French Presidential Election Marches Onward In Spite Of Hacking Claims
[guest post by Dana]
Apparently, we should now expect the disruption of democratic elections in the West:
Leading French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron’s campaign said on Friday it had been the target of a “massive” computer hack that dumped its campaign emails online 1-1/2 days before voters choose between the centrist and his far-right rival, Marine Le Pen.
Macron, who is seen as the frontrunner in an election billed as the most important in France in decades, extended his lead over Le Pen in polls on Friday.
As much as 9 gigabytes of data were posted on a profile called EMLEAKS to Pastebin, a site that allows anonymous document sharing. It was not immediately clear who was responsible for posting the data or if any of it was genuine.
In a statement, Macron’s political movement En Marche! (Onwards!) confirmed that it had been hacked.
“The En Marche! Movement has been the victim of a massive and co-ordinated hack this evening which has given rise to the diffusion on social media of various internal information,” the statement said.
In spite of President Putin’s jaw-dropping denial, “It has never occurred to us to interfere in other countries internal affairs,” eyes are on Russia:
The French Election Committee has instructed voters to be responsible and not share the hacked materials. Perhaps the French citizenry take their election ethics so seriously that they will resist the urge to google the documents. But wouldn’t it be irresponsible for voters to not make every effort to be as fully informed as possible before casting their votes?
“On the eve of the most important election for our institutions, the commission calls on everyone present on internet sites and social networks, primarily the media, but also all citizens, to show responsibility and not to pass on this content, so as not to distort the sincerity of the ballot,” the French election commission said in a statement on Saturday.
And this is most interesting – Le Monde newspaper will not publish any leaked information until they deem it suitable:
“If these documents contain revelations, Le Monde will of course publish them after having investigated them, respecting our journalistic and ethical rules, and without allowing ourselves to be exploited by the publishing calendar of anonymous actors,” it said. As the #Macronleaks hashtag buzzed around social media on Friday night, Florian Philippot, deputy leader of Le Pen’s National Front party, tweeted “Will Macronleaks teach us something that investigative journalism has deliberately kept silent?”
Suggesting that journalists may have a favorite candidate and would work toward protecting that individual doesn’t really speak to any election ethics, does it? Of course, we wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if French voters discovered less than favorable details about France’s leading presidential candidate and his campaign staff, similar to how we did last year.
On a side note, and following Macron’s lead with his political movement, En Marche! (Onwards!), comes Hillary Clinton’s new anti-Trump political PAC, “Onward Together”. Mrs. Clinton is marching onward toward 2020. Whether for herself, or on behalf of Chelsea, who knows.
(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)