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Politics Treasury sanctions individuals, groups tied to Russian malign influence activities

20:31  23 september  2020
20:31  23 september  2020 Source:   thehill.com

Christopher Wray says Russia is 'very active' in trying to influence 2020 election

  Christopher Wray says Russia is 'very active' in trying to influence 2020 election FBI Director Christopher Wray warned that the Russian government is “very active” in efforts to influence the 2020 presidential election by harming Democratic nominee Joe Biden. © Provided by Washington Examiner Appearing before the House Homeland Security Committee on Thursday, less than two months to go until Election Day, Wray stressed that he has not seen election infrastructure targeted by Russian cyberactors like in 2016. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

The Treasury Department on Wednesday announced sanctions against eight individuals and seven groups related to efforts by Russia to spread malign influence around elections and to evade sanctions.

a clock on the side of a building: Treasury sanctions individuals, groups tied to Russian malign influence activities © The Hill Treasury sanctions individuals, groups tied to Russian malign influence activities

Sanctions were levied against two groups and three employees that do business in the Central African Republic due to their ties to Russian operative Yevgeniy Prigozhin, an individual who was previously indicted by former special counsel Robert Mueller for his interference efforts in the 2016 presidential election.

Hillicon Valley: McConnell accuses Democrats of sowing division by repeatedly voicing election security concerns | FBI chief says Russia is trying to interfere in election to undermine Biden | Treasury Dept. sanctions Iranian government-backed hackers

  Hillicon Valley: McConnell accuses Democrats of sowing division by repeatedly voicing election security concerns | FBI chief says Russia is trying to interfere in election to undermine Biden | Treasury Dept. sanctions Iranian government-backed hackers Welcome to Hillicon Valley, The Hill's newsletter detailing all you need to know about the tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. If you don't already, be sure to sign up for our newsletter with this LINK.Welcome! Follow our cyber reporter, Maggie Miller (@magmill95), and tech reporter, Chris Mills Rodrigo (@chrisismills), for more coverage.FBI CHIEF HAS ELECTION SECURITY CONCERNS: FBI Director Christopher Wray on Thursday said that Russian agents were trying to undermine Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in the lead-up to the November election.

Prigozhin, who is known as "Putin's chef" due to the Kremlin's use of his catering service for official functions, is the leader and main source of funding for the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a troll farm that was also indicted by Mueller for spreading disinformation ahead of the 2016 elections.

Both Prigozhin and the IRA were sanctioned by the Treasury Department in 2018 for election interference. The agency took further actions last year against Prigozhin by targeting his physical assets, including planes and a yacht, along with other companies associated with him.

"Yevgeniy Prigozhin has an international network of supporters to spread his malign political and economic influence around the globe," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement Wednesday. "The United States will continue to target the ability of Prigozhin to conduct operations globally."

Iran sanctions: US versus the world over 'snapback' option

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The Treasury Department also sanctioned Okeanos, a Russian-based underwater technology company, Finland-based group Optima Freight OY, a freight forwarding company, three groups associated with Optima Freight OY, and five employees of the companies for efforts to evade U.S. sanctions against Russia and for working with Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB).

"Nikita Kovalevskij, and his company, Optima Freight, through an illicit scheme, violated U.S. export laws in the acquisition of sensitive, controlled U.S. maritime technologies," Stacey Moy, special agent in charge of the FBI's Washington Field Office's Counterintelligence Division, said in a statement. "The FBI remains committed to aggressively investigate and stop Russia from covertly pilfering U.S. innovation."

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also announced the sanctions, detailing Prighozen's connections to the IRA.

Exclusive: U.S. to slap sanctions on over two dozen targets tied to Iran arms

  Exclusive: U.S. to slap sanctions on over two dozen targets tied to Iran arms Exclusive: U.S. to slap sanctions on over two dozen targets tied to Iran armsWASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Monday will sanction more than two dozen people and entities involved in Iran's nuclear, missile and conventional arms programs, a senior U.S. official said, putting teeth behind U.N. sanctions on Tehran that Washington argues have resumed despite the opposition of allies and adversaries.

"This action builds on the U.S. government's efforts to promote accountability for the Russian government's use of proxy actors and intelligence organizations, including the FSB, for perpetrating an array of destabilizing activities, such as conducting malicious cyber activities and interfering in elections, by further targeting networks supporting their activities," Pompeo said in a statement.


Video: FBI director warns of Russian interference in 2020 election (CBS News)

Hillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns .
Welcome to Hillicon Valley, The Hill's newsletter detailing all you need to know about the tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. If you don't already, be sure to sign up for our newsletter with this LINK.Follow our cyber reporter, Maggie Miller (@magmill95), and tech reporter, Chris Mills Rodrigo (@chrisismills), for more coverage.SUBPOENAS COMING SOON: The GOP chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee is planning to subpoena the executives of Google, Facebook and Twitter to testify at an Oct. 1 hearing on the law that gives tech companies a legal liability shield if they do not agree to appear voluntarily by Thursday night.

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