The “Shocking” Obama Fundraising Scandal Isn’t All That Shocking

Considering that the somewhat-hyped scandal due to hit President Barack Obama’s campaign today is just coming to light, I reserve the right to change opinion on the scandal, but if what we’ve seen from Big Government and InstaPundit is the scandal then it’s not going to move the election any more than it did in 2008. Here are the key findings of the Governmental Accountability Institute:

Given the state-of-the art digital sophistication of the President’s re-election campaign—including social media, micro-targeting and data-mining—its online donation system contains at least three major security vulnerabilities:

1. The absence of the industry-standard CVV and unknown use of AVS anti-fraud security for online credit card donations.

2. The presence of a branded, major third party-owned website (obama.com) redirects its 68% foreign traffic to a campaign donation page.

3. Active foreign solicitation using indiscriminate email solicitations and exposure to social media.

Specifically:

Obama campaign lacks the industry-standard level of credit card security for donations, but uses it for merchandise purchases: to purchase Obama campaign merchandise, the campaign requires buyers to enter their credit card CVV security code, but does not require the credit card security code to be entered when making an online campaign donation. By GAIi’s estimates, the Obama campaign’s failure to utilize industry-standard protections potentially costs the campaign millions in extra processing fees.

Obama.com purchased by an Obama bundler in Shanghai, china with questionable business ties to state-run Chinese enterprises: in 2008, obama.com was purchased by an Obama fundraiser living in Shanghai, china, whose business is heavily dependent on relationships with Chinese state-run television and other state-owned entities.

68% of traffic to anonymously registered obama.com is foreign: according to industry leading web analytics site markosweb, an anonymously registered redirect site (obama.com) features 68 % foreign traffic. Starting in December 2011, the site was linked to a specific donation page on the official barackobama.com campaign website for ten months. The page loaded a tracking number, 634930, into a space on the website labeled “who encouraged you to make this donation.” That tracking number is embedded in the source code for obama.com and is associated with the Obama victory fund. In early September 2012, the page began redirecting to the standard Obama victory fund donation page.
Search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, using common spamming techniques, may have been undertaken by unknown third-parties, generating foreign traffic to obama.com.

The only addition to the 2008 story is the Obama.com and foreign SEO connection. As much as one may want the story to rock the foundation of the race, it probably won’t do so. It’s business as usual for the Obama campaign.

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