On Wednesday, writing for VICE, Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai examined the newest conspiracy theory making the rounds on Fox News and promoted by former President Donald Trump himself alleging Hillary Clinton's campaign "hacked" information from Trump's campaign — and what the experts are saying about it.
"Right-wing media outlets like Fox News and the Washington Examiner are pushing a narrative that the Hillary Clinton campaign tried to 'infiltrate' and hack Donald Trump and his presidential campaign in 2016," wrote Franceschi-Bicchierai. "Trump has picked up on this, saying the people responsible for this deserve to be punished by death. Tucker Carlson seized on the story in his show last night as a way to prove that Trump was right all along in his claims that Hillary Clinton was spying on his campaign, and that Rodney Joffe, an executive at tech company Neustar, intercepted internet traffic including emails and text messages."
The basis for this comes from a filing made by special counsel John Durham, who was appointed by former Attorney General William Barr toward the end of the Trump administration to investigate whether the FBI's investigation of the Trump campaign's ties to Russia was aboveboard. The filing reveals that Michael Sussman, a lawyer for the Clinton campaign, used Neustar to determine Russian-made smartphones were connecting to networks at the White House and Trump Tower.
However, this doesn't indicate the Clinton campaign hacked into Trump's campaign, and Durham's actual filing doesn't allege anything of the sort.
"According to cybersecurity experts, the internet data in question is not as nefarious as right-wing media outlets are purporting it to be. Tucker Carlson claimed that 'the filing says that Joffe and his computer scientists intercepted internet traffic, that is emails or presumably text messages' from the Trump campaign. But the data was not 'emails' nor 'text messages,'" wrote Franceschi-Bicchierai. "The data is DNS lookup information that Neustar collected as part of a contract it had with the White House, according to the New York Times. And Neustar claimed that it collected it to monitor for data breaches. DNS lookups are records that show that a certain IP address connected to another IP address on the internet; they don’t contain anything more sensitive like the content of the communication."
"The propagandists at Fox News also know they are being deliberately deceptive," said UC Berkeley computer science researcher Nicholas Weaver.
You can read more here.
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