Monday, October 10, 2011

Will debased politics hit the databases?

Politico's Kenneth P. Vogel today delves into the coopetition between the GOP fundraising empires of Karl Rove and the Koch brothers.  When the account turned to rival databases, I suffered a free association so sharp it was almost comic, as if the keyword word flashed in front of my eyeballs. Here was the trigger:
Earlier this year, operatives from both camps had conversations with the Republican National Committee about accessing its mega database of voter information, which is both a powerful organizing tool and a valuable asset used as collateral to secure bank loans and lines of credit.

“This is about getting a hold of the most valuable asset that the RNC has,” said former RNC Chairman Michael Steele, who asserted Rove’s allies have for years wanted to “get their hands on this list so bad they can taste it.”

The word was Stuxnet.  And no, I don't expect the Koch and Rove empires to sabotage each others' databases.  What I can easily imagine is Rove or other GOP operatives corrupting or stealing Democrats' data. It's so in keeping with the m.o. of the aging College Republicans who have directed GOP campaigns for a generation.

The Times yesterday had an article (by Scott Shane) about the United States' inevitable loss over time of its monopoly on drone technology.  The same is doubtless true of the kind of cyberwarfare we seem to have collaborated in to unleash Stuxnet on the computers controlling Iran's centrifuges.  In fact, Danger Room's Noah Shachtman reports that a virus has hit the U.S. drone fleet, "logging pilots’ every keystroke as they remotely fly missions over Afghanistan and other warzones."

Cyberwarfare is nothing new.  But it's surely escalating. And I wouldn't be surprised to learn that it's at work in the free fire zone that our politics has become.

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