Good morning everybody!

I was on WGAN this morning with Matt Gagnon and we began with talking about Online and Mail-in Voting and some of the technical problems with those forms of voting, then we got into what the big Nation-States are hoping to do during this election cycle up to and including the possibility of launching an EMP and what that could mean for us in the US. Let’s get into my conversation with Matt on WGAN.

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Craig Peterson: [00:00:00] Could put us back to those 18 hundred timeframes where we don’t have electricity. And it is a scary thing because if they’re able to knock out some of our major transmission transformers, we don’t have any.

Hey, good morning, everybody. We got to a few different subjects and I ended in a bit of a depressing tone here talking about China in this electromagnetic pulse, apparently, that is being planned. I’ll be talking about this a little bit more this weekend as well with Mr. Matt gang all over on a WGAN. So here we go with Matt.

Matt Gagnon: [00:00:43] Craig Peterson joins us now at seven 36 on the WGAN and morning news on this fine Wednesday, Craig, how are you this morning?

Craig Peterson: [00:00:49] Hey, good morning. This is the kind of weather I like. Fall’s my favorite season

Matt Gagnon: [00:00:54] Fall also is my favorite season. Although a little bit warmer than it was yesterday. Certainly, it would be good. I think it was like 38 degrees when I woke up in the morning. That might be a little much,

Craig Peterson: [00:01:03] but surprise.

Matt Gagnon: [00:01:04] Yeah, as well as Maine for you. So it was great. Let’s get right into things here. there’s a lot of stuff I’d like to tackle with you, but, I think I’d like to lead off if you don’t mind here with the Russians being back once again, election interference in 2020. What is this all about and what are the United States do about it?

Craig Peterson: [00:01:20] Yeah, who would have known a, the Russians? They’ve been after us for quite a few years. That’s our whole goal really is to upset the elections. They don’t appear to have ever had a goal to elect someone specifically, but there is a lot going on right now. The FBI is reporting that they have seen multiple attacks and almost consistent, apparently from Russia, it’s hard to know a hundred percent for sure, but it looks like it’s from Russia. Against both major campaigns here for the president. So they are targeting the US populace. But in reality, they’re going after President Trump’s campaign and vice President Biden’s campaign, as well as other prominent US persons and members of the US government. We’ll see what ends up happening here. It looks like it was actually China that managed to get all of those emails back in the last election cycle.  Between the two of them, they’re definitely going to cause a few problems this year. But they don’t appear to be going after changing the vote, just confusing the heck out of us.

Matt Gagnon: [00:02:32] That was going to be my next question to you was while that is concerning and something we should care about, obviously, what do you think the real threat to the system is? Is there any sort of real concern that there’s going to be wholesale problems with voting or votes changed or anything like that? Or is this really just what we saw in 2016, which was like manipulative interference ie they were trying to shape and shift public opinion and doing things like that.

Craig Peterson: [00:02:58] Yeah. That’s what we’re looking at this year as well. There’s a group of Russian trolls, that’s what they’re called, where they’re posting things on social media.

We’ll see what ends up happening. But as far as the security of the technology, the election goes. We have 50 state elections all run by our secretaries of state and in every state. That makes it a lot harder for someone to hack our election results. Now, I would expect that some of the websites so that the secretaries of state are publishing the results on some of those websites will probably be hacked and that does give them the opportunity to change votes because frankly, that’s all that’s been done lately. Is people the news media, even Washington, DC when they’re trying to tell you this all up, they go to all 50 websites and they try and pull the final results from there. This year we’re expecting they will do more followup than that and actually contact a live person and verify the result totals. Because those could be hacked, but it would be just very difficult, Matt.

Matt Gagnon: [00:04:11] We’re speaking with Craig Peterson, our tech guru, who joins us at this time every Wednesday. And of course, you can also hear him on this very station on Saturdays at one o’clock. For his own show where he goes through a lot of these topics in more detail in depth.

Speaking of voting though, online voting is another animal altogether, and it is a great deal harder than other things you do online, for instance, online banking. Why is that, sir?

Craig Peterson: [00:04:34] It has to do with the idea, the concept we’ve had for many years of having a secret ballot. The whole idea is if it’s secret, someone cannot be holding a gun to your head. They can’t be trying to influence your vote. They can’t take your vote and just do what they want with it as happened in orange County last year. The election cycle out in California, where they were passing out ballots that had the Democrats already selected for you, which just makes voting so much easier. You can’t verify. Now the bank counts on you going ahead and checking your bank account every once in a while.

Hopefully. We’re all looking at our bank statements to make sure that nothing bad has happened. And even with banking where we have some of these checks and balances in place, we have encryption in place. There is an estimated $28 billion in credit card fraud that occurred in 2018. Teen. So even that isn’t perfect.

And now of course we have those chips on our cards that are using more and more. They’re still losing money. So the banks expect a fair amount of fraud and in fact, there is some fraud during the elections. There always has been. But we cannot double-check our ballot. We can’t check the balance at the end to make sure that the state had tallied our votes properly and still have some sort of privacy or secrecy over our votes.

Matt Gagnon: [00:06:07] We’re speaking with Craig Peterson, our tech guru, he joins us this time, every Wednesday. Craig, the other thing that I wanted to check in with you about is this story. You had a, that you sent me this morning about an EMP attack and, and the potential for that as the election nears, as if 2020 wasn’t bad enough, is that something that’s a realistic possibility?

Craig Peterson: [00:06:26] It is, of course, we’re talking about an electromagnetic pulse. The United States had one of these called the Carrington events that occurred naturally and they do occur naturally, right here in Maine. We might remember what happened just North of Quebec, back in the mid-1980s. Where in both cases, we’re talking about a solar flare and that’s solar flare loss, not the grid electrical grid in Quebec, just from that one solar flare.

Think of all of these power lines as basically antennas so that when you get that mass and pulse of electromagnetic energy coming from that sun out there, it can and does disrupt our grid. In fact, burns out all kinds of things. So I can tell you most assuredly from some of the training I’ve done for the FBI InfraGard program, that we are addressing that problem.

However, China we know for the last 25 years has been considering an EMP attack as a first strike or even a retaliatory strike against us in the US. So if it were to happen in, it’s very easy to do all we’re talking about for a manmade electromagnetic pause is a fairly small nuclear bomb that isn’t designed really to destroy buildings, but it set off high in the air and that will give a huge blast radius electromagnetically, and could put us back to those 18-hundreds timeframes where we don’t have electricity.

 This is a scary thing, because if they’re able to knock out some of our major transmission transformers, we don’t have any, and I’ll give you three guesses where these things are made.

Matt Gagnon: [00:08:18] Oh, I don’t know. China, and yeah.

Craig Peterson: [00:08:22] We would be completely out of luck there’s estimates that if they did this right against us, we could be without power in many areas of the country for at least 18 months, if not for years. So it’s a very big concern. They are addressing it, or the power companies are addressing it, but it’s very real here. They could shut off a blast. That would cover 1500 miles worth of the United States and knock off all of our computers and even our air conditioners and in some cases our heating systems.

Matt Gagnon: [00:08:58] On that happy note, Craig Peterson has joined us on this fine Wednesday to go over the world of technology.

We’ll talk to him again next Wednesday, and again, make sure you tune in on Saturday morning to hear Craig talk about this in more depth. Thanks a lot, Craig. We’ll talk to you next week.


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