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Oh boy, first the revelation that Rove was the Valerie Plame leaker now a classic Watergate move! Things are really heating up. Maybe I would watch LIVE8 if this didn't seem monumentally more important.

 From the Toledo Blade

COLUMBUS -- Thieves targeted the Ohio Democratic Party Headquarters this week, stealing a computer and a high-tech communications gadget belonging to party chairman Denny White.

Police said yesterday one or more burglars appeared to have climbed a wall Monday and crawled through an unlocked second-story window overnight at the party headquarters about three blocks from the Statehouse.

The break-in occurs at a time when the Ohio Republican Party is threatened by one of the largest scandals to hit the state's government in decades.

Some Democrats also say the break-in is eerily similar to a burglary at the Lucas County Democratic Party Headquarters last fall, in which three computers were stolen.

Originally posted to NoAlternative on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 05:38 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Lemme guess (4.00)
    in a few days, when the heat's on Rove, a computer will "magically" show up (with a Diebold sticker on it, no doubt) with evidence of illegal activity by Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, Reid, Slaugher, the whole gang.

    All get charged with pedophilia and treason, and are never seen or heard from again.

    And the war rages on. And on. And on.

    Phillybits "Censoring torture stories doesn't help the troops."

    by Stand Strong on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 05:39:20 PM PDT

    •  The criminal charges (none)
      The computers will show ties to terrorist activities and plots. That way we can ship Dean and Pelosi to an undisclosed location for security reasons, and keep them incommunicado to prevent the passing of messages to their anti-American comrades.

      Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself. -- Mark Twain

      by jabbausaf on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 05:55:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The computer will lead to Dean's farmhouse (none)
        where the chained bodies of three 11 year-old missing white girls will be found.  

        Dean will be charged, along with Reid and Chris Dodd on a co-conspiracy kidnapping rap.

        Find out just how totally GUILTY! they are on Nancy Grace, Tuesday at 8pm.

  •  After the burglary in Toledo (4.00)
    They're still not securing the building???????

    No-one who voted against the USAPATRIOT Act has lost an election. I am not currently Licensed to Practice in this State. Or Yours.

    by ben masel on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 05:50:49 PM PDT

    •  Really tells you something (4.00)
      About the Democratic Party of Ohio, doesn't it?

      Come see the house that Tom Delay built.

      by Goldfish on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 07:02:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes and no (none)
        Unfortunately, I think that the number one concern for many political types is public opinion and winning elections, and for many Democratic political types, it's a very limited subset of ways to influence public opinion and win elections.

        Security just isn't high on the list.  They don't think that way, and that is one of the things that absolutely, positively has to change.  They have to start thinking of this as an all-out political war, and stop ruling things out as far as what the bad guys will try and what we need to do to win.

        You know, when I read all the stories about the dirty dealings in Ohio during election 2004, it seemed to me the Republicans were always painted as evil geniuses who had subverted democracy through their brilliant schemes.  But I rather think the truth is a little more mundane: Republicans, in this area as in all areas, it seems, are simply willing to think outside the box, and Democrats are repeatedly caught flat-footed because they just don't do the same.

        There's nothing terribly clever about what they do (e.g. repeatedly stealing Democratic Party computers through unlocked entrances).  Democrats and liberals just don't bother to put time and effort into what would be necessary to counter the wingnuts.

        I'm not suggesting that we match the Republicans illegality for illegality.  But we have to stop assuming that Republicans will stay within the bounds of law, common decency and ethics, and take active, smart steps to both stop bad actions and (again, within the bounds of the law) be creative and unconventional ourselves.

        Above all, it comes down to putting a little effort in, and not doing the minimum necessary...

    •  Could be an inside job (4.00)
      How would thieves know to climb up to a 2nd story window, which was left unlocked?  Why wouldn't they just break a 1st floor window?  I'd love to see some pictures of the building and the window in question.  Depending on the window's location and accessibility, it might offer clues as to whether the thieves knew it was unlocked, or just a lucky guess.

      Also, what was on the computers that were taken?  Was it valuable information?  Were they the only computers there or the only computers taken?  Once again, a inside accomplice might have told them which machines to take.  Hmmm.  I put nothing past the party of "dirty tricksters."

      •  just answered one of my own questions. (none)
        I read the article at the Blade, and it appears that only White's was the only computer was lifted.
        •  Now, if the Dems were smart... (none)
          ...they would have suspected someone would try this again, and have set a trap (e.g. cameras, a decoy computer with LoJack, etc.).  Any bets on whether that was the case?
      •  The MO is extraordinarily simliar to the Toledo (none)
        break in.  When Pounder started digging up stuff I posted asking what had happened with the Toledo break in.

        Pounder contacted the Toledo police , and they told him:

        he Break-in. I now firmly believe that this was NOT poltically motivated.
        direct from the Toledo Cops
        We had a "crack head" suspect that was a brother of one of the volunteers that worked at the headquarters.  The volunteer, a female who worked there several years, was the one who contacted us about her brother having some stolen computers.  After the story broke, the female was fired (she believes for political purposes) and then refused to help us anymore.  We heard that the computers were destroyed, so we had no evidence to arrest the brother.

        Not to question Pounder, but I know that in my days doing field I've run into moles.  Hell when I was a College Dem, we had this one little shit that wanted to be part of the Reps and Dems, so I pumped her for info when she came by, and passed on all kinds of shit to the state party.  I'll be interested to see who they find did this.  If it's another "crackhead" I'm going to be suspicious that like the KGB, Rove knows how to use personal embarrassment to make people do things....

    •  security measures: I can help with this (4.00)
      I can help with this, and I'm dead serious.

      I routinely deal with COMSEC issues and will gladly provide free consultation to any mucky-muck in the party who wants to listen and do something about it.  Can also provide direct implementations but that will cost something (expense reimbursements and per-diems at minimum).  

      Areas to be covered:  communications, data storage, network, physical site issues, access control, personnel, and OPSEC issues generally.  

      Most of this is common sense, but I'm not going to post it here because there are almost certainly hostiles reading this board and I don't want to give them a heads-up.  

      Someone please post a name or telephone number here, or an email address, and I'll get in touch.  I'll write from my work address, which will have a double-consonant at the beginning of the userID and an obvious geek-word in the domain name.  If you want me to call, I'll call from my work number which will show up on your caller ID with the same name as our URL.  

      While we're at it, I'll do the same for other political campaigns and related organizations.  Though, I only have so much time to give away free during the average week, so I'd prefer to deal with people who are serious about doing what it takes.  

      •  I think this is an excellent idea (none)
        Democrats really need to get their collective act together on all manner of technology-related issues, security included.

        Please feel free to visit my diary on "Basic Computer Security", by the way and add your thoughts:

        I was just trying to throw out some ideas in 2000 words or less.  Additional comments most welcome; in fact, if we could start a comprehensive diary on the topic, it might get all sorts of interesting information out there.

        •  yes but not in public places (none)

          I've emailed you and I'll check out your diary, but the main comment I have is, "not in public places!"

          Ssecurity is always the most highly confidential stuff any organization deals with.  You don't want to go posting the plans for your proverbial burglar alarm where the burglars will see them.  

          And you can bet there are "burglars" reading this right now.  

          And you would be absolutely shocked at what someone with a little expertise can infer from even the most generalized outlines or suggestions.  Intelligence is one part collection to three parts analysis.  

          Let's take it to a private conversation and encourage others to do likewise.  And check peoples' credentials and references to avoid moles.  

  •  Desperation (none)
    Are they resorting to crime to keep their hold on Ohio politics?  Pitiful.

    What color are your pajamas?

    by Unstable Isotope on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 05:58:51 PM PDT

    •  huh? (none)
      w/all the crap that has been going on, it is possible to make a case that crime has kept them in politics at all levels.

      "War is the product of politicians not doing their job properly," General William T. Sherman.

      by Street Kid on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 07:26:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Holy Mackerel! (none)
    If this isn't a wake-up call to ALL Democratic headquarters in the country!  Lock your blasted doors and windows! Get a good security system with alarms!

    "The election's over. We won. It's all over but the counting, and we'll take care of the counting." Rep. Peter King (R-NY) at WH function, 2003

    by kathika on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 05:59:33 PM PDT

    •  'Get a good security system with alarms'... (4.00)
      or cameras. Knowing the identity of the thieves might be more useful than anything that was stolen...

      Those who cannot remember the future are condemned to repeat it.

      by Abou Ben Adhem on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 06:19:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Lo jack (4.00)
      Screw that. Let the bastards steal the computers. Practically invite them to. Just put GPS tracking modules on em. Lojack the sons of bitches.

      Beware the Cult of Chicken Little!

      by Addison on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 07:27:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Encrypt your hard drives!!!!!!!!!!!!!! N/T (none)

      ...................... "My theory of evolution is that Darwin was adopted." Steven Wright

      by wrights on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 07:34:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Also party offices should invest in: (none)
        PC phone home software. It will identify the location of a PC that has been stolen.

        If it's plugged into the internet..

        ...................... "My theory of evolution is that Darwin was adopted." Steven Wright

        by wrights on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 07:37:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Really? (none)
          What's the software name? I'd be interested in that!

          Also, wouldn't it only really show the ISP whom the user is accessing the internet from? Or maybe a Visual Traceroute showing well...the same thing?

          Phillybits "Censoring torture stories doesn't help the troops."

          by Stand Strong on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 07:40:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Enough data for a warrant (none)
             You can get the IP address which can be used to figure out what ISP they are on, then you get a warrant for the ISP and give them the IP address and they look at their logs and give you the billing address of the thief.

             If this was a political robbery chances are whoever took it is competent enough know about things like this. Really if you wanted to be smooth you wouldn't even take the computer, just take a snapshot of the drive, or if time were a constraint you could swap the drive out with a known dead drive - the next morning the user boots up and any tech will just think it's a headcrash and no one will know all the data has been swiped.

            •  K. (none)
              As for subpoening ISP's for customer records, yeah, that I'm familiar with. I thought you meant that somehow it would know which phone number it was dialing from and automatically perform some address check via the phone company and automatically report back to the tracker where it was.

              That would be some cool software. Of course, there's another way to do something somewhat like that.

              Using a Dynamic DNS updating program, you could set the PC to allow a remote logon and althugh you wouldn't necessarily know when it was online exactly, you could set it to notify you when it updates it's IP on the DYNDNS server, and then you could logon to it and possibly find some informatino out that way.

              Remote desktop works like that, except using the DYNDNS service, you don't need to know your IP to get access to your PC.

              Phillybits "Censoring torture stories doesn't help the troops."

              by Stand Strong on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 08:43:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Theft software (none)

            It traps the IP address of your stolen device, and e-mails it to you.

            It can't be removed by F-Disk or Format.


            ...................... "My theory of evolution is that Darwin was adopted." Steven Wright

            by wrights on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 07:11:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Yep (none)
        And this is Extraordinarily easy to do using excellent free software.
    •  hostiles are reading; don't talk tech here (none)
      Don't talk about technologies & solutions here.  Hostiles are almost certainly reading this board and you'll only be giving them the heads-up.

      Security measures should be considered highly confidential, probably the most-confidential information your organization has, because that information is the key to the rest.  The place to talk tech is in a closed forum of individuals who are known-trustworthy.  Or if you're a member of the general public and just want to provide suggestions, send them directly to the relevant party officials.  

      Even common-sense suggestions such as "encrypt everything" shouldn't appear in a public place.  

      The only thing that should appear in a public place is:  "If you have suggestions, send them to (name) at (address), or call (phone number)."   And then, at some point when the work is either well underway or completed, the relevant party officials can announce, "We're taking necessary steps," and that's all.  And not another word.  Seriously.  

  •  Um... (4.00)
     Didn't they learn anything last time? What is wrong with the Ohio Democratic Party that they haven't learned proper security yet. The last time they got robbed the computers taken had all of their GOTV data and strategy and it was right before the election - what the hell have they lost this time?
    •  Was the door locked? (none)
      Blaming the victim?
      •  According to the quote above... (none)
        ...the thieves went through an unlocked second-story window.
      •  A little bit... (none)
         They have an obligation to practice some due diligence, and considering that they had the same thing happen to them before you would think they would have become a little more serious about security. Leaving an accesible window open is fine if you are a regular citizen living in a residential neighborhood, but they aren't - it isn't just a computer being stolen here. They are the Democratic Party of Ohio, and they have a history of having their computers stolen and those computers have a history of containing extremely vital data that we do not want in anyone else's hands. Hopefully they did learn a little last time and at least are using encryption, but I doubt it...

        It sucks they got robbed but to me it sounds like they are incompetent. They should be expecting that someone will try to take their data and they should be ready for that, instead they left a window wide open.

  •  Shouldn't it be the REPUBLICAN HQ that gets hit? (none)
    Oh, wait.  That's not supposed to happen until next week.  First you make it look like a pattern, so when the evidence mysteriously vanishes it looks less suspect.

    Tyranny goes with poverty;it's cheaper than democracy. (Larry Niven)

    by Fabian on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 06:14:30 PM PDT

  •  Are the Ohio Republicans so stupid... (none)
    ...that they think what's on those computers is worth all of the money they lost in Coin Gate?

    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it. -Tom Paine

    by Alumbrados on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 06:29:42 PM PDT

  •  Listen to all you libs. (4.00)
    Thinking that there's some vast right-wing conspiracy behind all this.  So what if Dem headquarters have been broken into twice in the last year?  The only reason this seems to be a coincidence is because the Democrats like to "slum" it with minorities and the working poor--choosing to keep their headquarters in crime-ridden parts of town.  This is why we need to have tougher laws, build more prisons and have the government keep close tabs on all activities.
    •  Courtesy snark alert (4.00)
      Given the levels of snark impairment around here at times, I just thought it might avert some unnecessary upset.

      Of course, if the above post was not snark you are welcome to clarify.;o)

      Don't forget, ePluribus Media isn't them, it's US. That means you too.

      by Bionic on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 06:44:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you. (none)
        Sad to think it necessary but I appreciate you saving some unnecessary proverbial bloodshed.  It was, of course, 100% sarcasm.
      •  Heh, he almost had me fooled (none)
        I was getting ready with a zero, until I got to "like to "slum" it with minorities" and I realized there was no way he wasn't kidding.

        Come see the house that Tom Delay built.

        by Goldfish on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 07:05:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I have a patented (none)
        snark-o-meter, still under warranty, that didn't go off with that one.  Had I not recognized the poster and simultaneously seen your comment, I woulda been mighty pissed.  :-)

        The revolution is coming... and we ARE the revolution.

        by RenaRF on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 07:07:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Next time you upgrade it (none)
          Lend it to me, will you? I confess, I too didn't see the snark. But that could also be because I slum around with winger types on another forum and they talk exactly like that.

          War is not an adventure. It is a disease. It is like typhus. - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

          by Margot on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 09:05:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It's comments like yours (none)
          That make my efforts worthwhile.

          If just one crisis is averted or just one drop of unnecessary virtual blood is not shed then the toil and tears that go into my efforts here on dKos are worthwhile.

          And about your snark-o-meter? Just hit it with a hard shoe.  Not a tennis shoe, a good leather soled shoe.  Had the same trouble myself. One solid smack fixed it.

          I think the new ones they ship out are still calibrated to 20th century settings.  I guess they never factored how events would produce so much snark, so they reduced the sensitivity because they seemed to be going off all the time.

          Don't forget, ePluribus Media isn't them, it's US. That means you too.

          by Bionic on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 09:05:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  History repeats itself (none)
    Has Scott McClelland called it a 'third-rate burglary' yet?


  •  An interesting read (none)
    A diary many months ago introduced me to Greg Palast.  If you haven't caught his book, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, I highly recommend it.  I'm only about a quarter of the way in and the depth of voter fraud in Florida in 2000 is shocking.  

    The revolution is coming... and we ARE the revolution.

    by RenaRF on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 07:10:11 PM PDT

  •  What was on the computers? (none)
     Could someone in Ohio whose party is getting slammed by intense bad media be looking to find stuff to use against Ohio Dems? Hmmm
     I think that unless the repugs can find some really scandalous shit on Dems in OH they can kiss that state goodbye.

    "I want the Republicans to stop hiding behind our troops for their policy failures!." !

    by arkdem on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 07:19:21 PM PDT

  •  Can we just assume thieves=Repubs? n/t (none)

    The best quote from StarWars III - "So this is how liberty dies; with thunderous applause."
    read my blog!

    by hfiend on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 07:21:07 PM PDT

  •  Are there real police in Ohio, (none)
    or are they all part of the GOP team?

    If the first, this seems like an easy crime to solve. Who had motive, means and opportunity for such an unusual crime -- presumably a few dozen at most young GOP staff types, party committee members or connected private investigators.

    Start rousting them, bringing them in for interviews, asking where they were that night, implying you know more than you do, threatening them with hard time unless they cooperate, seeing who lawyers up; you know, the standard stuff cops do when they want to solve a crime.

    If the second, get the newspapers interested in why the police think it's OK to burglarize Democratic headquarters. Write letters to the editor, call talk radio, organize actions, speak out at public meetings, confront local Republicans, picket the party chairman's home and police headquarters, etc.

    Have some fun with it, and help make Ohio a bluer shape of purple.

    The Republicans want to cut YOUR Social Security benefits.

    by devtob on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 07:22:28 PM PDT

  •  Deep Throat says... (none)
    follow the money...!

    The Ohio Republicans are already so disgustingly corrupt would a Watergate-like scandal even make a difference at this point? I sure hope the sleaze of the Ohio Repubs starts to bring them down. We need folks like Oxley and Taft out and folks like Hackett in.

    Delenda est Sinclair!

    by mole333 on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 07:39:55 PM PDT

  •  Yes, we SHOULD be more secure... (none)
    but,no, the Toledo theft is unrelated.

    The ODP staff is astoundingly inept in matters related to technology.

    I don't own laptops or use wireless.

    My tinfoil hat told me not to.....

    •  Basic training (none)
      The thing is, securing the data is really, really easy to do.  Here's a quick writeup I did tonight on the topic:

      If nothing else, a security consultant could help them out.  Frankly, I think liberals really need to start getting organized when it comes to computer and security expertise.  Yeah, we've got netroots experts in setting up a blog, but such expertise seems entirely too scattershot for my taste.  We need a progressive/Democratic computer brigade that can handle security, handle computer networking, blog design and management, web design and web server management, database design, etc.  For that matter, we need to throw in expertise on other technologies, like the use of text messaging for mobilization.

      •  I'm there (none)

        Yo Jonathan, I've just sent you email (to the address listed on your page here) with "computer security brigade" on the header.  

        My email address consists of a userID that begins with a double-consonant, and a domain name that has an obvious geek word in it.  

        If your published email address is no longer good, please post a valid address here and I'll resend.  

        Let's talk further.  

  •  In a further development... (none)
    ...G.Gordon Liddy has been missing for the past couple of days.  (Yes, follow the money.)  

    Be the creature. (But not a Republican.) blogomni

    by boran2 on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 08:50:41 PM PDT

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