The Democratic presidential candidates have been targeted by Russia in disinformation campaigns on Facebook’s Instagram say they didn’t know that had happened until Facebook announced it publicly.
Facebook and Instagram didn’t give advanced notice to the campaigns that these highly sophisticated attacks had happened. The posts from the Russia-based operation seemed targeted to battleground states and played on specific themes in the 2020 race tailored to damage the individual candidates, showing a nuanced understanding of the dynamics at play.” Ali Soufan, a former longtime FBI agent who has investigated election interference said that it was evidence the “Russians are repeating the same tactics they used during the 2016 election, but only growing more strategic in identifying divides and capitalizing on those divides to create fault lines in society and distrust between people and institutions.”
House Democrats have been trying to stay on top of these threats, and are meeting the brick wall of Moscow Mitch McConnell’s Senate. Last week, the House passed legislation to tighten up regulations on online political advertisements, making it harder for foreign actors to deploy them. McConnell has already said he won’t allow it on the floor, saying it “will not do anything to stop malign foreign actors.” Just like he’s sent his troops out to continue to block any election security fixes since the beginning of the year.
Meanwhile, the “threats are ongoing and persistent,” a senior intelligence official told the Post. “They’re more diverse. We have more actors on the field. In addition to Russia, there’s China, Iran, hacktivists, ransomware.” And by all appearances, that’s how McConnell wants it.