Saturday, February 4, 2023

US warns against foreign efforts to influence American voters

Federal officials are warning ahead of the November midterm elections that Russia is working to sow doubts about the integrity of US elections, while China is interested in undermining US politicians, threatening Beijing’s interests. sees as

an unclassified intelligence tip, recently received The Associated Press, says China is potentially trying to influence selected elections to “disrupt candidates considered particularly anti-Beijing”. In a notice sent to state and local officials in mid-September, intelligence officials said they believed Beijing saw less risk in interfering with midterm elections than in presidential elections.

While officials said they have not identified any credible threats to US election infrastructure, the latest intelligence warnings come amid a midterm campaign in which a growing number of candidates and voters are voicing concerns about a lack of trust in the country’s democratic processes. speaks clearly.

Foreign countries have long sought to influence public opinion in the United States, perhaps most notably in a covert Russian campaign that used social media to sow discord on hot-button social issues ahead of the 2016 presidential election. used. have been on high alert ever since, warning of efforts by Russia, China and Iran to interfere in American politics and shape the way voters think.

The US is facing foreign influence campaigns as it continues to deal with rising threats to poll workers nationally and the systematic spread of falsehoods and misinformation about voter fraud. Former President Donald Trump and many of his supporters, including candidates overseeing elections in several states, continue to lie about the 2020 presidential election, even though no evidence of significant voter fraud has emerged.

“Today’s environment is quite complex, possibly even more complex than in 2020,” Jane Easterly, director of cybersecurity at the Department of Homeland Security, told reporters on Monday.

A senior FBI official, speaking to reporters on the condition of anonymity, said on Monday that Russia is amplifying divisive topics already circulating on the Internet, including questions about the integrity of the US election, but it is not protecting its content. Not making The Office.

In general, the official said, China’s efforts are more focused on shaping political prospects, including at the state and local levels, than on election results.

Still, China has focused its attention on a “subset of candidates” in the US that it considers contrary to its political interests, the official explained. In a high-profile case, the Justice Department in March accused Chinese agents of conspiring to undermine the candidacy of a Chinese dissident and student leader of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests who was running for a seat in Congress from New York .

Monday’s briefing came weeks after the DHS distributed an advisory this midterm outlining China’s approach to the 2020 election, when the intelligence community assessed that China acknowledged but made no effort to influence the presidential election. .

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Nation World News Desk
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