In the furore created over recent times, it appears that Russia has been fingered as the source of some of the hacked information that was used to a strong effect in the US Presidential election. Whilst somewhat unsurprising that Russia would want to influence US policy, it has seemed unlikely up until now that it would actually be able to happen.
The furore mostly surrounds the election of President elect Donald Trump, who as most people will now be aware was the preferred selection of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The meddling has actually had a profound effect on Russia’s biggest enemy, and potentially avoided another Anti Moscow politician sitting in the White house. It’s known for instance that Russian’s had been involved in a data stealing exercise of the Democratic National Committee. It’s also unknown if the data released by Wikileaks with regards to Democatic party affairs was a proxy release based on information also gained by the Russians. But what is known is that this data most certainly affected Hilary Clinton’s campaign. It is also known that Wikileaks had significant dirt on Donald Trump and the republican’s but chose not to release it. This decision is interesting, as most people wouldn’t put Julian Assange in legion with Vladimir Putin. Indeed politically they’re thought to be complete opposites. So what would have Assange gained by this deal is unknown, but there is a compelling feeling among the security community that this is indeed what happened.
What Russia actually wanted is unclear, but security experts have also stated that around election day Russian hackers were probing the integrity of the American electoral infrastructure. Whilst it is agreed that they didn’t succeed in changing the result by those means, the hearts and minds war that was waged may have been significantly influenced by Russian attempts to influence it.
What is clear is that they got the candidate that they wanted. RT the Russian government controlled broadcaster openly campaigned in Donald Trump’s favour. Currently there are laws preventing foreign government financial support to Presidential candidates. The feeling now around Washington is that this should be extended to news media outlets that are state sponsored.
Outgoing President Barack Obama has launched an investigation in to the role of Russia in the election, the results will be watched with great interest as the two big superpowers square up once again.
Joseph is a 34 year old freelance writer from London. He has a wide interest in politics and specialises in the subject. He's also a blog writer in his spare time.