With fevered talk that’s reminiscent of the Cold War, the possibility of Russian hackers potentially having an effect on the American presidential election in November has garnered a great media deal of attention. In truth, it’s really nothing new and assumes that the covert operations of American and other interests are simply allowing it to happen without any attempt at retribution.
That would be a faulty assumption, since the National Security Agency (NSA) was the place where Edward Snowden was contracted to perform such duties. Once he left with classified information from the NSA, Snowden proceeded to offer it to journalists who eagerly published material.
A mountain of information emerged, chief among them the fact that that the United States government was keeping a close watch on many of its own unsuspecting citizens. While enemy states were also part of this, so were phone calls from allied leaders like Angela Merkel of Germany and Francois Hollande of France.
Just one year ago, Russian hackers found their way into a Pentagon cyber network, which was seen as retaliation for sanctions being imposed on Russia for its controversial incursion into the Ukraine. While no evidence existed of any compromised information, the warning signs, which were likely already evident, became that much clearer.
The mere fact that Russian President Vladimir Putin spent 16 years in the former KGB is a clear indication that spy tactics and other clandestine manoeuvres should be standard operating procedure.
The purported belief that leaked e-mails could hurt Hillary Clinton’s chances in that upcoming election would hurt her and help her opponent, Donald Trump. It seems unlikely to change the eventual dynamic, whereby Trump will implode since he now has to get a majority of the electorate to vote for him instead of just one side.