Starting to feel almost bad for Mike Lindell. Mr. Lindell, I’d like to offer you my services. In exchange fo a fee to be negotiated, I will help you construct a body of slightly-less-obviously-bogus body of evidence for imaginary election fraud. My package includes...
* One (1) superficially plausible backstory for how I have visibility on traffic to hundreds of municipal government networks. At your discretion, I will pepper this backstory with references to actual monitoring tools like “nmap” and “Wireshark” for extra verisimilitude.
* One (1) properly-formatted fabricated pcap screenshot, suitable for use in online videos, guaranteed to provoke less mockery than just converting publicly available voter data to hex. At your request, I can create a version in green Matrix font that dribbles down the screen.
* One (1) spreadsheet of IP addresses involved in the supposed hacks. Unlike some bargain-basement cyber consultants, I will spend 10 minutes on WHOIS ensuring that these IP addresses actually correspond to real servers in the county or country alleged.
* One (1) suitably vague “whistleblower account” from a municipal administrator purporting to link this traffic to “votes being flipped,” sparing you the embarrassment of having to explain how this could possibly be inferred from mere packet sniffing.
At no extra charge, I will do rudimentary background research calculated to avoid obvious and awkward errors, such as claiming a critical breach occurred in a place where the company allegedly breached has no offices or servers.
If necessary, I am prepared to explain these findings wearing a black hoodie in a dimly-lit video, my voice digitally pitched to sub-James-Earl-Jones levels, in a presentation that employs no fewer than ten (10) invocations of real infosec jargon used approximately correctly.
Payment in Dogecoin gladly accepted. It won’t be cheap, but since it’s not “actual malice” if you’re a computer-illiterate dunce who was plausibly tricked into committing slander, it’s a lot cheaper than the alternative!

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More from @normative

7 Jun
I have no idea if this is plausible, and I’m fairly certain the editors of the Wall Street Journal don’t either. Whether it’s correct or not, op-ed pages seem like a pretty obviously horrible place to float technical empirical claims like this.
If it’s correct, or at least has a good chance of being correct, it should be reported in the news pages after peer review. If it’s wrong, you’ve leapfrogged that process and given it unwarranted currency. Either way, this is not a useful “opinion”.
Which is to say, it does not present an argument that the normal reader (or, really, 99.9% of the readership) has any meaningful capability to evaluate.
Read 9 tweets
4 Jun
Apropos my thread from earlier on the “Absolute 9-0” video. Lindell is the ideal mark: He’s rich, wants desperately to believe, doesn’t understand the subject matter at all, AND has an elaborate ideological defense mechanism in place against being alerted to the con.
All cons thrive to some extent on the resistance to the humiliating admission you’ve been duped, but with Lindell you’ve got it on steroids (with a side of cocaine).
He’s built a whole public persona around pushing the con. He’s relying on it in multiple lawsuits! And anyone trying to explain how he’s been gulled gets dismissed as Part of the Liberal Cover-Up looong before they manage to walk him through the basics.
Read 8 tweets
4 Jun
Out of sheer masochism just looked at the latest PillowGuy video “proving” election rigging, and it’s even cringier and more incoherent than I’d expected. Among other things, it seems almost certain Lindell himself is getting conned.
I don’t have much pity—never was there a more willing victim—but it’s comically apparent from the video that a bunch of dudes decided they could bill a rich moron for months of “cyber forensics” work & feed him nonsense, because he wouldn’t know enough to be able to tell.
Assuming Lindell isn’t in on it partly because if he were, he would have come up with something a LITTLE more superficially plausible looking. This is the kind of half-assed thing you throw together when you’re certain the mark doesn’t know anything.
Read 9 tweets
2 Jun
This isn’t how I’d have framed it, but I think it’s right we’re in danger of overcorrecting away from lazy both-sides neutrality in a way that would accelerate epistemic fragmentation & make journalism worse.
Human beings all have biases & opinions & blind spots. The inference from this used to be “so we need strong professional norms to compensate.” My sense is there’s a growing camp for whom the inference is “so objectivity is a fraud & we should stop pretending.”
I think it needs to be stressed that this is as much about the economics of journalism as about norms. Both-sidesing is easy. Objectivity is hard. It requires time, work, subject matter expertise, and hard judgment calls about when reporter umpiring serves the reader.
Read 4 tweets
1 Jun
Apparently Michael Flynn’s derangment is tempered by cowardice: He’s now attempting to retcon his endorsement of a military coup at a QAnon event & pretend he said the opposite of what he is caught on video saying.…
He’s now claiming he said “there’s no reason [a coup like in Myanmar] should happen here. Horseshit. Watch the video. Even if hadn’t already previously called for martial law to overturn the election, it’s not ambiguous. At all.
Question: “I wanna know why what happened in Minnamar [sic] can’t happen here?” [HUGE cheers from crowd]

Flynn: “No reason. I mean, it should happen here.” [more cheers from crowd] “No reason. That’s right. One more!”
Read 10 tweets
25 May
If you could actually do this, it would entail wiping out ~$250 billion in assets, much of that held by people who engaged in lawful transactions. It’s not really clear how you could in fact do it, though.
All the major ransomware groups & most bitcoin exchanges are outside U.S. jurisdiction. So in practice you’re just making it illegal for U.S. victims to pay ransoms. Which… we could just do directly, if we wanted to do that.
There are also thorny definitional issues. Is any digital asset tracked via blockchain a “cryptocurrency”? If so, you’re banning NFTs too. If not, ransomware groups ask for payment in the form of some digital asset that falls outside the definition of “cryptocurrency.”
Read 4 tweets

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