Açiq mənbələrdən foto.

Açiq mənbələrdən foto.

As Washington accuses Russia of waging an increasingly sophisticated disinformation campaign globally, Mike Pompeo, the secretary of State, yesterday offered a $10 million reward aimed at preventing foreign interference in the November election.

The reward seeks information on the identification or location of any person acting at the direction of or under the control of a foreign government, interferes with any U.S. federal, state, or local election.

"Authoritarian governments seek to manipulate open and free information environments." Lea Gabrielle, special envoy and coordinator of the State Department's Global Engagement Center (GEC), told reporters in Washington.

The move came just hours after the GEC released a special report on Russian disinformation and propaganda, focusing especially on proxy sites.

"Russia is playing a significant role in creating and spreading disinformation and propaganda around many topics" Gabrielle said.

Proxy sites are only part of a much larger ecosystem of disinformation. The report draws on publicly available information to detail for the international public what the authors view as the five pillars of Russian disinformation.

These are: official government communications; state-funded global messaging; cultivation of proxy sources; weaponization of social media; and cyber-enabled disinformation.

The Kremlin, Gabrielle explained, invests massively in its propaganda channels. Its intelligence services and proxies conduct malicious cyber activity to support their disinformation efforts. And it leverages outlets that masquerade as news sites or research institutions to spread false and misleading narratives.

The GEC has also identified multiple instances of Russia and its proxies pushing pro-Chinese Communist Party narratives.

"Beijing has also taken a page from Russia's playbook, leveraging conspiracy websites and proxy channels to push disinformation and propaganda with the goal of undermining democratic norms and institutions," she said, adding that "we want the international public to know that these efforts do not stand unopposed."

As for Russia, she added, it "typically looks to undermine democratic institutions and democratic norms, and to spread fear and confusion as well as trying to create doubts about democratic norms."

The U.S. Government will not tolerate foreign interference in our elections. "We also make clear the potential consequences and the costs if foreign actors attempt to do so," she said,

Yet there are so many things that can go wrong in the U.S. elections, local experts worry, if the events of the last few years are any indication.

Asked how federal government officials and local leaders should confront challenges such as disinformation, foreign interference as well as mail or internet voting during the upcoming November election, Akram Elias, co-founder and president of Capital Communications Group, Inc, told TURAN's Washington correspondent that, local states "working together with the federal government – this is an area where they collaborate."

"We have dealt with various forms of conducting the election, including doing things by mail going all the way back to the Civil War era. So it is not something totally new. What is definitely different is that we're dealing with technology, we're dealing with the ability of interference from the outside. I can tell you since the 2016 election, there are all kinds of measures that have been put into place."

"There's been a lot done and more is being done to help build capacity to ensure the integrity of elections," he said during a virtual press briefing organized by the Department's Foreign Press Center,

Alex Raufoglu

Washington D.C.


Leave a review


Follow us on social networks

News Line