Scoop Link: NZ Listener - Inside The Black Box
Inside the black box
by Mark Revington
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What do possible election fraud in the United States and a small, independent website based in New Zealand have in common? The word "scoop".
It's an unassuming place from the street, a quiet backwater in a Wellington suburb. A little unkempt, the house of someone unconcerned with external appearances. The lawn doesn't appear to have met a mower that it couldn't tame and the paint is cracked and dry. But then Alastair Thompson has other things on his mind, notably the story he calls "bigger than Watergate".
It broke a couple of weeks ago on Thompson's Scoop website (www.scoop.co.nz) with this introduction: "IMPORTANT NOTE: Publication of this story marks a watershed in American political history. It is offered freely for publication in full or part on any and all Internet forums, blogs and noticeboards. All other media are also encouraged to utilise material. Readers are encouraged to forward this to friends and acquaintances in the United States and elsewhere."
Cue thunder, lightning, ominous roll of drums. What warranted this kind of build-up?
An apparent exposé of a huge security flaw in the United States voting system, primarily uncovered by a US writer named Bev Harris, author of a soon-to-be published book called Black Box Voting: Ballot-Tampering in the 21st Century and someone with whom Thompson has been working closely in recent months.
Was it bigger than Watergate? Far more computer-savvy minds than this writer's are still debating the significance of what appeared on the Scoop website, but the kind of hyperbole employed was always going to attract criticism. So far, the mainstream US media have ignored the Scoop story, but it ignited fierce debate across the Internet, drew huge traffic to the Scoop site, and fed increasing controversy over electronic voting machines.
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