments like this live in a cave. Do you really want to tell me that when you use your email you NEVER EVER EVER say anything that might be embarrassing, or unflattering to your boss, or something your spouse might not want to hear? If not, why do you think that DNC employees should be held to that standard?

              • DAS

                FWIW, in every organization I’ve worked for, the “boss” has a right to read your work email without your consent or knowledge. So don’t say anything unflattering about your boss unless you are ok with your boss knowing what you really think.

    • twbb

      If a state actor wants to hack you, they’re going to hack you. The level of security necessary to stop it is much higher than the vast majority of organizations can maintain.

  • humanoid.panda

    I think this thing is going to hit the point of diminishing returns pretty quickly. I mean, at this point, people would be surprised if anti-Putin candidates were not hacked..

    • humanoid.panda

      I also suspect that to the extent the assholes use Twitter to spread their BS, Twitter is going to have some legal issues in European countries.

      • efgoldman

        Twitter is going to have some legal issues in European countries.

        And can’t the French restrict their press in ways we can’t? I know the British can and do.

        • humanoid.panda

          Among other things, no one is allowed to discuss the election in the last 24 hours before vote starts- tecnically, you can’t even post about it on FB. Which probably explains the timing of the dump – let rumours percolate (but it seems it’s too late for Le Pen).

          My own guess is that this will have much effect on Inforwars readers than on French voters.

          • Warren Terra

            How effective are such measures in the age of the internet? I know that, even before the internet when Canada has banned publication of the details of an ongoing criminal trial or when the UK quashed publication of some scandal, interested parties slipped over the border to read all the salacious details to their hearts’ content; I assume it’s even easier now what with the internet – unless the French have implemented a Great Firewall type system requiring some effort and a little technical knowledge?

            • humanoid.panda

              It’s not super-effective, but you do have to keep in mind that many more people than we imagine get most of their news from traditional sources..

    • Warren Terra

      That depends on the media, which means we’re screwed. After all, “Macron was hacked, here’s 9 gigs of his stuff” is a narrative that presumably doesn’t greatly hurt Macron (some will be indifferent, some will feel sympathy for him as a victim, some will feel contempt for him as a victim) – but what happened to Clinton last year wasn’t just “hey, we have thousands of her emails via the House and many more of Podesta’s and the DNC via Wikileaks” – instead, it was a drip-drip-drip of stories plucked from the emails and widely distorted or merely mocked (like the inexplicable focus on Podesta’s risotto recipe). And if you think even the “nonpartisan” media in the US or elsewhere has improved and wisened up since then, let alone the tabloid and propaganda media, I admire your naivete and might just have a bridge you’d like to buy.

      Indeed, the best sign for Macron here is that these files were released en masse two days before the election, rather than dribbled out over weeks and cherrypicked and distorted similarly to what was done to Clinton. This release is obviously an insult and a humiliation, but seems less likely to be electorally effective. It’s a raised middle finger, but probably not a meaningful thumb on the scales.

      • Cheerfull

        To work well, such leaks need to be in pieces small enough for the press/social media to chew over and rebroadcast. The mass release works against that, and so does the French news blackout.

        But some thoughts. 1) As I understood, Macron’s campaign had been acutely aware of the danger and working against being hacked, which means the idea of simply being more careful may not be enough

        2) at some point there will be the Rove counterplay – hack your own emails and have them released to gain sympathy.

        • Phil Perspective

          1) As I understood, Macron’s campaign had been acutely aware of the danger and working against being hacked, which means the idea of simply being more careful may not be enough.

          Except Macron boasted that his campaign hadn’t been hacked like Clinton. He specifically mentioned her. Ooppss!!

          • Warren Terra

            Exulting over people getting hacked and taunting them is not a good look, and is no worse than I expect from you.

          • Cheerfull

            I guess I am missing your point. Could you use more words and explain who you are trying to insult and how?

            • wjts

              LOL! Neolib!

              I trust that clarifies matters.

              • He isn’t familiar enough with Macron’s campaign to know the name of any Jews to mention significantly.

                • twbb

                  I thought in that case their default was just to say “Soros.”

                • Neolib means never having to say you’re Soros.

                • DAS

                  Why do I have South Park’s version of “I had a little Dreidel” stuck in my head?

            • Not only does He not have all the best words but he isn’t using them in the best order.

      • efgoldman

        but what happened to Clinton last year wasn’t just “hey, we have thousands of her emails via the House and many more of Podesta’s and the DNC via Wikileaks”

        I have no idea if I’m right, but I’m guessing that the name “Macron” and “emails” haven’t appeared in above the fold headlines for months in all the French papers, or in chyrons on French news TV or French websites.

        • nemdam

          Well, that’s only because the French media isn’t “objective”. Chris Cilliza, Maggie Haberman, and Glenn Thrush think Le Monde is doing a terrible job covering Macron.

  • Spider-Dan

    Two things:

    1) It seems to me that this kind of attack is one that the political system would develop antibodies to rather rapidly (as in, definitely less than one generation). Macron’s party’s response – that the documents only showed the normal functioning of a presidential campaign, but that authentic documents had been mixed on social media with fake ones to sow “doubt and misinformation” – represents a particularly swift move towards that end.

    2) Once the political system is fully immunized to leaks, whistleblowing to the media will become so difficult that the risk vs. reward equation makes it an incredibly bad idea. This is not good for society, but it’s particularly terrible business for Useful Idiots like Assange and Greenwald; it’s hard to imagine what relevance they would have in a world where leaks are both inherently discredited AND strongly disincentivized.

    • humanoid.panda

      It seems to me that this kind of attack is one that the political system would develop antibodies to rather rapidly (as in, definitely less than one generation).

      It looks as though the international media is focused much more on the fact of the leak and its timing than on the content of the e-mails, so I think that immunity is already in the process of being developed.

      The hits on Clinton worked because both the mainstream media and important elements of her own “side” hated her, so they didn’t stop to ask the cui bono question. That I think was a rather unique circumstance that probably won’t repeat itself.

      • NeonTrotsky

        It would not surprise me if a lot of politicians around the worlders are operating on the assumption that anything they send via e-mail could be made public at anytime at this point, which is really going to limit the effectiveness of this tactic.

        • Just_Dropping_By

          The question is why politicians weren’t operating on that assumption already when any semi-competent lawyer would have told them for roughly the past two decades that you should never put anything in an e-mail that you wouldn’t feel comfortable defending on the witness stand.

          • Warren Terra

            Oh, fnck off. Point me to where, in the thousands of stories written about Clinton’s emails or the DNC’s emails, anything incriminating or, interpreted honestly, even embarrassing was discovered? The very worst thing I can recall is that a couple of low-level DNC staffers had an email conversation in which they said true, even noncontroversial, things about politicized conservative Catholicism that could, if sufficiently distorted for the benefit of the gullible and ignorant, mildly ruffle some feathers.

            I promise you that if I looked through your last few thousand emails, or even just connected your blog commenting identity to your real name, something could be taken out of context to cause you distress, however innocuous or even laudable it actually was.

            • Taylor

              Don’t underestimate the sensitivity of a risotto recipe.

            • Scott Lemieux

              Oh, fnck off. Point me to where, in the thousands of stories written about Clinton’s emails or the DNC’s emails, anything incriminating or, interpreted honestly, even embarrassing was discovered?

              Exactly. It was, in fact, remarkable how little embarrassing information was contained in the emails. It didn’t matter because journalists who hated Clinton wrote stories treating banal and unobjectionable behavior as a five-alarm scandal anyway. What was in the emails was beside the point.

              • nemdam

                Hence why describing the emails as “weaponized” is key. If the contents of the emails were obviously scandalous, they would’ve spoken for themselves. Instead, Wikileaks had to package them in a way to maximize their impact, and our “objective” media decided that Wikileaks is a trusted entity whose reporting about stolen materials should be uncritically repeated. CROOKED HILLARY AMIRITE?

          • twbb

            It’s fun to review discovery documents where one businessperson knows that, but another doesn’t.

            The second sends long emails and gets terse responses: “Call me.”

          • DAS

            There are plenty of things that I put in emails which, in the context of a trial in which all sorts of dirt is coming out anyway, I wouldn’t mind testifying about on the witness stand. But that doesn’t mean I’d be ok with them being publicized in the media without my lawyer being able to ask me questions on redirect whose answers would out those emails in context.

      • Spider-Dan

        I think 2016 was something different. To my knowledge, this was the first time in a major western democracy that leaks of cyber-espionage were weaponized to assist (or hinder) a specific candidate during a campaign. Repeatedly.

        It’s definitely possible that, because it was a Clinton, the media chose to overlook that in favor of the “Scandal!” angle. But it was really an unprecedented event that we were not prepared for. And that, combined with the other unprecedented event (Comey) flipped the table.

        • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

          A large portion of the US media has believed for years that they would get the Pulitzer for finally proving the “scandals” were true. Why they believe this is possibly related to the tendency of cult leaders to forecast the end of the world.

      • GFW

        >rather unique circumstance

        American exceptionalism?

    • authentic documents had been mixed on social media with fake ones to sow “doubt and misinformation”

      This is true, by the way. Already seeing patently false/forged Macron documents out there, but in right-wing American circles (i.e. /r/The_Donald). No idea if there’s much impact in France.

    • Just_Dropping_By

      it’s particularly terrible business for Useful Idiots like Assange and Greenwald; it’s hard to imagine what relevance they would have in a world where leaks are both inherently discredited AND strongly disincentivized.

      Greenwald was a reasonably well-known blogger on constitutional law and “War on Terror” stuff with multiple books published years before Snowden started leaking things to him, so I’m pretty sure such a change would have minimal impact on his relevance. Sorry to rain on your little hate parade.

      • Warren Terra

        While Greenwald has for some time been (widely?) disliked by different people and for various reasons, I don’t think he was particularly seen as a “Useful Idiot” until he so eagerly assumed that mantle during the 2016 campaign, long after the period of his career you’d understandably prefer to discuss.

      • efgoldman

        I’m pretty sure such a change would have minimal impact on his relevance

        He hates it, I’m sure, but he has no relevance and no influence. He’s at the point now that he’s preaching to the leftier than thou choir and pretty much no-one else.

      • Spider-Dan

        And Curt Schilling was a multiple-time All-Star pitcher and World Series champion with a legitimate Hall of Fame candidacy.

        Are there any other examples of people who used to be known for one thing but have now become famously unhinged advocates for a different thing that you would like to bring up?

        • Susan Sarandon will always be remembered for “Bull Durham”

          but only by Berniebros and Republicans..

          • tsam

            The Hunger or GTFO

            • Ahuitzotl

              The HungerRocky Horror or GTFO

          • Warren Terra

            Helen Prejean was in the news last week – connected with the Arkansas spree, I assume – and it was jarring to see a picture of the real her, not Susan Sarandon.

          • Hogan

            Dammit, Janet!

            • Gator90

              It’s pretty clear she’ll never wise up.

        • Schadenboner

          Jenny McCarthy: was famous(…-ish) for having nice(…-ish) tits, now famous for being off her nut about vaccines?

        • tobie

          Jon Voigt, once a lefty, now an idiot. I don’t know if James Wood evolved to his unhinged Islamophobia or was always rabid when it came to the Middle East.

          • tsam

            I had no idea Voigt was ever a liberal. all my memories of his public statements were typical right wing rich white guy.

        • Orson Scott Card, formerly acclaimed science fiction author, current hatemongering crank.

          • twbb

            His hatemongering crankery goes way back, I thought.

        • N__B

          David Mamet, talented playwright turned right-wing shill.

          • Schadenboner

            David fucking Mamet, talented fucking playwright turned right-wing fuck fuck fuckity fuck fuck fuck shill.

            FT-fucking-FY

            • twbb

              David Mamet’s dialogue is what effete upper-middle-class liberal suburban-born liberal arts graduate men erroneously think non-upper-middle-class-liberal-men talk like.

              Mamet himself is obviously working some deep psychological issues he has regarding masculine insecurity, as can be told not just from his ridiculous dialogue but also his rightward move, his bragging about studying martial arts, his hanging out with special-forces types, and his move to writing action movies.

              But after all, aren’t almost all (male) right-wing shills dealing with personal masculine insecurity?

              • Pasted from the Wikipedia article on Mamet without further comment:

                Arthur Holmberg in his 2014 book David Mamet and Male Friendship, has reconsidered the gender issue in many of Mamet’s plays throughout his career by asserting a prominent and recurrent reversed sexual orientation of portrayed male gender preferences.

                • tsam

                  There must be context I’m missing. What even does all that shit mean?

                • The Great God Pan

                  I think it means “tee hee, he’s a homo!”

                • Origami Isopod

                  I don’t think that refers to Mamet himself but his characters.

              • Scott Lemieux

                Mamet in his prime was a great-not-good playwright and screenwriter.

        • Taylor

          Ray Bradbury, beloved SF author, I heard spent his last years glued to Fox News.

          • twbb

            Frank Herbert seemed to take a hard shift to the right in his later writing, but I could be reading too much into it.

        • cleek

          Chachi demands recognition!

          • N__B

            He had talent at some point?

            • tsam

              DID YOU NOT SEE ZAPPED???? OMFG

  • Azza

    This could perhaps turn out to be another 4chan exercise. The people who gave us Pizzagate are eagerly going through the leak dump to see what they can find or fake. And they’ve been looking to regain rep after they claimed to have written the Steele dossier and went down in flames.

  • wengler

    Fascists are such predictable assholes.

  • Cassiodorus

    I assume the point here isn’t that it would throw the election to Le Pen, it’s to hobble him going into his presidency and build harmful narratives for the parliamentary elections. The timing helps with that, because Wikileaks will get to construct a narrative before Macron gets a chance to respond.

    • Mellano

      Maybe kick a few Melenchon voters to the polls against Macron on Sunday to drive down the margins, too, but yeah. Try to make this five years as powerless as possible. Although that was the likelihood before yesterday, too, given Macron’s weird political position, so who knows.

      • Ronan

        Afaict, although I dont follow it closely enough, the idea that Melenchon supporters wont vote Macron seems to be a real phenomenon (unlike the anti Clinton Bernie bros staying home, which was always bullshit)
        Last (large) poll I saw said 60% of Melenchon supporters might not vote. Anyone know if this is gonna be an issue?

        • Davis X. Machina
        • stonetools

          unlike the anti Clinton Bernie bros staying home, which was always bullshit)

          Nope, not bullshit and I’ve got the Twitter receipts to prove it. Those folks also swore up and down that Wikileaks “proved” that the DNC rigged the election, that the Russians didn’t hack the DNC, and that the DNC disclosures were by a heroic DNC staffer who was later murdered by Hillary operatives.

          • Ronan

            All polling during the ‘bernie bros wont vote clinton’ freak out were showing Bernie supporters were going to vote Clinton in greater proportion than Clinton supporters were going to vote Obama during the 2008 election.
            Has there been any evidence post election of significant Bernie driven non voting? (a handful of people on twitter is not relevant)

  • “Eez nothink to be seeing here. Pleaz to be moving on now.”

    Vladimir Putin

    • We had a friend—I’ll call her “Y”—now sixty, born and raised in the USSR (Ukraine; later Leningrad), daughter of a Great Patriotic War tanker, US resident since the turn of the present century, over to dinner last week. She indignantly denies that the Russians would even think of interfering in the US election, and insists that any assertions to the contrary are fabrications and slanders. She and her sons (now on their late twenties/early thirties) also scoff at the notion that the US ever successfully conducted a manned moon landing. This, according to the lads, was taught in school when they were growing up. Amusingly, I have another friend, an American-woman of approximately the same age, who agrees with Y on pretty much every point: also, chemtrails, FEMA internment camps, vaccines, et cetera.

      At another dinner last year, Y was all weepy because a family friend back in the Ukraine had been blown up in a booby-trapped elevator. I looked up the news accounts: turns out he was an exceedingly unsavory character.

      Anyway, it seems a shame that now that the US and Russia are no longer divided ideologically, and merely subscribers to slightly different flavors of kleptocracy, we remain at hammers and tongs. I’m certain the short-fingered vulgarian frets about this.

      • Davis X. Machina

        ….we remain at hammers and tongs.

        We don’t remain at hammer and tongs. That’s kayfabe. It has to be maintained at least until the oil deals get done and the hotels get built.

        Lame and nugatory gestures in the general direction of human rights, fair elections, etc. is all you’ll get out of the present regime.

        Putin’s Russia remains a beacon, and not an adversary.

        • BiloSagdiyev

          Band name! The Nugatory Gestures.

      • A co-worker from West Virginia once told me:

        “I come from where they think wrestling is real and the moon landing was fake”

        • efgoldman

          “I come from where they think wrestling is real and the moon landing was fake”

          Stealing stealing stealing

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