• Bannon's Brexit connection

    A recent report in the New Yorker revealed emails show Steve Bannon and Cambridge Analytica played a role in pushing Brexit. Their Leave.EU support may have been an incubator for tactics deployed to propel the Trump presidential campaign.

  • U.S. documents suggest charges filed against WikiLeaks founder Assange

    U.S. court documents suggest WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been criminally charged by prosecutors in a case that could be related to the investigation into Russia’s meddling in the U.S. elections. News outlets report that the disclosure was included as part of a court filing in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, in a case unrelated to Assange.

  • Democrats say they may tie legislation to protection of Russia probe

    A leading Democrat says his party is looking at introducing a bill to Congress that would protect the probe investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election and any possible collusion with President Donald Trump’s campaign.

  • Russia’s intelligence agencies threaten the U.K.

    A new report makes explosive claims about the scale of Russian espionage in the United Kingdom. The report is based on confidential interviews with high-level dissident, defector, and intelligence sources and sets out both banal and brazen examples of what it says is Vladimir Putin’s ongoing menacing of U.K. streets.

  • Facebook blocks 115 accounts after alert from U.S. authorities

    Facebook says it has blocked 115 user accounts after U.S. authorities alerted the social network to suspicious activity that may be linked to a foreign country. The company’s move, announced in a blog post late on 5 November, came hours after U.S. law enforcement agencies warned that, as U.S. voters go to the polls on 6 November, they should be wary of attempts by Russia, Iran, and other countries to spread fake news on social media.

  • Russia influence operations taking aim at U.S. military

    With the U.S. midterm elections taking place Tuesday, there are growing fears that Russia’s efforts to undermine U.S. democracy extend far beyond the polls on 6 November or the presidential election in 2020. Defense and security officials worry that as part of Moscow’s plan to sow division and discord, it is trying to conquer the U.S. military — not with bullets or missiles but with tweets and memes. The tactic is an outgrowth of Russia’s overarching strategy to find seams within U.S. society where distrust or anger exist and widen those divisions with targeted messaging.

  • Quiet so far, but not all clear

    Homeland Security and intelligence community officials continue to say that the we are not seeing the same level of online foreign election interference in the run-up to the midterms as we experienced in 2016, cybersecurity experts warn the United States is not necessarily in the clear.

  • White House MIA on midterm elections security

    The United States is less than a week away from the 2018 midterms, but the Trump administration has not put together a substantive, coordinated effort to fight disinformation or possible election interference. Law enforcement, homeland security, and intelligence officials held one 90-minute meeting at the Justice Department late last month and left without any answers. No one from the White House attended. In the absence of White House leadership or an overarching strategy, some agencies have taken individual actions. DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has stepped forward and convened her own meetings with agency leaders on election security issues.

  • Target USA: Key takeaways from the Kremlin’s “Project Lakhta”

    On 19 October, the Department of Justice announced charges against Elena Khusyaynova, a St. Petersburg-based accountant, for working as part of a conspiracy to wage “information warfare against the United States of America.” According to the FBI, Khusyaynova worked as the chief accountant for “Project Lakhta,” a Russian interference operation targeting citizens in the United States, EU, Ukraine, and Russia. The new charges confirm many assessments of the conduct and strategy behind Russia’s Internet Research Agency, and also highlight several key aspects of the Kremlin’s ongoing influence campaign in the United States.

  • Court in Finland finds pro-Kremlin trolls guilty of harassing investigative journalist

    In a major ruling that exceeded prosecutors’ requests, a court in Finland sentenced a pro-Russian troll to prison for harassing journalist Jessikka Aro. an award-winning Finnish investigative journalist who was among the first reporters to expose the work of the Internet Research Agency (IRA), the Kremlin’s troll factory. Russia and its Finland-based internet trolls made her a prime target for harassment since her reports appeared in 2014.

  • Rosenstein defends Russia probe

    Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told the Wall Street Journal the American public will be able to trust the findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation because the inquiry has been conducted appropriately and independently. “[A]t the end of the day, the public will have confidence that the cases we brought were warranted by the evidence, and that it was an appropriate use of resources,” he said.

  • Twitter’s massive data release shows the Kremlin’s broad pro-Trump strategy

    Twitter today (Wednesday) released ten million tweets it says represent all of the foreign influence operations on the social media platform, including Russia’s consistent efforts to undermine Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid and support Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. The Internet Research Agency, the St. Petersburg-based Kremlin’s troll farm, created 3,400 accounts to undermine Hillary Clinton’s campaign and support Trump. Before helping Trump defeat Clinton, the Kremlin helped Trump secure the GOP nomination by targeting former governor Jeb Bush and Senator Ted Cruz.

  • Peter Smith met Flynn in 2015

    Peter W. Smith, the GOP operative who raised $100,000 in his search to obtain Hillary Clinton’s missing emails from Russian hackers before allegedly killing himself in May 2017, had a well-established business relationship Trump former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Previous reports indicated Smith knew both Flynn and his son well, but on Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal explains the backstory behind their connection.

  • Key takeaways from the Kremlin’s recent interference offensive

    Recent counterintelligence operations by U.K. and Dutch intelligence services, and similar operations by the U.S. and Swiss authorities, have exposed a broad, sustained, and determined Russian effort to undermine Western democracies. The main takeaways from the revelations about these Russian operations: First, the Kremlin uses cyber hacks and other asymmetric tools not only to interfere in elections, but also to execute a number of other objectives. Second, the Kremlin uses various asymmetric tools in conjunction with one another to achieve its objectives. Finally, the Kremlin has authorized its security services to pursue Moscow’s interests with brazen and aggressive vigor.

  • An assault on American intelligence

    “The veneer of civilization is something that is quite thin,” retired four-star general Michael Hayden said at an MIT presentation. “It has to be protected and nurtured.” The United States was formed on the basis of the ideas of the Enlightenment, he said, with adaptations and improvements being made as societies and “civilization” developed. Since then, those who rejected these ideas represented the negative phenomena in society and were often overpowered by the progressive or forward-thinking mainstream. Now, those who represent the negative segments of society are threatening to become mainstream.