Not what, but how, may be more the issue here.
The United States Chamber of Commerce, the business organization that represents international corporations in Washington, is being accused of hacking into the websites of its opponents in an attempt to sabotage and derail voices opposed to the Chamber.
On Feb. 10, liberal website Think Progress reported that the U-S Chamber of Commerce had secretly solicited a handful of private security firms to “develop tactics for damaging progressive groups and labor unions, “and was plotting a coordinated “dirty tricks” campaign against these opponents, including Think Progress itself. Now, details are beginning to emerge about that campaign.
The “ChamberLeaks” story broke after members of the hacker collective Anonymous –recently in the news for targeting foes of WikiLeaks– infiltrated the computers of security contractor HBGary Federal and leaked thousands of internal emails online.
E-mails reveal that lobbying firm Hunton & Williams reached out to three security contractors to investigate the Chamber’s political opponents, meeting with representatives and taking proposals for a $2 million contract. (Nobody was ever hired, but the project was nicknamed “Themis” after the Roman goddess of law and order).
“The proposals included distributing fake documents and launching cyber-attacks,” and creating “fake insider personas” on social media sites attributed to activists, says the Washington Post.
While the Chamber denied knowledge of the plans in an official statement –it accused Think Progress of organizing a “smear campaign” against it– the site maintains that evidence speaks to the contrary. “While many questions remain in the unfolding ChamberLeaks controversy,” says ThinkProgress, “what’s clear is that this multitude of emails clearly contradicts the Chamber’s claim that they were ‘not aware of these proposals until HBGary’s e-mails leaked.'”
It’s no surprise that the Chamber is working against those with whom it disagrees; what is newsworthy is the way they chose to do it. Not with facts, but with lies and smears.
As the Washington Post reports, “The proposals included distributing fake documents and launching cyber-attacks,” and creating “fake insider personas” on social media sites attributed to activists.”
Welcome to the post Citizen’s United world, brought to you by the U-S Supreme Court, a wholly owned subsidiary of whomever pays the most.
The U-S Chamber of Commerce jumped the shark decades ago. It’s a pile of crap now, has been for years.