Washington DC, (TFC)— Hackers who allegedly infiltrated the DNC’s servers continue to raise the bar for info-jacking, and leaking. They’ve now moved to discredit repeated Clinton campaign denials that they too were had. A steaming hot cache of campaign documents, leaked to outlets, unveil the organization’s disturbing surveillance of journalists. The near Orwellian findings add to Clinton’s pattern of subversion and control of press and information freedom.
These most recent leaks were sent to the Smoking Gun, an outlet specializing in document acquisition. According to Smoking Gun, infiltrators targeted the email’s of staffers working in communications, campaign finance, and policy advisement.
Though officials assert these are endeavors by Russian entities, this remains unconfirmed propaganda. At least one hacker, “Guccifer 2.0”, has claimed responsibility for the initial DNC hacks, and leaked said info. Guccifer, whose name references a imprisoned Romanian counterpart, allegedly supplied these leaks as well.
Cyber-security firm SecureWorks responded to this breach, releasing details used in official narratives. According to Smoking Gun, SecureWorks found hackers tricked staffers into using fabricated Gmail log in pages.
At least one volunteer, Sarah Hamilton, was ensnared, offering hackers troves of private data. Hamilton, working in Clinton’s press operations, once served as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s spokesperson. She declined to comment on her comprised emails or the information within.
Hamilton’s email data revealed aids mobilized staffers to impede journalists working at a rally. All three Clinton’s–Hillary, Bill, and Chelsea–were in attendance, closely observed by reporters and other rally goers. Leaked emails reveal staffers were ordered, amongst other things, to cover the “rope line” with their bodies.
In case you’re wondering, a rope line is literally a rope used to separate celebrities from crowds. Clinton’s rally, however, sought to segregate one specific demographic. Staffers were told to line up in a way that would allow the crowd to come close, while also blocking press cameras. Emails provided by Guccifer 2.0 also recount how reporters were told “politely yet firmly” to stay in the press pin. Campaign workers eventually conceded, emailing “but we should expect press and cameras to move forward for rope line.”
From their posts, staffers observed the movements of journalists, especially targeting CNN producer Dan Merica. “Watch out for Dan Merica center right”, “on the backstage bleachers”, “stage left”, “stage right”. According to Smoking Gun, Merica was flagged for surveillance after talking to an “aggressive French journalist.”
“I’m with dan America on back stage bleachers”, the real-time emailed updates go on, and on, and on. Campaign staffers allegedly feared Merica would ask a question if allowed to approach any Clinton.
Local press pool’s also reputedly included Lynn Sweet– Washington DC bureau chief of the Chicago Sun-Times. Sarah Hamilton sent emails using Sweet’s name as the topic a she monitored her movements. “Let’s keep an eye on her [Lynn Sweet]”, read an incoming message. “Yes”, Hamilton replied, “I’m sitting next to her on the bus.”
These certainly aren’t the Clinton campaign’s first attempts to contain or block out the press. Just months ago, it was reported that Hillary Clinton positioned white noise machines to obscure a speech to high-end donors. Other times, known Clinton-critical journalists have been blocked from rally events all together. Activists are no different, including those that pay expenses to attend more exclusive events. Leaks from Clinton’s own emails even include communications with Lynn. F. de Rothschild, speaking fondly of an incoming Parade magazine fluff piece. Pro-Clinton SuperPAC’s also raised $1 million to silence online Clinton-haters, and plant pro-Clinton comments. Just some things to think about next time the presumptive candidate accepts an interview on national television.