Political Hacks

2010 April 14
by Dave

In the 2008 election we saw the beginnings of political hacking. For the most part it was accomplished by brute force methods involving getting supporters to go vote as many times as they could in internet polls and to comment on as many websites as possible in order to give Ron Paul the appearance of much greater grass roots support than he actually had. Want to know what’s going to be big this time?

You can get your brain moving in the right direction by going to Google and doing a search on Nancy Pelosi. You may notice that there are ads on the right hand side of the page. The first time that I ran the search five ads came up. I clicked on each of the ads to see what they were. Two of them were soliciting donations for political groups opposed to Pelosi. There is no way that I am going to donate money to either pro or anti Pelosi groups, but I just cost them some money by clicking on their ads.

It gets better. My one click on ScrapTheBill.org’s ad happened to use up their last allocation of ad money with Google. When I ran the search again that ad had disappeared. I had single handedly made sure that someone who might have clicked on that ad and donated money will not get the chance to. That’s probably the most politically influential act that I’ve ever committed since I live in California and we are so terribly gerrymandered that our votes aren’t worth squat.

Don’t like a candidate? Find links to as many of his ads as you can and spew them far and wide.

Online campaigning opens the door to social engineering. Tea Party activists from out of state were able to sign up on line and be given a list of numbers to call to talk to people on behalf of Scott Brown in the special Senate election in Massachusetts this January. This virtual phone bank could have been much more easily infiltrated by people who would actually give a negative Scott Brown message than a real phone bank ever could.

The 2010 congressional race will see a true renaissance in political dirty tricks, and they will be carried out online and consist of  much more than Wonkette readers posting about truck nutz every time a GOP website allows comments.

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