Information is a potent weapon in the new cold war

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Loss of public trust killed the USSR and it can bring down Western elites too

Asked by Bloomberg this month about Russian involvement in the hacking of the US Democratic national committee, Vladimir Putin issued a non-denial denial. Basically, his answer boiled down to this: whoever did it did a good thing. This response only added to the stir created by the initial accusation that Russia was behind the activities of the “Fancy Bears”. The fear of Russia manipulating presidential elections in the world’s mightiest democracy has been spreading across the United States.

Getting to the real perpetrators of hacking attacks is notoriously difficult. Yet seen from the Kremlin hackers perform a valuable public service by revealing secrets – not to foreign intelligence services, but to the western public. The political power of these revelations was first demonstrated by WikiLeaks, which broke the confidentiality of US diplomatic cables. The effect was much enhanced by the Snowden files, which exposed, inter alia, US spying on other western leaders.

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