All posts in “Gop”

Leaked Wikileaks chats reveal it actually thought we’d be better off with the GOP in power

Julian knows best. Except when he clearly doesn't.
Julian knows best. Except when he clearly doesn’t.

Image: Carl Court/Getty Images

No one can know the future, but man did Julian Assange really not have a clue.

The founder and publisher of Wikileaks is a controversial figure, and a series of leaked private chats published by The Intercept demonstrate that his lightning-rod persona is not just for the public’s benefit. Those chats also reveal several truths about the man, including the nugget that he thought we’d be better off if the Republicans won the 2016 U.S. presidential election. 

Which, well, yeah. About that

That questionable assumption comes out of a private Twitter group that included Assange and some of his top online supporters. According to The Intercept, the chat logs run from May 2015 to November 2017, and were sent to the publication by the same person who created the group. 

The Intercept got its hands on more than 11,000 messages, and chose to publish 16 pages of them online. A look through them gives us no top-secret bombshells, but does remind the reader that Assange is far from the master strategist. 

“We believe it would be much better for GOP to win,” the Wikileaks Twitter account — which The Intercept says is “widely understood” to be run by Assange — wrote. 

“Dems+Media+liberals woudl then form a block to reign in their worst qualities. With Hillary in charge, GOP will be pushing for her worst qualities., dems+media+neoliberals will be mute.”

The GOP, in the form of Donald Trump, did of course end up winning the election. And the Democrats, contrary to Assange’s stated expectations, haven’t really managed to reign in his worst qualities. Which, if he had been paying any attention to the Democrats during the Bush years, could not have come as much of a surprise. 

So restrained.

So restrained.

Image: Win McNamee /Getty Images

It seems that Assange was specifically concerned about what he assumed to be Clinton’s “greater freedom to start wars than the GOP,” writing that she “has the will to do so.” While far be it from us to call Clinton a dove, thinking the Republican party isn’t all about starting wars of choice is pretty goddamn rich. 

And Trump, while thankfully not kicking off a brand new war since taking office (though he does clearly enjoy bombing Middle Eastern countries), sure does like to threaten the start of global annihilation.

Of course, the questionable comments from Assange are not limited to the 2016 U.S. presidential election. In the leaked discussion he manages to throw around some transphobia, a dash of suggested antisemitism, and for good measure, musings about whether or not Clinton might have a stroke

The excerpts of conversation are not exactly a fun read, to be clear. But they do help elucidate one key fact: Assange doesn’t exactly know what he’s talking about — a fact we will now be reminded of every time the obviously restrained by Democrats Trump threatens to start World War III.

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Nearly 200 million voters exposed in GOP data leak, proving all political parties are susceptible to being hacked

Image: Shutterstock / Barbara Kalbfleisch

Registered U.S. voters dating back more than a decade have been exposed in what’s believed to be the largest leak of voter information in history.

A data analytics contractor hired by the Republican National Committee (RNC) left databases containing information about 198 million potential voters open to the public for download without a password, according to a ZDNet report.

The leak helps prove that any political party is susceptible to cybersecurity vulnerabilities, despite the GOP’s insistence that it ran a more secure 2016 presidential campaign than the rival Democratic National Committee (DNC).

The exposed databases belonged to the contractor Deep Root Analytics and contained about 25 terabytes on an Amazon S3 storage server that could be viewed without requiring a user to be logged in. In theory, this means that anyone knowing where to look could have viewed, downloaded, and have potentially used the information for malicious purposes.

The RNC worked closely with Deep Root Analytics during the 2016 election and paid the company $983,000 between January 2015 and November 2016, according to an AdAge report.

The RNC’s remarkably bad security was first discovered by researcher Chris Vickery of the security firm UpGuard. The security firm responsibly disclosed the vulnerability to the RNC, and the server was secured last week prior to making the news public today.

This vast exposure of voter information highlights the growing risk of data-driven campaigning used by both the DNC and RNC. The data in this case contained models about voters positions on different issues, including how likely it is that they voted for Obama in 2012 and whether they were likely to agree with Trump’s “America First” foreign policy talking point. 

The leak has essentially exposed more than half of the U.S. population, trouncing the second-largest leak of voter information, the 2016 exposure of 93.4 million Mexican voters.

Perhaps the worst part about all of this is there’s very little voters can do to ensure their information is stored privately and securely. Mashable has reached out to the RNC and Deep Root Analytics for comment, and will update when we hear back.

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