• U.S. intel chiefs warn Washington risks losing friends, influence

    U.S. intelligence chiefs are sounding alarms about an ever more perilous future for the United States, one in which the country is in danger of seeing its influence wane, its allies waiver, and key adversaries team up to erode norms that once kept the country safe and the world more stable. “It is increasingly a challenge to prioritize which threats are of greatest importance,” Dan Coats, Director of National Intelligence, said, sharing testimony that often and repeatedly contradicted past assertions by President Donald Trump. “During my tenure as DNI now two years and I have told our workforce over and over that our mission was to seek the truth and speak the truth,” Coats pointedly stated. Driving many of the concerns, according to intelligence officials, is a growing alliance between Russia and China competing against the U.S. not just for military and technological superiority, but for global influence.

  • Russia’s hostile measures threaten Europe: Report

    A new RAND report examines current Russian hostile measures in Europe and forecasts how Russia might threaten Europe using these measures over the next few years. “Whatever the U.S. response, preparation for involvement in a wide range of conflicts can help reduce the risk of mismanagement, miscalculation, and escalation,” the report’s authos say.

  • Trump-Putin G20 chat had no U.S. oversight

    The White House acknowledged last month that President Trump did have an informal conversation with Vladimir Putin at the G20 in Buenos Aires in late November, but now the Financial Times reports the two men met without a U.S. translator, note-taker, or even administration aide present. Former US national security officials have said that while it would be unusual for U.S. presidents to be accompanied by a translator or aide while meeting allies, standard practice while meeting US adversaries would be to engage in discussions with staff on hand.

  • 2016 Twitter fake news engagement: Highly concentrated and conservative-leaning

    By studying how more than 16,000 American registered voters interacted with fake news sources on Twitter during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, researchers report that engagement with fake news was extremely concentrated. Only a small fraction of Twitter users accounted for the vast majority of fake news exposures and shares, they say, many among them older, conservative and politically engaged.

  • New U.S. intel strategy warns of more “turbulent” times ahead

    U.S. intelligence agencies trying to plot their course for the next four years are facing an ever more chaotic world, complicated by a weakening of the Western-led international order, rapidly changing technology. The new strategy identifies the two main challenges the U.S. is facing as “the weakening of the post-WWII international order and dominance of Western democratic ideals,” and what it calls “increasingly isolationist tendencies in the West.” U.S. intelligence officials also warned that the proliferation of advanced technology has enabled adversaries, big and small, to close the gap on Washington. “We see Russia pursuing, with a vim and vigor that I haven’t seen since the ’80s, capabilities to reach us,” a senior intelligence official warned.

  • GRU's suspected plan to link Skripal poisoning to Steele Dossier

    The Telegraph is reporting that Russian military intelligence – a year before the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal – planted online evidence of a false connection between the former Russian agent and Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence officer who researched Donald Trump’s Russia connections during the 2016 campaign.

  • Foreign interference in US elections dates back decades

    Americans have spent the last 18 months wondering about Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election. Donald Trump would not be the first U.S. politician that foreign powers tried to help. In fact, two campaigns, in 1940 and 1960, featured bold attempts by hostile foreign powers to put their preferred candidates in the Oval Office. While neither was successful, both highlight a vulnerability in the American political system that, for the first time, has become the subject of major public discussion.

  • Just between us

    Media investigation has found that President Donald Trump has had at least 18 interactions with Vladimir Putin – four letters, five in-person meetings, and nine phone calls – and that Trump has not shared details of these interactions — what was discussed and what the two leaders agreed to — with members of his administration. Trump went to some length to conceal his dealings with Putin from the State Department, the Pentagon, the NSC, and the U.S. intelligence community: Just following the official Hamburg meeting, for example, Trump confiscated the interpreter’s notes before he and Putin left the room. “What’s disconcerting is the desire to hide information from your own team,” said one Russia expert. “The fact that Trump didn’t want the State Department or members of the White House team to know what he was talking with Putin about suggests it was not about advancing our country’s national interest but something more problematic.”

  • Facebook deletes hundreds of Russian troll pages

    Facebook announced it had shut down more than 360 pages and accounts, with some tied to the Internet Research Agency (IRA). from the United States to Germany, Facebook has come under immense pressure to combat fake news, disinformation campaigns, and hate speech on its platforms.

  • Huawei industrial espionage in Poland leads to calls for boycott

    The Chinese telecom giant’s industrial espionage activities in Poland have prompted calls for the company to be banned. The United States is leading the push for a boycott, but many EU governments remain undecided. Huawei offers a capable 5G technology, which represents a quantum leap in wireless communication speed, and which will be key to developing the Internet of Things (IoT), including self-driving cars. Critics charge that much of that technology was stolen from Western companies by Chinese intelligence agencies, for which Huwawei serves as a front.

  • Manafort wanted polling data sent to Ukrainians

    When, during the 2016 campaign, Paul Manafort sent Trump campaign’s internal polling data to Konstantin Kilimnik – a cut-out for the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence branch — he intended that data to be handed off to two Kremlin-allied Ukrainian oligarchs, Serhiy Lyovochkin and Rinat Akhmetov. Manafort told his accountant in August 2016 he was expecting $2.4 million from Ukraine in November 2016. His spokesman insists that money was payment for an old debt and not the data.

  • Europe’s anti-immigration leaders push for a bloc to counter France, Germany

    Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orban hopes that a populist, right-wing alliance can gain an anti-migrant majority in the European Parliament. The formation of the alliance was announced by Italy’s Matteo Salvini. Divisions over Russia and Vladimir Putin, however, may see some prospective members decline to join.

  • Manafort shared Trump campaign polling with Konstantin Kilimnik, a cut-out to Russian intelligence

    While he was the chairman of the Donald Trump presidential campaign, Paul Manafort shared internal campaign polling data with Konstantin Kilimnik, a cut-out for the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence service. Analysts believe he is, in fact, a Russian intelligence operative. It appears that the Trump campaign’s internal data Manafort shared with Russian intelligence was aimed to help the GRU to make the Kremlin’s social-media disinformation effort on behalf of Trump more targetd and effective, especially in suppressing the African American vote for Hillary Clinton. Kilimnik was indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s grand jury on 8 June 2018 on charges of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice by attempting to tamper with a witness on behalf of Manafort.

  • Evidence mounts suggesting “Country A” is Russia

    Alston & Bird, a law firm with experience representing Russian interests, is involved in the mystery grand jury subpoena case assumed to be related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. The case involves a foreign-owned corporation — a financial institution — which is refusing to turn over documents and incurring a daily $50,000 fine.

  • Russian agents in Western media

    The exposure of a journalist of the German magazine, Der Spiegel, Claas Relotius, who falsified materials for his articles, was a real shock and sharply raised the issue of the availability of effective tools for controlling misinformation in the media community. In the early 1960s, Der Spiegel was involved in another scandal, when it ran a series of investigations by journalist Conrad Ahlers, who severely criticized and accused the then German Defense Minister Franz Josef Strauss of unprofessionalism and corruptionit. Strauss was forced to resign – but we now know that the conflict between Strauss and Der Spiegel was part of a Soviet special operation aimed at discrediting Strauss, who might have become the next chancellor of West Germany.