There was been something strange in the lead-up and trial of Willard. It just does not seem plausible someone could be so stupid or inept. I will still hold judgment because it is SD GOP politics of self-destruction in play. There are some questions to ask which seemed to have been missed, we ask them now.
Consider if you were an attorney or part of the defense team involved in this case and this was something you could pounce on. The use of the Internet. The Internet may sound complicated but it is actually very simple. The Intertubes has a very simple design and Tornow and Willard just may have allowed Mike Marion Rounds’ campaign to roll them.
If we are reading the reports correctly, Rounds’ aide Rob Skjonsberg ‘leased’ an IP address from Midco. This ‘lease’ is important. It may sound complicated but it is actually very simple and foolproof.
Here is a basic Internet 101 lesson, get ready for a geek overload:
- When connecting to the internet with a cellphone, home computer, business or government office, the provider issues an IP address through a ‘lease’ so traffic can be routed properly. This lets the world know how to get data to the user. This address is stamped on all the packets of data to perform proper delivery.
- We all have a series of these IP addresses to make sure our stuff gets to us and back to them. Think of it as a USPS ZIP+4 zip code or your telephone number. We all have digital footprints.
- To keep track of this information movement, the Internet provider (Midco in this case) issues the IP address through a device called a neighborhood ‘gateway’ giving a 24 hour ‘lease’ to use the IP address.
- The issued lease allows you to use the IP address for the set period with automatic renewals. A modem keeps the modem IP address until its forced to change. This IP release happens very rarely.
- Each neighborhood gateway issues only 254 addresses for each short periods of time.
- Two Internet modems cannot have the same IP address at the same time. If this ever happens, the router is broken and as a result, the entire subnet or neighborhood gets shutdown until it is fixed.
- What are the chances of Willard having the same IP address? Willard’s modem would have to be utilizing the same Midco neighborhood gateway and what are the chances both modems are in the same neighborhood? What are the chances both modems need to be released at the same time and then trade IP addresses?
- Now consider this just happens, by chance, by fate of all the gods on high or some other means Willard’s modem just happens to take Rounds’ aide Rob Skjonsberg IP address. What are the chances two ‘competing’ political camps are assigned the same IP addresses for a series of messages to David Montgomery. The odds of this happening are astronomical, it would be like winning the $540 million Powerball multiple times.
If I were presenting the question to the Midco exec, I would have asked what are the addresses used by Rounds’ aide Rob Skjonsberg during the period in question and now. What was the address used by Willard’s modem during the period and currently being used. IP addresses do not just change back and forth.
This reminds me of the rumors floating around during the first Rounds’ governor race. So the story goes, in 2002 Rounds and friends ran a subtle / quiet disinformation campaign to destroy his two opponents. Is Rounds’ aide Rob Skjonsberg pulling strings for his boss? It would be interesting to see if SouthDacola.com has any posting from the same Skjonsberg IP addresses. Internet – Intertubes ignorance shows again just to confuse?
Now consider the phone’s anonymous firstname.lastname@example.org being so similar to email@example.com email address. The address is coming from the IP address leased to RoundsforSenate.com aide, Rob Skjonsberg? Who is Jeff Stanley in Rob Skjonsberg’s life? In Willard’s life?
Now consider Lederman, Denny DoGood, Russ Olson, Jason Gant, Pat Powers, Marty Jackley, Click Rain, Joel Arends (of Texas Swift Boat veterans fame) and the “let’s have fun with the Internet” crew games they were doing in 2012. What was their involvement or lack of? A Hollywood movie in the works to help us make sense of it all?
Could Willard have been setup by a Rounds’ protégé? What is the felony criminal offense of setting up a naïve politico like Willard to take the fall? If these questions get brought up during the appeal process, what happens? Once again our ethically challenged state government (remember we are rated #2 behind Alabama) opens up the criminal conspiracy questions. The power players of state GOP politics are getting sloppy. Do we have any appropriate state or federal Grand Jury to look into these games?
Once again, we learn more from Argus reporters writing their blogs than we could ever get from their columns.
(BTW, there is a Jeff Stanley in Vermillion, a graphic artist who has connection with Dakota Dunes…. Don’t know anything else yet.)
Detroit’s 2-Cents; I find it interesting that the IP is connected to Rounds’ campaign manager. Was this a setup? It reminds of when AG Jackboots had a DCI agent interview Stan Adelstein about Pat Powers, only to come back and investigate Powers and Gant of things they already knew they were innocent of. Oh the games they play in Pierre, and so sloppy.