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FBI Boston warning public concerning foreign influence, disinformation campaigns for 2020 election



Today, the Boston Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is warning the public to guard against foreign influence and disinformation campaigns in advance of the 2020 election.

According to the FBI, the threats include crimes the FBI has been charged with investigating for decades, including campaign finance crimes; voter/ballot fraud; civil rights violations; cyber threats targeting the election process; and the potential for malign foreign influence on the democratic process, elected officials, and institutions.

“Foreign adversaries are counting on you to blindly share their propaganda and lies, and we need you to help us protect your voices and ultimately your votes by making informed decisions about what you view, read, and share on social media,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division. “That’s why we’re issuing this guidance. We all have a role to play in protecting the sanctity of our elections from interference by criminals and other nefarious actors.”

A release warned that Foreign adversaries, including Russia and China, and foreign-aligned groups are trying to illegally influence American political processes. Malign foreign influence operations are designed to undermine confidence in our democratic institutions. There are three common foreign influence methods:

Cyberattacks against political campaigns and government infrastructure: These attacks might include foreign adversaries hacking and leaking sensitive information from computers, databases, networks, phones, and emails.

Secret funding or influence operations to help or harm a person or cause: Tactics include political advertising from foreign groups pretending to be U.S. citizens, lobbying by unregistered foreign agents, and illegal campaign contributions from foreign adversaries.

Disinformation campaigns on social media platforms that confuse, trick, or upset the public: For example, a foreign group may purposefully spread false or inconsistent information about an existing social issue to provoke all sides and encourage conflict.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. RealityCheck

    September 28, 2020 at 5:16 pm

    America doesn’t need foreign influence to distribute false information when we have groups like Dip ***** in Fall River on Facebook.

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