#RussiaLies · Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

US’ Mueller investigation is finished. Russia’s election meddling continues.

Though the headline focuses on Mueller’s investigation, I urge you, gentle reader, to take a wider view when contemplating Russian election interference. 

  • We know Russia interfered in the US 2016 election. We know Russia used Facebook and other ads, social media, Wikileaks, and hacking. We know Russia actively influenced multiple fringe groups to protest, to meet, and to try to influence larger groups – all in the period leading up to the election. We know the GRU and the Russian “Internet Research Agency”, now indicted, actively engaged in operations to influence the election. We know that Russia concentrated on existing social schisms and attempted to sow anger, confusion, and emo
  • We know Russia helped influence the Brexit vote in the UK, most likely successfully. 
  • We know that Russia is currently trying to meddle in Ukraine’s Presidential election. 
  • We know Russia attempted to interfere in the French Presidential election and failed.
  • We believe Russia held off off meddling in Germany’s election.
  • We believe Russia actively interfered in Venezuela’s Presidential elections to the point that nobody in the West will certify the election. 
  • We believe Russia is already attempting to interfere in the 2020 US election.

Yet Russia denies any and all election interference.

A good reference work: Defining Russian Election Interference: An Analysis of Select 2014 to 2018 Cyber Enabled Incidents

The bottom line, Russia continues to actively attempt to mold global elections to their advantage using methodologies and large efforts which exceed normally accepted boundaries. Russia continues to deny, deny, and then deny some more, but they continue without accepting responsibility or curtailing these illegal actions. All they have changed since 2016 is to hide their efforts better.

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Mueller’s investigation is over. Russia’s election meddling isn’t.

Special counsel Robert Mueller concurs with the Intelligence Community‘s assessment that the Russian government carried out a sophisticated, multi-pronged campaign to interfere in the 2016 election, per Attorney General William Barr’s letter summarizing the investigation’s findings.

Why it matters: Absent a bipartisan effort to combat this threat, Russian meddling may continue to disrupt American democracy.

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Background: Russia’s meddling didn’t stop on election day in 2016. The Kremlin seeded disinformation to influence the 2018 midterm elections and may have sought to compromise electoral infrastructure.

  • Russia’s campaigns spread propaganda and disseminate private information with the aim of sowing discord among Americans.

What’s new: A social media campaign is already underway to spread falsehoods about 2020 presidential candidates, and it appears foreign state actors are behind at least some of that activity. Elements of the campaign resemble the information operations Russia has deployed to misinform and polarize voters.

What to watch: Per Barr’s letter, more information on the results of Mueller’s investigation should be publicly released. That could help social media companies, journalists and national security professionals draw lessons for combating future interference.

Jessica Brandt is a fellow at the German Marshall Fund and the head of policy and research for its Alliance for Securing Democracy.

Source: https://www.axios.com/mueller-investigation-is-over-russia-election-meddling-is-not-3d7894ee-2ca8-4cc2-bfd7-75e3b4899281.html