Chatter - Chatter is a signals intelligence term, referring to the volume (quantity) of intercepted communications. Intelligence officials, not having better metrics, monitor the volume of communication, to or from suspected parties such as terrorists or spies, to determine whether there is cause for alarm. They refer to the electronic communication as "chatter".
Yours truly is not a fan of James Clapper due to his insistence the NSA does not spy on us citizens but aside from that, the guy knows intel just as William Binney does so, to get to the bottom of the endless bloviating about the "Ruskies" and their alleged hacking into the election from hell, the august Electoral College members have sent an open letter to Clapper asking for the definitive answer as to who hacked the election and did the hacking in question favor Trump. To whit ...
We are Electors who were selected by the voters of our states to represent them in the Electoral College on December 19, 2016. We intend to discharge our duties as Electors by ensuring that we select a candidate for president who, as our Founding Fathers envisioned, would be “endowed with the requisite qualifications.” As Electors, we also believe that deliberation is at the heart of democracy itself, not an empty or formalistic task. We do not understand our sole function to be to convene in mid-December, several weeks after Election Day, and summarily cast our votes. To the contrary, the Constitution envisions the Electoral College as a deliberative body that plays a critical role in our system of government — ensuring that the American people elect a president who is constitutionally qualified and fit to serve. Accordingly, to fulfill our role as Electors, we seek an informed and unrestrained opportunity to fulfill our constitutional role leading up to December 19th — that is, the ability to investigate, discuss, and deliberate with our colleagues about whom to vote for in the Electoral College.
The Electors require to know from the intelligence community whether there are ongoing investigations into ties between Donald Trump, his campaign or associates, and Russian government interference in the election, the scope of those investigations, how far those investigations may have reached, and who was involved in those investigations. We further require a briefing on all investigative findings, as these matters directly impact the core factors in our deliberations of whether Mr. Trump is fit to serve as President of the United States.
This is why the EC's open letter makes such sense.
In one of his last appearances on Capitol Hill, Clapper defended the administration’s response to allegations that intelligence officials at the U.S. Central Command, which oversees the Middle East, pressured analysts to discard information that reflected poorly on the war effort in Iraq and Syria.
He also predicted that the information warfare that Russia has conducted since the Soviet era would likely continue beyond the U.S. election cycle.
Hacked emails from Democratic Party officials were released by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks during the presidential campaign, revealing details embarrassing to Democrat Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Clapper and the Department of Homeland Security said in October that based on the “scope and sensitivity” of the hacking efforts, only Russia’s “senior-most officials” could have authorized the hacking. Russia has denied involvement.
“After the issuance of the statement and the communication that I know took place between our government and Russian government, it seemed to have curtailed the cyberactivity that the Russians were previously engaged in,” Clapper said.
He said he was specifically referring to the “cyber-reconnaissance” that had been observed prior to the statement. “That sort of activity seemed to have curtailed,” he said.
He said intelligence agencies don’t have good insight on when or how Wikileaks obtained the hacked emails.
The Electoral College letter speaks truth to power. Let's hope Clapper's agency defines what "is " is to us rubes before Dec 19, the day the EC gives the election to Trump.
HERE ARE TWO of political history’s great constants: first, countries meddling in the internal affairs of others (both enemies and “friends”); and, second, bogus charges from a faction in one country that foreigners are meddling in its internal affairs to help another faction.
So if we’re serious about being a self-governing republic, we have to demand that President Obama declassify as much intelligence as possible that Russia may have intervened in the 2016 presidential election.
Taking Donald Trump’s position — that we should just ignore the question of Russian hacking and “move on” — would be a disaster.
Relying on a hazy war of leaks from the CIA, FBI, various politicians, and their staff is an equally terrible idea.
Yet another take from intel pros who know the drill on hacking vs. leaks.
We have gone through the various claims about hacking. For us, it is child’s play to dismiss them. The email disclosures in question are the result of a leak, not a hack. Here’s the difference between leaking and hacking:
Leak: When someone physically takes data out of an organization and gives it to some other person or organization, as Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning did.
Hack: When someone in a remote location electronically penetrates operating systems, firewalls or any other cyber-protection system and then extracts data.
All signs point to leaking, not hacking. If hacking were involved, the National Security Agency would know it – and know both sender and recipient.
In short, since leaking requires physically removing data – on a thumb drive, for example – the only way such data can be copied and removed, with no electronic trace of what has left the server, is via a physical storage device.
Evidence, not innuendo, bloviation and name calling is in order here but knowing the sorry state of our so called leaders and mainline nooze, this is too much to ask, without question.