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Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller has issued indictments against 13 Russians and 3 Russian organizations for interfering with the 2016 presidential election.
According to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, “The defendants allegedly conducted what they called information warfare against the United States, with the stated goal of spreading distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general.”
News - Report - Indictment
Here is what happened, from a news report based on the indictment:
According to the indictment, “Some Defendants, posing as U.S. persons and without revealing their Russian association, communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities.”
Internet - Research - Agency - Organization - Defendants
Working with the Internet Research Agency [a Russian organization], the defendants “posted derogatory information” about several candidates, the indictment says, and by mid-2016, their efforts included “supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump and disparaging Hillary Clinton,” the indictment says. Beginning in April, 2016, the defendants concealed their identities in order to purchase political advertisements on U.S. social media and other online sites. These ads were paid for using Russian bank accounts and registered in the names of fictitious U.S. residents.
Starting around 2014, the defendants began to track and study groups on U.S. social media dedicated to American politics and social issues. They used metrics to track the performance of various social media groups. They then travelled to the U.S. (or in some cases, tried to travel to the U.S.) to collect intelligence for their interference operations. They posted as Americans and contacted U.S. political and social activists and learned they should target “purple” states, like Colorado, Virginia and Florida.
Hundreds - Media - Accounts - US - Personas
They created hundreds of social media accounts and used them to develop fictitious U.S. personas into “leaders of opinion in the U.S.” The defendants worked day and night shifts to pump out messages, controlling pages targeting a range...
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