Good -- or bad? -- news for that segment of people who always wonder if foreign entities affect elections inside the United States. There are now reports that those suspicions could be founded.
The Associated Press (AP) is reporting that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said foreign hackers are “spying” on presidential candidates. The director did not specify which candidate(s) are being hacked, but experts in this field say that neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump’s campaign networks could withstand a hacking attempt.
Speaking at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C., Clapper said that the intelligence community expects continued “cyber threats” against the candidates.
This isn't the first time presidential candidates have been targeted and/or compromised by hackers.
- The group synonymous with the hacking group "Anonymous" claimed that they hacked GOP frontrunner Donald Trump some months back.
- During the 2008 presidential election, reports surfaced that Chinese government hackers tapped into the networks of then-senators Barack Obama and John McCain.
- Time reported that in 2012, both President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney both faced attempts by “foreign and domestic” hackers trying to influence the race.
Just how much these attempts to hack presidential candidates influence elections can never really be known. Who knows how some of these “PACs” get their damning information on opposing candidates? Could the information being used in some of these non-campaign affiliated attack ads be the same information discovered by hackers?
At a certain point, we need to ask ourselves: between the media, hackers, pundits, lobbyists, foreign entities and even our own government, how much say do "We the People” actually have during an election cycle?