Contra Costa elections detects attempted hacking into internet system

MARTINEZ — An unknown hacker recently tried to access Contra Costa County’s election internet system, according to an email sent by the county’s elections chief.

The unsuccessful hacking attempt “fits a pattern of other attempts/attacks that trace back to foreign interests,” according to an email sent to county staff by Clerk-Recorder and Registrar of Voters Joe Canciamilla Friday morning. He said the elections office notified the state Secretary of State’s office as well as the Department of Homeland Security about the “attempted intrusion.”

“Our security protocols captured and isolated the threat almost immediately,” Canciamilla wrote in the email. It’s unclear when the attack took place.

Elections spokesman Paul Burgarino said the investigation into the incident is still in its early stages, but preliminary information indicated the attempt was unsuccessful.

“It never got into our system. We’re still looking into the systems behind what happened,” Burgarino said. “We don’t know origin yet, that’s what we’re looking into.”

Check back for updates

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Source:: The Mercury News – Politics


Analysis: The Mueller report has landed – now what?

By Aaron Blake | Washington Post

WASHINGTON – Robert Mueller just delivered the long-awaited and highly anticipated report on his Russia investigation to Attorney General William Barr.

Welcome to one of the most anti-climactic moments in modern American political history.

The truth is we don’t really know anything we didn’t know a few minutes ago, and it’s still massively unclear what we’ll learn about Mueller’s findings. In his letter to Congress Friday, Barr wrote that he remains “committed to as much transparency as possible, and I will keep you informed as to the status of my review.” He said he could deliver a summary as early as this weekend.

But it’s unclear what that will actually look like.

As Barr explained in his confirmation hearing back in February, once he received the report, he planned to summarize the parts he can for Congress and the public within the constraints of the law and Justice Department guidelines.

What does that mean? What happens next? Here’s a little primer to consult as we wait … again.

What constrains Barr?

There are a few basic things Barr may have to withhold from public view, and even potentially from Congress.

Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6 says that details of the investigation must be kept secret unless they are revealed as part of a court order related to an indictment or other proceeding. Grand jury rules prohibit the disclosure of information obtained via that method – a method Mueller has undoubtedly used extensively – unless actual charges are filed. And Barr will also have to review the report for any classified information.

It is expected that this review process could take days or even weeks.

The Catch-22

But this creates an unusual and problematic circumstance when it comes to President Donald Trump. The Justice Department has affirmed its guidelines prohibit the indictment of a sitting president, …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics


Parkland school shooting survivor takes her own life

By Eli Rosenberg | Washington Post

Sydney Aiello, a survivor of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, killed herself last weekend, according to family members and friends cited in news reports.

Aiello, 19, was a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last year when a gunman killed 17 students and school staff. One of her friends, Meadow Pollack, was a victim of the shooting.

“Beautiful Sydney with such a bright future was taken from us way too soon,” Meadow’s brother, Hunter Pollack, wrote on Twitter. “It was completely devastating to bury another beautiful young person in Parkland today. Our community is going through tragedy again.”

The Broward County medical examiner’s office told NBC that Aiello died of a gunshot wound to the head.

Aiello’s mother, Cara, told CBS Miami that her daughter was at school the day of the mass shooting but not in the freshman building, where it occurred. Still, she experienced survivor’s guilt and had recently received a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder, the news channel reported.

“Cara said Sydney struggled to attend college classes because she was afraid of being in a classroom and was often sad recently but never asked for help before she killed herself,” the station wrote.

Aiello was passionate about cheerleading, yoga and “brightening up the days of others,” according to a GoFundMe page created to raise money for her funeral.

Her Facebook page, which has been turned into a memorial, shows pictures of her on the beach and with friends. It also featured pictures taken at the March for Our Lives, a gun-control event in March 2018 at which many Stoneman Douglas students spoke. In September, Aiello announced that she had started teaching a yoga class.

“It’s terrible what happened,” Meadow Pollack’s father, Andrew, told the Miami Herald. “Killing yourself is not the answer. . . . If anyone feels …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics


Timeline of developments in Mueller investigation

By Grant McCool | Reuters

Here is a timeline of significant developments in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and whether President Donald Trump’s campaign conspired with Moscow.


May 17 – U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appoints former FBI Director Mueller as a special counsel to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 election and to look into any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and people associated with Republican Trump’s campaign.

The appointment follows President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey on May 9 and days later Trump attributed the dismissal to “this Russia thing.”

June 15 – Mueller is investigating Trump for possible obstruction of justice, the Washington Post reports.

Oct. 30 – Veteran Republican political operative and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who worked for the campaign for five pivotal months in 2016, is indicted on charges of conspiracy against the United States and money laundering as is his business partner Rick Gates, who also worked for Trump’s campaign.

Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos pleads guilty to a charge of lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials.

Dec. 1 – Michael Flynn, Trump’s national security adviser for less than a month who also had a prominent campaign role, pleads guilty to the charge of lying to the FBI about his discussions in 2016 with the Russian ambassador to Washington.


Feb. 16 – Federal grand jury indicts 13 Russians and three firms, including a Russian government propaganda arm called the Internet Research Agency, accusing them of tampering to support Trump and disparage Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. The accused “had a strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election” according to the court document filed by Mueller.

An American, Richard Pinedo, pleads guilty to identity …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics


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