A couple of weeks before the election, the online hactivist group known as Anonymousissued this warning to Karl Rove:
“Karl Rove, American Crossroads, we are Anonymous. We are watching you. We know that you will attempt to rig the election for Mitt Romney in your favor. We will watch as your merry band of conspirators try to achieve this over throw of the United States government.”
In a letter released on November 8, and uploaded to Scribd, the group now claims to have shut down a massive voter fraud attempt through ORCA, Romney’sproblem-plagued election app that was designed to track the election through the app:
Orca will deploy 34,000 operatives in key precincts tomorrow, linked by a smartphone “killer app” to 800 volunteers on the floor of TD Garden (formerly Boston Garden). The Romney campaign has tried to keep Orca under wraps until the past few days. But today, Romney for President Communications Director Gail Gitcho proudly described it for us.
“At 5 o’clock when the exit polls come out, we won’t pay attention to that,” Gitcho said Monday. “We will have had much more scientific information just based on the political operation we have set up.”
Obviously, something went very wrong, and when Election Day finally came, the app failed miserably:
- Higher-than-expected traffic on the system crashed it on election day. Romney had 800 workers at Boston’s TD Garden who were using phones and computers to coordinate with field workers focused on turnout. But “the surge in traffic was so great that [ORCA] didn’t work for 90 minutes, causing panic as staffers frantically tried to restore service,” reported the Globe.
- Volunteers could not access the system. A combination of Personal Identification Number (PIN) and access certification blunders made it impossible for workers to access the system. The Globe noted that “some campaign workers reported that they had incorrect PINs and had not been informed that they needed certification to work at polling places.”
Some are attributing Romney’s loss, in part, to the failure of ORCA. But did it fail or was it purposely brought down? In the letter from Anonymous, they take responsibility for crashing the app, among other things: