by Cassy Fiano | March 21, 2017 11:41 am
At yesterday’s congressional hearing, FBI Director James Comey confirmed that the bureau is investigating potential ties between the Russian government and the Trump campaign. But what they’re investigating might surprise you.
The FBI is looking into the possibility of far-right websites being involved in a “Russian cyber operation” that pushed positive stories about Donald Trump, some of which were inaccurate. Russian operatives are believed to have set up computer commands, called “bots” to flood social media with pro-Trump links at a time when Hillary Clinton was surging and the Trump campaign was struggling.
Millions of Twitter and Facebook posts were posted with links to stories published on sites like Breitbart, InfoWars and Russia’s own RT News and Sputnik News. Sources say the links posted by the bots were often fake, or contained a mixture of both fact and fiction. The bots were launched in an effort to influence the presidential election.
What investigators want to know is if the websites were aware of or complicit in the bot attacks, although their participation was not necessary for the Russian cyber campaign to take place. The investigation is being handled by the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division. Their inquiries typically do not result in criminal charges and in this instance, it’s believed that they are tasked with preventing further cyber attacks. The bots, however, are just one piece of the puzzle. “This may be one of the most highly impactful information operations in the history of intelligence,” an anonymous former intelligence official said.
Links that the bots posted included stories on the WikiLeaks DNC hack, as well as fake stories, such as accusations that Hillary Clinton was involved in a child-sex ring out of a Washington pizza restaurant. The cyber campaign also used “trolls” who would pretend to be Trump supporters and leave positive comments about Trump, or stories that were sympathetic to Trump. These operatives are believed to have worked out of a Russian facility in St. Petersburg. “Russian bots and internet trolls sought to propagate stories underground,” Mike Carpenter, a former Pentagon official, said. “Those stories got amplified by fringe elements of our media like Breitbart.”
Alex Jones, who runs InfoWars, responded to the allegations and denied any involvement. “I’m not gonna sit here and say, ‘I’m not a Russian stooge,’ because it’s a (expletive) lie,” he said. He did, however, acknowledge that he had appeared on RT “probably 100 times or more.”
What do you think the FBI should do about this?
Source URL: https://rightwingnews.com/vladimir-putin/alert-fbi-probing-far-right-news-sites/
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