Well, our shiny metallic friends (and future overlords) can’t cast a ballot just yet, but you’ve got to love a story that starts off like this:
If Texas congressman Ron Paul is elected president in 2008, he may be the first leader of the free world put into power with the help of a global network of hacked PCs spewing spam, according to computer-security researchers who’ve analyzed a recent flurry of e-mail supporting the long-shot Republican candidate.
Sarah Lai Stirland’s Wired article has some excellent details about the spam-for-Paul effort, of which the actual campaign seems to have no knowledge (and which they would have been crazy to approve if they had):
Some participants in the online political world have long suspected Paul’s technically sophisticated fan base of manipulating online tools and polls to boost the appearance of a wide base of support. But the UAB analysis is the first to document any internet shenanigans.
The finding is significant, because Paul’s online support — as gauged by blog mentions, friends on social-networking sites such as MySpace and popularity in online polls — has garnered him wide mainstream print and television coverage, despite his relatively poor performance in offline polling.
Ron Paul supporters are the most persistent/relentless/verging-on-annoying online activists I’ve seen in quite a while (it ain’t for nothin’ that they’ve been banned from certain conservative blogs), but this new endeavour pushes things just a bit too far. Backlash alert! Thanks to tPrez for the initial tip.