Crossposted from Occupy For Accountability


Two weeks ago we published a letter we received at our whistleblower Post Office Box from a shadowy group of cyber sleuths called “The Protectors.”  In short, the letter stated that the group installed a firewall on servers that were going to be used by Karl Rove to manipulate election results.  Moreover, the letter stated that the group also caused the catastrophic failure of Team Romney’s ORCA get out the vote project.

At the time, we questioned whether these were two separate attacks and whether the ORCA attack, if separate, would be moral and legal.  We have gathered additional information and have concluded that ORCA and the digital manipulation scheme were most likely two prongs of Karl Rove’s plan to rig election results and that The Protectors’ firewalls may have caused the failure of ORCA and was therefore more than likely legally justified.  

Karl Rove’s Close Relationship With Smartech

Although The Protectors letter did not mention where the servers it targeted were located, past history makes it likely that one or more of those servers was controlled by Smartech Corporation. This conclusion is based on the fact that Karl Rove has a very close relationship with Smartech and Smartech was apparently used by Mr. Rove to manipulate the 2004 Ohio election results.

Mitt Romney And The RNC Team Up With Smartech in 2012 For GOTV

Mitt Romney and the RNC spent months creating a new GOTV project using digital applications and swarms of volunteers.  Initially, this was not publicly called ORCA but rather was merely announced in July as a GOTV canvassing project that would be able to contact hundreds of thousands of voters in swing states.

According to published accounts, this was a “joint” project of the RNC and Romney Election Team that would be “stress tested” every month until the November 6 election. Id.  “The GOP will run these Saturday tests once a month.  The information is used as the campaign progresses to guide decisions such as where to deploy volunteers, where to focus early-voting turnout efforts, and which areas have the most undecided voters.” Id.

Smartech Hosts All The RNC And GOP Servers

Smartech is a Republican controlled operation and hosts the most important online GOP servers, campaigns, and websites. The entire Smartech Master Server List shows that it now hosts 28 RNC related servers/domains, 89 GOP related servers/domains, three Romney related servers/domains and many other high-powered Republican servers such as the Koch Brothers’ Americans For Prosperity, and

Smartech Hosts The GOP Data Center (Formerly Called Voter Vault)

In 2008, John McCain used Smartech’s Voter Vault data system to run its GOTV call centers.

“The GOP Voter Vault uses a point system that can tabulate if you’re a likely Republican or Democratic voter using certain demographic canvassing criteria. It's especially useful in determining if you might be easily persuaded either way politically, based on a sophisticated scoring structure.”

Smartech later changed the Voter Vault name to the “GOP Data Center” and bragged that it included data on more than 165 million registered voters.

The Protectors’ Firewall Likely Interfered With The ORCA Project

If, in fact, Karl Rove intended to manipulate the votes in three states through some sort of digital man in the middle attack as he allegedly did in 2004, then he had to know from what precincts and counties he could add votes without it looking suspicious.  The best way to do this would be through the use of a GOTV scheme where volunteers would upload data in real time as Project ORCA was designed to do.  However, in order to provide the best data, the information would have to be tied to a voter registration database such as the GOP Data Center hosted by Smartech.  

If, in fact, The Protectors were inside the Smartech servers and knew the entire GOP digital architecture, then they understood that ORCA was not merely a GOTV program but part of Karl Rove’s illegal scheme to manipulate the election. Therefore, they may have installed some type of firewall on the ORCA Project that caused it to fail.  That firewall may have been placed on the GOP Data Center servers thereby making it difficult for volunteers on the ground to get the necessary data to process their information.  This could have resulted in crashes, error messages, lack of access and system overloads from repeated attempts to access the system.  


If The Protectors stopped Karl Rove from committing the crime of electoral fraud, as their letter states, and if Project ORCA was part of the scheme to commit that crime, as the above potentially suggests, then The Protectors seem to have acted from a moral high ground that may have justified their conduct.  Moreover, their actions probably cannot be considered a crime because they had no intent to commit a crime.  Instead, they may have actually stopped a crime.  This is analogous to a Good Samaritan who uses force to save a child from being kidnapped.  If that force were used absent the kidnapping, it would be considered a crime.  However, since that force was used to stop a crime, it is considered justified. We will continue to monitor this issue and report on anything new that we run across.  


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