Saturday, July 25, 2015

Updegrove, The Lafayette Campaign

A change of pace: some light reading for those who watch programs like “Mr. Robot” and even the dreary “CSI: Cyber.” (I exercised through about ten minutes of the latter show before I pulled the plug once and for all.)

Andrew Updegrove, author of The Alexandria Project, is back with another Frank Adversego cyber-thriller, The Lafayette Campaign: A Tale of Deception and Elections. If you (well, only if you’re a Republican) think that the worst case scenario is that Donald Trump decides the next presidential election, assuming that he runs as a third-party candidate, think again. Elections can be tipped or determined not only by third-party candidates (Ralph Nader is often said to have been the spoiler in 2000) and Supreme Court decisions but also by hackers.

The more electronic elections become, the more hackable they are. Competing rogue forces can devote funds and skills to shaping their outcome. Indeed, just think about it. Why give millions of dollars to PACs, money which is often wasted, when you can fund a bunch of hackers? The Chicago “vote early and often” pols and the RNC Watergate crew worked in the pre-digital era. Today their exploits seem laughably primitive. Elections can be stolen much more elegantly with a few lines of code.

The Lafayette Campaign is a fast-paced thriller that takes the reader through the machinations of election cyber-fraud. A perfect beach book.

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