Funny article by Ibsen MartŪnez in todayís El Nacional, had to translate given its relevance to what I have been discussing in this blog and the fact that one has to keep a sense of humor above all.
The hypothesis of the hacker (And other fantastic tales) by Ibsen Martinez
I have heard no less than six versions about the hypothesis of the hacker:
The canonical version of the same supposes that at some point the Chavista high command hired the services of a Russian hacker to twist the results of the recall referendum- A Russian hacker… suggestive idea, without any doubt.
-Why Russian? I asked close up to the last ďanalystĒ that told the story in my presence.
-What are you saying?
-Why is the hacker in your version Russian? I ask, because I have also heard he is German.
-The hacker Diosdado hired is Russian. For a reason I ignore, Russia produces the sharpest hackers in the world. Everybody knows that. The hacker that twisted the results was Russian.
-The surprising thing is that other people say he is German.
-They are not well informed; they say something just to say it: Diosdadoís hacker is Russian.
-At another bar I heard say he was Cuban. And that it was Silvio Rodriguez who brought him hidden among his musicians.
-A Cuban hacker? Absurd! Itís amazing to see what irresponsible people invent. Cuba is not well known for its hackers: prostitutes, bongo players, home run hitters, water polo trainers, all of that, maybe, but hackers in Cuba? I am telling you: The hacker is Russian.
-Accepted: He is Russian. Now tell me how they hired him.
-They have all of the money. With that money you hire anything you want. Why are you so surprised? PDVSA has the bills to hire the hacker who intervened the bidirectionality of the Smartmatic Plus boxes. Thatís all, it is that simple: thatís how they screwed us.
-Sorry, but I like fluff; if you are going to bullshit me, I have the right to request that the bullshit be reasonably elaborated. If there is something that can give some semblance of veracity to bullshit, is the details. I would like the details of when, where and by whom was the Russian hacker hired. It would please my credulity to know at least what was the Russianís hacker name, Vassily? Dimitri? Evguenny? Yuri? And since we are talking about it, why couldnít it be a Russian woman? It would not be peculiar to have a female hacker in a market for hackers as effervescent as the Russian one: Nadehsda? Tatiana? Svetlana?
-Are you calling me a bulshitter?
-No; I am simply asking that you tell me the name of the hacker
-Nobody calls me a bulshitter
-Donít sweat, ďbroderĒ, I am not calling you a bulshitter. In reality the hypothesis of a hackerÖ
-It is not a ďhypothesisĒ. I am not a man of ďhypothesisĒ. I am telling you what happened; the midnight of August 15th. the Russian hacker stuck it to us up to the point where it says the brand name.
-Ok, donít get all pissed off. In reality, the intervention of a Russian hacker as part of the technological fraud in a Latinoamerican referendum is simply fascinating. It is something that deserves an article in Slate or in Gatopardo. But understand that I would get high much easier if you give me more details. For example, where did they go get the Russian hacker? To Russia?
-Donítí be infantile: The hacker is Russian, but that does not mean he lives in Russia. A hacker can live anywhere he wants; his work transcends geography because he lives in hyperspace. The hacker is RussianÖ
-Letís call him Vladimir.
-OK, letís say his name is Vladimir. Shit on your pants: Vladimir lives in California. In Silicon Valley to be more precise.
–Silicon Valley! That makes sense.
-Of course it makes sense! Diosdado got in touch with him long time ago, chatting on the Web. They are old friends. Virtual friends. It seems Vladimir was also a communications engineer in Vladivostok, before the fall of the Berlin wall, a long time before he emigrated to the US. Thatís where the elective affinity between Diosdado and Vladimir comes from. Both were one day communications engineers.
-Who would have imagined it! Diosdado Cabello having on line friendships!
-Well, let me tell you that one of the characteristics of post modernity is the return to epistolary literature, via Internet. The lost art of writing to friends, and in general to dear ones, has returned in the XXIst century to stay. There are virtual romances, people that find their mate and get married via the Web. People that get Viagra on the Web, that find spare parts for their 66 Valliant on the Web. Why couldnít Diosdado Cabello find a friend via the Web? Somebody he has never seen, but with whom he established, in time, a close friendship, a stimulating and sustained link of the purely intellectual type. Diosdado maybe Chavista, but even Chavistas have friends.
-No, I am not saying anything against it. That part of your tale is very consistent. Letís recapitulate: Diosdado has a Russian friend whose name is Vladimir, a friend from the Web and he tells him that he is worried because everything indicated that the No was going to lose the recall.
-Exactly, that is how the shit came down: Diosdado, very concerned because the polls yielded a victorious Si, arrived home one night, served himself a scotch, connected to the Web and began chatting with Vladimir, his virtual buddy from Silicon Valley: And, Vladimir asked him about the voting machines, asked him if there is no way to fiddle with the software and Diosdado, disconsolate, says no, that unfortunately for him, the Smartmatic Plus ô boxes are tamper proof. And he is not saying it: It is certified by Quiros Corradi and Maria Corina Machado; two factors characterized as the enemy. ďThe REP is fineĒ says Maria Corina in a press conference; ďThe machines can be trustedĒ says Quiros Corradi in a press conference. Nothing can be done, Diosdado chats, and we have to resign ourselves to a loss.
-Piece of shit, no?
-Vladimir chats with Diosdado: ĒDonít sweat it Diosdadovitch: find me the diagram of those machines-the so called blueprint- and you ill see how we are going to find a way around the referendum. Turns out Diosdado and Vladimir had been friends for years, but he did not know that Vladimir was a three drum hacker until that night. Imagine!
-Shit, wait, letís order another one, this story is great.
-So the shit is that Vladimir who is a Ukrainian wizard ďbreaks the codeĒ of the Smartmatic Plus ô.
-Just like the British counterspies deciphered the Enigma machines in the Second Wold War
-Exactly. And with only twenty four hours to go for the referendum. Things were tougher than anyone imagines. The guy rode the bidirectionality, alone, with a Vodka Tonic by his side, from Silicon Valley, in permanent communication with Diosdado, he began modelling the results with vote intentions and this and that. Who cares about Hausmannís algorithm? It was a Russian hacker that screwed us!
-Incredible. It gives you a lot to think about. The perfect crime. No evidence, no smoking gun.
-That Russian already collected and you are going to find him the day when Hell freezes over. Thatís why I am not going to vote in the regional elections. What for? So that Vladimir can laugh at me? No way! I wasnít born yesterday.
-I have another version, equally believable, I think.
-The Chavismo decided from day one to place obstacles in the recall vote. Thus, all of the irregularities to take advantage of them, which Tulio Alvarez has summarized superbly. But on the way, something made them think that that they could win the same recall vote they opposed so much. Both strategies are not incompatible. Thatís why they displayed with no morals all of the abilities of the old electoral populist culture: they took care of both, of blocking the referendum and bringing the people out to vote. They had the motivation and the resources. They are militant and they ambition hegemony. More than looking at an algorithm that explains the recall referendum, if I were an opposition politician I would try to stare in the face at a formidable enemy: A radical populism with dozens of billions of US dollars.
-No way man, you are starting to talk like Teodoro. If you are going to start with those laborious cogitations then it is true that we can no longer talkÖ