•   
  •   

World Facebook, FBI Eye China As They Step Up Fight Against Foreign Election Interference

00:10  25 september  2020
00:10  25 september  2020 Source:   newsweek.com

The Election’s Biggest Threat Is No Longer the Postal Service

  The Election’s Biggest Threat Is No Longer the Postal Service Reports of a vote-by-mail apocalypse are greatly exaggerated.Officials in North Carolina were aghast. The executive director of the state’s board of elections, Karen Brinson Bell, issued a statement the next day explicitly warning North Carolinians not to follow the president’s advice. “It is illegal to vote twice in an election,” she said. “Attempting to vote twice in an election or soliciting someone to do so also is a violation of North Carolina law.

Facebook shut down accounts and pages tied to a China -based disinformation campaign on Tuesday aimed at influencing the 2020 presidential election . Breaking with the Trump administration’s stance, FBI Director Christopher Wray last week pointed to Russia—not China —while discussing foreign

The FBI , as the lead federal agency responsible for investigating foreign influence operations, established its The goal of these foreign influence operations directed against the United States is to spread Foreign influence operations have taken many forms and used many tactics over the years.

Joe Biden, Kamala Harris are posing for a picture: Two groups, one supportive of former Vice President Joe Biden and another support of President Donald Trump, are seen together in this combined image included in social media analysis firm Graphika's report on Facebook's takedown of © Graphika Two groups, one supportive of former Vice President Joe Biden and another support of President Donald Trump, are seen together in this combined image included in social media analysis firm Graphika's report on Facebook's takedown of "inauthentic" China-linked accounts.

Facebook is ramping up efforts to battle what it views as efforts to influence the upcoming U.S. elections from abroad, including from China, a company official told Newsweek.

Belarus opposition chief to meet EU ministers

  Belarus opposition chief to meet EU ministers  

The FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency warned the public Tuesday that foreign actors might spread disinformation about the results President Donald Trump and several top Republican allies have recently sought to cast China as the greatest threat to the election , even as

Claims of Russian meddling dominated 2017. The US midterm elections will be first big test of Facebook ’s effort to stamp it out.

Facebook announced Tuesday it took down 155 accounts, 11 pages, nine groups, and six Instagram accounts from China because they allegedly violated company policy "against foreign or government interference." The term is defined as "coordinated inauthentic behavior on behalf of a foreign or government entity."

While the alleged operation was deemed to have little impact, no clear political agenda and inconclusive links to state actors, its activities have caught the eyes of U.S. government officials as well.

Social network analysis firm Graphika revealed more information about the logistics of the operation in a follow-up report sent to Newsweek.

"In 2019-2020, the operation began running accounts that posed as Americans and posted a small amount of content about the U.S. presidential election," the Graphika said. "Different assets supported President Donald Trump and his rival Joe Biden; one short-lived group supported former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg."

Facebook took down a Chinese disinformation network that spread propaganda across Southeast Asia and the US

  Facebook took down a Chinese disinformation network that spread propaganda across Southeast Asia and the US Facebook said in a blog post Tuesday that it had removed two coordinated disinformation campaigns, one from China and another from the Philippines. The network focused mostly on regional political issues and "gained almost no following" in the US, according to Facebook. "The operation's success in audience building was mixed,"Graphika, a social media analysis firm that Facebook asked to examine the network, said in its report.

(Reuters) - Social media platforms stepped up fight against misinformation on the U.S. elections , with Facebook starting a hub to help users with poll-related The finer details of the step are still being finalized. U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed without evidence that voting by mail

The FBI has uncovered evidence that foreign hackers penetrated two state election databases in recent weeks, prompting the bureau to warn election But three days after that call, the FBI Cyber Division issued a potentially more disturbing warning, entitled “Targeting Activity Against State Board

"The operation did not single out either candidate for preferential treatment," it added.

The official estimated that Facebook has taken down at least a hundred such networks around the world, but in the U.S. in particular, the team is "working around the clock, is actually looking for this and taking things down."

The official said no evidence reviewed would lead the company to "publicly attribute" the network "to a state entity" but the team did narrow the perpetrators' location down to China's southeastern Fujian province. The province of some 38.5 million people is located across a contested strait from self-ruling Taiwan, a flashpoint in the geopolitical feud between China and the United States.

The latest takedown announced Tuesday is part of a concerted campaign called Operation Naval Gazing, designed to rout out such "inauthentic" Chinese networks. The operation gets its name due to the particular focus these actors have had on security in the disputed South China Sea.

'Get busy living, or get busy dying', 10 facts about The Shawshank Redemption

  'Get busy living, or get busy dying', 10 facts about The Shawshank Redemption It's been 26 years since 'The Shawshank Redemption' was released.The movie follows Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), who is sentenced to life in Shawshank State Penitentiary for murdering his wife and her lover.Although it under-performed at the box office, the movie was a massive success on home release and regularly makes best film lists.Here are 10 facts from behind-the-scenes on Frank Darabont's film

FBI warns delayed election results could be exploited by foreign actors spreading disinformation. FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before a House panel last week that Russia remains "very On Tuesday, Facebook said it removed fake accounts and pages that originated from China and posted

The Federal Election Commission and CISA could be empowered to enforce compliance. Just as the fight against terrorism requires a mixture of offensive and defensive measures, election U.S. elections will never be entirely secure from foreign interference . The United States will always be a

This takedown appeared to be focused on the maritime geopolitics of the region, including Taiwan and across the greater South China Sea, where the U.S. and China have vied for supremacy in a bout that leaves regional states torn. One such country, the Philippines was by far the most engaged.

The allegedly fabricated pages were largely supportive of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who has expressed sympathies toward both U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, and backed the Philippine leader's daughter, Sarah, for election in 2022.

This is the second China-origin network targeted by Facebook since the company began focusing on foreign interference efforts in 2017. A previous operation in August of last year wiped out what the company assessed to be a Chinese government-affiliated campaign to disparage protests supporting greater autonomy for Hong Kong.

Since then, the Facebook official told Newsweek that the latest operation "would be our first takedown of an influence operation from China that had sort of this kind of a hybrid focus between Southeast Asia and the West, but we are constantly looking."

'Trump Was Right' About FBI Scramble to Assemble Russia Evidence After 2016 Win, Texts Claim

  'Trump Was Right' About FBI Scramble to Assemble Russia Evidence After 2016 Win, Texts Claim "Don't know but people here are scrambling for info to support certain things and it's a mad house," one FBI employee said in a text message to another.Fire service officials give evidence at Bushfire Royal Commission

Both Republicans and Democrats have previously warned that foreign actors may attempt to influence the upcoming presidential election scheduled for 3 November by using various means. In response to these claims

The FBI began running Facebook ads to recruit Russian spies on September 11, according to Facebook 's public Ad Library. "Russia has long been a counterintelligence threat to the U.S. and election interference is certainly an important concern, but it's not the only one," the statement reads.

Both the official and the report later released by Graphika emphasized that most of the targeted accounts focusing on U.S. election content in the latest digital sting had gotten little traction, with some having been barely active at all. Some used artificial intelligence-generated profile pictures and posed as U.S. residents but only 3,000 of the network's 133,000 followers were actually based in the U.S.

While the actual impact of the sham accounts was deemed to be minimal to the U.S., the prospect of a foreign attempt to influence the U.S. election did catch the eye of the 780th Military Intelligence Brigade, which bills itself as the U.S. Army's only offensive cyber operations brigade.

The brigade shared the report on its official Twitter account, tagging China's state-run Xinhua News Agency.

Spokesperson Steven P. Stover explained to Newsweek that the brigade is actively engaged in operations against foreign adversaries online on behalf of the U.S. Army and joint partners, but protocols restrict what details he could publicly reveal about specific actions or targets.

A photo illustration taken on March 23, 2018 shows Facebook logos on a computer screen in Beijing. China has restricted access to Facebook and other some other foreign social media sites, while the U.S. has moved to do the same against Chinese applications like TikTok and WeChat. NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images © NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images A photo illustration taken on March 23, 2018 shows Facebook logos on a computer screen in Beijing. China has restricted access to Facebook and other some other foreign social media sites, while the U.S. has moved to do the same against Chinese applications like TikTok and WeChat. NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images

He did, however, confirm that such schemes deemed examples of external forces involving themselves in the democratic process are the kinds of things he and his team are concerned about.

Concentration camps and forced labor: China’s repression of the Uighurs, explained

  Concentration camps and forced labor: China’s repression of the Uighurs, explained There is more and more evidence of China’s human rights abuses in Xinjiang.Her dad, Ilham Tohti, is an economics professor and prominent Uighur intellectual in Xinjiang, China. He ran a website, UighurOnline, that focused on issues pertaining to the Muslim ethnic minority group.

"Everyone in the brigade is an American citizen, and we are concerned about foreign interference in our democratic process," Stover said.

Other agencies have also weighed in on the matter.

Reached for comment about examples of potential Chinese state-sponsored efforts to influence the 2020 elections, the Federal Bureau of Investigation referred Newsweek to remarks made by FBI Director Christopher Wray during an interview with Fox News in June.

Wray, responding to a similar question, said Chinese officials "certainly have an interest in influencing our political thought—our policies—to try and shift them in a more friendly, pro-China, pro-Chinese Communist party direction, and so sometimes that gets wrapped up in election issues."

On Thursday, Wary discussed election security in his testimony before the Senate Homeland Security Committee. He said the FBI was expanding the scope of its Foreign Influence Task Force in light of the current atmosphere.

"Utilizing lessons learned over the last year and half, the FITF is widening its aperture to confront malign foreign operations of China, Iran, and other global adversaries," he said.

Wary said the FBI is focused on the security and integrity of the upcoming elections.

"Through the efforts of the FITF, and lessons learned from both the 2016 and 2018 elections, the FBI is actively engaged in identifying, detecting, and disrupting threats to our elections, Wray said, "and ensuring both the integrity of our democracy is preserved and the will of the American people is fulfilled.

National Counterintelligence and Security Center Director William Evanina, who recently told Newsweek that Chinese intellectual property theft costs the U.S. about $500 billion a year, specifically identified China last month as pushing for President Donald Trump to lose the vote in November.

'The Comey Rule': See Brendan Gleason as Donald Trump and More

  'The Comey Rule': See Brendan Gleason as Donald Trump and More Gleeson and Jeff Daniels lead a stacked cast in a Showtime dramatization of James Comey's 2018 memoir, "A Higher Loyalty."Based on James Comey's 2018 memoir, A Higher Loyalty, the two-night special focuses on Comey's work on two extremely controversial cases: "Midyear Exam," the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails while she was serving as Secretary of State, and "Crossfire Hurricane," which focused on Russia's ongoing attempts to derail the 2016 presidential election.

"We assess that China prefers that President Trump – whom Beijing sees as unpredictable – does not win reelection," Evanina wrote in a statement at the time. "China has been expanding its influence efforts ahead of November 2020 to shape the policy environment in the United States, pressure political figures it views as opposed to China's interests, and deflect and counter criticism of China."

This photo taken on August 4, shows Prince, a member of the hacking group Red Hacker Alliance who refused to give his real name, using a website that monitors global cyberattacks on his computer at their office in Dongguan, China's southern Guangdong province. U.S. officials have accused the Chinese government of sponsoring cyberwarfare targeting to conduct espionage and intellectual property theft. NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images © NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images This photo taken on August 4, shows Prince, a member of the hacking group Red Hacker Alliance who refused to give his real name, using a website that monitors global cyberattacks on his computer at their office in Dongguan, China's southern Guangdong province. U.S. officials have accused the Chinese government of sponsoring cyberwarfare targeting to conduct espionage and intellectual property theft. NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images

Among the points of contention he listed between Chinese leadership and Trump were competition in the 5G market, U.S. attacks on Chinese companies such as TikTok, the status of Hong Kong's autonomy and the South China Sea dispute.

Newsweek recently spoke to U.S. experts and officials who argued that China's cyber campaign was not primarily aimed at election interference but played out on a far grander scale, pursuing long-term economic and national security goals.

But the latest report from Facebook comes less than two weeks after Microsoft detected a China-based operation that "has attacked high-profile individuals associated with the election, including people associated with the Joe Biden for President campaign and prominent leaders in the international affairs community."

Chinese officials vehemently deny being engaged in any such interference, and have repeatedly called on the U.S. to stay out of their own country's domestic affairs.

"The U.S. presidential election, as we've said many times, is the U.S. internal affair, in which we are not interested and have never interfered," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters in Beijing earlier this month, citing a lack of evidence tying the Chinese government to such efforts.

Zhao said it was the U.S., not China, that was guilty of cyberspace crimes.

"It is the U.S. government and relevant companies that have been for a long time mounting a large-scale, organized and indiscriminate cyber theft, surveillance and attack, without any regard to international law and basic norms governing international relations," he said. "This is not a secret, but a well-known fact."

Start your unlimited Newsweek trial

Why are you seeing this digital political ad? No one knows! .
Online political ads are wildly unregulated — and increasingly important for campaigns.If you want to find out how or why you’re being targeted, good luck. Most answers are hidden beneath layers of ad technology and data collection that tech companies aren’t legally required to disclose. And unlike TV, print, and mailed political ads, which can’t target you nearly as well and are regulated by Federal Election (FEC) and the Federal Communications (FCC) Commissions, the online political ad world is largely unregulated.

usr: 0
This is interesting!