The Russia watchAussies tipped FBI to Russia’s meddling; the latest 2018 election-hacking threat; Putin’s political provocateurs, and more

Published 3 January 2018

· Report: ex-Trump aide told Australians of Russian “dirt” on Clinton

· Book review: In “Collusion,” Guardian reporter makes case for Russian manipulation of Trump

· Putin’s political provocateurs: “Meddling” created blueprint for 21st-century subversion

· “Whoever controls cyberspace will control the world”: Russian hackers waging cyber war on Ukraine “training” for Western targets

· What we learned about Trump, Russia, and collusion in 2017

· The latest 2018 election-hacking threat: 9-month wait for government help

· Should we believe a Russian hacker who claims he hit the DNC for a rogue operative in the FSB?

· What Russian journalists uncovered about Russian election meddling

· Forgetting the past: The U.S. response to Russian disinformation

· Pressure builds to improve election cybersecurity

Report: ex-Trump aide told Australians of Russian “dirt” on Clinton (Sharon LaFraniere, Mark Mazzetti, and Matt Apuzzo, New York Times)
Former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos was reportedly tipped off to Russia obtaining thousands of emails that would compromise Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election—and he made the mistake of bragging about it to an Australian diplomat. Australia has close intelligence relationship with the U.S., and U.S. authorities were informed of Papadopoulos’s disclosures, leading the FBI, which was already keeping an eye on Carter Page’s suspicious ties with Moscow, to decided it had enough to open an investigation, which it kept quiet throughout the election. In an effort to discredit the Russia investigation, Republican commentators have been pushing the notion that the FBI began its inquiry on the basis of the now-infamous “Steele Dossier,” but the Times report makes it clear that it was Papadopoulos, not Steele, who drove the investigation, at least initially. This blows up an important line of attack for Republicans looking to tar Mueller.

Book review: In “Collusion,” Guardian reporter makes case for Russian manipulation of Trump (Dook Snyder reviews Luke Harding’s <em>Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win</em> [New York: Vintage, 2017], Berkshire Edge)Like the best teachers, Harding offers us an adventure. He is a skilled writer and even though we often imagine that, because we’re actually living through all this in real time, we know what’s coming, Harding manages to surprise us time and again. Because he really does know more than we do. Do yourself a favor. Take some time to commune and collude with “Collusion.” Take the ride.

Putin’s political provocateurs: “Meddling” created blueprint for 21st-century subversion (Dan Boylan and Guy Taylor, Washington Times)
Debate rages in Washington over the true scale and impact of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, but intelligence sources say Moscow’s hacking, fake news and social media manipulation ignited a global trend that now threatens some of the world’s most fragile democracies. What the Russians did, according to a leading international political consultant, was create a blueprint for 21st-century subversion that is now being mimicked by spin doctors and elusive digital data firms to sow chaos in elections wherever they can.