High Tech Sabotage: From Election Votes to Your Wallet

21 October 2008

It appears that those subtle Derren Brown mental tricks you've been trying to learn (yes, even the one where he reveals pick up lines) pale in comparison to online tactics used by rogue campaigners- and it affects everything from how you vote, down to your wallet.

Wired.com reports that there is a conspiracy to suppress votes in the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election that could move toward using the internet as a vehicle for carrying out various schemes, “from carefully targeted denial-of-service attacks to fake websites with false polling place addresses.”

As Sarah Palin would say, "... that is a team of maaavericks..."

With this Presidential race arguably being the most important in U.S. history, fanatics and zealots may resort to extreme measures to ensure victory for their own candidates.  Especially when Obama has one of the highest number of Twitter followers.  Rogue campaigners are expected to commit e-crimes that will blast deceptive campaign smears and trick impressionable, ignorant voters into going to the wrong places to register and to vote.  "

Hey, nice house, kiddo, and that's a cool Alienware Laptop you got there.  So where do I vote?"

So what does that have to do with us here in Great Blighty?

Firstly, this kind of high tech scamming has global implications which could affect all our pocketbooks.  The lack of both transparency and privacy on the internet creates a need for personal responsibility when shopping, researching, or communicating online. Not only is it easy for scammers to use phishing techniques to get you to give up your personal information, but money hungry corporations can take advantage of consumers who don’t check facts and have a tendency to believe anything that sounds “official”. You mean, like British Gas on your fuel bills? You betcha.

Secondly, just because XYZ Corp launches a fancy, intrusive marketing campaign to sell their latest widget, that doesn’t mean that it really is better, just as it is no more true that Barack Obama can magically transform America just because he spent a lot of money to create elaborate messages about “Change” and “Hope”.

If you don’t check facts and you don’t question the powers-that-(seem to)-be, you could find yourself riding all the way to the poor house on the bandwagon with everyone else who buys whatever the tele or the computer screen tells them to.

So please ask yourself: is the iPhone 3G really going to change your life?  Should it actually be worth a bigger price tag than a stone from 20,000 BC, for that matter?  We'll leave you to decide on that one.

[via Wired]

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