14:36 GMT +308 December 2019
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    Russian Hacker Scare Haunting Europe

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    In January, Italian police arrested two people for allegedly hacking the email accounts of thousands of people, including politicians, entrepreneurs and government officials. Sputnik discussed the situation with Giampaolo Rossi, an observer with the Italian daily newspaper Il Giornale.

    In all, the suspects allegedly obtained some 18,000 usernames and nearly 1,800 passwords.

    While previous cases of US tapping the mobile phones of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi caused major scandals, this latest hacking incident passed mostly unnoticed.

    “There are two different situations we are dealing with here. The furor over US surveillance led to Germany's expulsion of a top CIA official from Berlin in July 2014. A new scandal erupted about two months ago after WikiLeaks published information about the FBI and German security services spying on German citizens as part of the ongoing war on terror,” Giampaolo Rossi told Sputnik Italy.

    He mentioned the two main reasons why people are so scared of the imaginary Russian hackers.

    “In the past couple of years Russia has been presented to the world as the most serious participant of the ongoing cyberwar the West can do nothing to stop. [The West] is using these stories about ‘Russian hackers’ to justify its failures, like for example, [Donald] Trump’s victory over [Hillary] Clinton.”

    “The problem is that in democratic America the CIA is trying to question the outcome of the [November 8] presidential elections. If these people manage to prevent Trump’s inauguration it would mean that America will never be the same again. But even if [Trump] succeeds, America will still become a different country because he will radically change the whole system.”

    He added that all this talk about hackers and the Russian threat is just instrumental in the fight between old and new America.

    Russia is now developing its own computer servers, independent from Google.

    When asked if the Europeans were going to do the same, Giampaolo Rossi said that the governments of the EU countries will try to deal with the problem “in an organized way.”

    “Many of these countries, like Germany, are highly advanced in this field. Modern technology is developing much faster than we can answer the questions it puts before us,” Rossi noted.

    “Those who monitor the flows of information, including our emails and our phone calls via Skype should see the fine line that runs between [their security concerns] and our right to feel safe and free,” Giampaolo Rossi emphasized.

    On December 29, 2016 outgoing US President Barack Obama announced the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and new sanctions against Russian individuals over Moscow's alleged interference in the November US presidential election.

    Earlier, Obama warned that the US would "take action" against Russia for alleged cyberattacks on Democratic Party officials who claimed that outside meddling prevented Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton from winning the presidency.

    Russia has flatly denied all accusations that it organized the hacking of email accounts of Democratic Party officials and Clinton's campaign chief, John Podesta, and then leaked them to the whistleblowing anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.

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    Tags:
    failures, scare, WikiLeaks, Russian hackers, Democratic Party (United States), Giamcarlo Rossi, John Podesta, Angela Merkel, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Silvio Berlusconi, Italy
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