Submitted By Lawrence Rafferty, (rafflaw), Guest Blogger
When someone mentions the United States Chamber of Commerce to me, I automatically think of the recent claims that were made that the Chamber solicited campaign donations from foreign corporations during the last election cycle. “A ThinkProgress investigation has found that the Chamber funds its political attack campaign out of its general account, which solicits foreign funding. And while the Chamber will likely assert it has internal controls, foreign money is fungible, permitting the Chamber to run its unprecedented attack campaign. According to legal experts consulted by ThinkProgress, the Chamber is likely skirting longstanding campaign finance law that bans the involvement of foreign corporations in American elections.” Think Progress While that may be an atrocious and possibly illegal funding of domestic elections with foreign money, I am not currently interested in that “activity” of our friends at the Chamber of Commerce. Something else caught my eye!
I am concerned today with allegations that claim the Chamber of Commerce plotted with military contractors “…to come up with a proposal to discredit groups like ThinkProgress, the SEIU, StopTheChamber.com, MoveOn.org, and others. The tactics proposed included spying on families, using malware computer viruses to steal private information, using fake documents to embarrass liberals, and creating fake identities to infiltrate their targets.” Think Progress These allegations should be taken seriously because they claim that the Chamber was planning on stealing private information that was stored on the aforementioned groups computers. The last time I checked, hacking into computers and stealing information was illegal. Recently, Richard Clarke, the former cyber security czar with the Bush Administration, argued that the Chamber might have committed a felony.
“I think it’s a violation of 10USC. I think it’s a felony, and I think they should go to jail. You call them a large trade association, I call them a large political action group that took foreign money in the last election. But be that as it may, if you in the United States, if any American citizen anywhere in the world, because this is an extraterritorial law, so don’t think you can go to Bermuda and do it, if any American citizen anywhere in the world engages in unauthorized penetration, or identity theft, accessing a number through identity theft purposes, that’s a felony and if the Chamber of Commerce wants to try that, that’s fine with me because the FBI will be on their doorstep in a matter of hours” Think Progress While Richard Clarke is not an official of the Department of Justice, he does make a good point. The contractors that the Chamber is alleged to have planned or plotted with to make these alleged intrusions into private computers of groups that are critical of the Chamber of Commerce, just happen to be contractors that have worked with the military in the area of cyber war.
It amazes me that the United States Chamber of Commerce can allegedly plot to commit computer crimes and the main stream media is silent on the issue. While there has been some interest on this issue from Congressmen, we still have heard very little about the potential crimes from the mass media. Washington Post Will the Chamber of Commerce be investigated for these serious allegations and how far will we allow an advocacy group to go to try to get their candidate(s) elected before the FBI calls a halt to any illegal activities? It is funny that political activists on the right can scam people into believing that someone has committed crimes or made disparaging comments about an opponent and the entire media machine is right on the story, but if and when the line of legality gets crossed by the Right, you can’t give away the story. Damn that Liberal Media!?
Respectfully submitted by Lawrence Rafferty, Guest Blogger