Russia Hacking and Meddling in US political affairs

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Leo

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Thats my point. Russian ads placed on foreign sites (like Bord Failte) attempting to sway US public opinion is next to useless.
The primary location to place ads would be on platforms that can use sophisticated targeting, like FB and Google.
Those companies, platforms, should be able to filter out political ads, where the source of those ads is not clearly identifiable. By that I mean, the purchaser of political ads on FB to be used to target US public must be identifiable to FB otherwise they refuse the ad.
You really think every social media platform around the world will set up roadblocks to their primary source of income? You're still just focusing on ads, there's a lot more to it. What about the media companies looking to push their content to grow readership, that would all have to be assessed and censored too, with the massive overheads and implications on freedom of speech.
 

Leo

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Im not sure about Iran , they may have desires in that direction but they were actually the victims of the most sophisticated hacking of all, namely the "stuxnet" virus carried out by the americans and israelis which put their nuclear program behind by at least a decade. why all the focus on Russia when the americans are the best hackers of all.
They've been schooled by the best for sure, in response they set up a Ministry dedicated to 'telecoms research' and develop talent for a number of government departments ostensibly focused on cyber defence. On the offensive side they're slowly developing capability with OilRig & Leafminer primarily targeting US & Israeli assets.
 

TheBigShort

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You really think every social media platform around the world will set up roadblocks to their primary source of income?
No.
Thats why legislation may be required.

You're still just focusing on ads, there's a lot more to it.
Im sure there is. But the primary focus, in the public domain, has been on fake ads and fake accounts through social media.
That is why Zukerberg was brought before senate committees and EU parliament.

So while there is 'more to it', im focused on hyper frenzy surrounding purported fake ads and fake news which purportedly interfered with US election.

If we can agree that the most sophisticated and effective way of buying and targeting ads is through social media platforms like FB, Google, Twitter, etc then this is where the focus should be.

You have already shown how Google stopped taking ads for the abortion referendum in Ireland, so it is possible that these companies can filter identify political ads.
All Im suggesting is that if someone wants to put an ad on FB advocating a political view or position that FB is required to verify the source of the ad.
It could do this by requiring the advertiser to identify themselves as a registered political lobbyist with the US State Department.
To be registered as a political lobbyist, an individual or group or organization will have had to show that they are a citizen(s) of US, habitually resident in US, registered for tax compliance, etc, etc...
So once an individual or organization is registered with US State Department it can then buy political advertising space on social media platforms like FB etc
If an individual or group cannot satisfy FB that it is registered with US State Department then FB either refuses to take the ad or is subject to possible prosecution.
As it is US legislation, it will only apply to political advertising that is, using the sophisticated tools of FB etc, targeted at US public.

This has nothing to do with censorship.

What about the media companies looking to push their content to grow readership, that would all have to be assessed and censored too, with the massive overheads and implications on freedom of speech.
No, you are making this unnecessarily complicated.
Again, same rules apply as above.

1) Is it a political advertisement? If Yes, move to step 2) If No, accept ad.

2) Is the advertiser registered as a political lobbyist with the US State Department? If Yes, move to step 3) If No, refuse ad

3) Accept ad.

Thats it. As far as advertising on social media platforms goes.
As for the "more to it" stuff, I cant comment as its mostly not in the public domain and im not privvy to it.
 

Leo

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No.
Thats why legislation may be required.
And again, how would we in Ireland say, legislate for content posted and hosted in other jurisdictions?


..the primary focus, in the public domain, has been on fake ads and fake accounts through social media.
Maybe the penny is finally dropping. How do you propose vetting the true identify of every single user account on every single social media platform across the globe? Again, how can that vetting be carried out to the satisfaction of every government or whatever authority you want to appoint as the great censor?


So while there is 'more to it', im focused on hyper frenzy surrounding purported fake ads and fake news which purportedly interfered with US election.
On the fake news, how do you vet and approve every single media outlet across the globe? When the likes of Fox News have won the right through the US courts to dispense with any pretence of balanced reporting, again, taking Ireland as an example, how do you propose we control the output of the world's media to ensure none of it is in any way attempting to manipulate Irish audiences?
 

TheBigShort

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And again, how would we in Ireland say, legislate for content posted and hosted in other jurisdictions?
I dont know, I will have to think about it. Perhaps it is something to be done on an EU wide basis, perhaps GDPR can used in this regard.
In meantime, focusing on the US and the Russia 'meddling' saga...

How do you propose vetting the true identify of every single user account on every single social media platform across the globe?
Why would you need to do that? That would be futile.
Instead what they could do is vet anyone who wants to buy advertising, of a political nature, targeting the US public....kind of narrows the scope somewhat, doesn't it?

Again, how can that vetting be carried out to the satisfaction of every government or whatever authority you want to appoint as the great censor?
Again, zero censorship involved. Just some regulations concerning advertising on social media platforms, of a political nature, targeting US public.

On the fake news, how do you vet and approve every single media outlet across the globe?
On fake news, there has always been fake news. Bloody Sunday in Derry was fake news insofar that the IRA shot at the army first or that the dead were carrying weapons.
Liverpool football fans robbing and urinating on the victims at Hillsborough was fake news.
WMD was fake news, as was Daily Mirror photos of Iraqis been urinated on.

So you cant stop fake news, so makes you wonder why Zukerberg was up before congressional committees and not say, Rupert Murdoch?

But if you want, you can legislate for rules governing political advertising.
 

Leo

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Instead what they could do is vet anyone who wants to buy advertising, of a political nature, targeting the US public....kind of narrows the scope somewhat, doesn't it?
So just ignore a large part or the problem.

Why would you need to do that? That would be futile.
Instead what they could do is vet anyone who wants to buy advertising, of a political nature, targeting the US public....kind of narrows the scope somewhat, doesn't it?
How do you propose addressing fake accounts so?

On fake news, there has always been fake news. Bloody Sunday in Derry was fake news insofar that the IRA shot at the army first or that the dead were carrying weapons.
Liverpool football fans robbing and urinating on the victims at Hillsborough was fake news.
WMD was fake news, as was Daily Mirror photos of Iraqis been urinated on.
So you're stepping back from the simple approach of an approved register now?

But if you want, you can legislate for rules governing political advertising.
And yet again, how would Ireland pass legislation that would apply to the rest of the world?
 

TheBigShort

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So just ignore a large part or the problem
??? What are you talking about? What is the actual problem? Fake ads, fake news in social media platforms like FB, Google, Twitter etc, that are supposedly interfered with the US election.
How is what ive suggested ignoring a large part of the problem?


How do you propose addressing fake accounts so?
Only accounts that buy advertising of a political nature need to be addressed, nothing else.
The account, whether it is fake or real, would need to satisfy FB that it is a political lobbyist registered with the US State Department.
If it is a fake account, then the owner of the fake account will have to identify themselves.
If I set up a fake account today, touting for Bernie Saunders to be next President and posting fake stories about potential opponents, it makes no difference, it has no influence, it does not interfere in the US election.
If I buy advertising from FB so that my fake stories can reach FB users, of voting age, residing in the US, then that may have an influence.
But because my advertising or posting is of a political nature, I will have to identify myself as being registered as a political lobbyist - which I am not, so FB refuses my advertising and my fake account sits in the cyber wilderness.

So you're stepping back from the simple approach of an approved register now?
No...what are you talking about?

And yet again, how would Ireland pass legislation that would apply to the rest of the world?
Ireland cant legislate for the rest of the world?!?!

Its simple, there has always been fake news. The identify of the people or organization pushing the fake news has generally been attainable, although the origins of the fake news not so.

The US has got itself in a tizzy about fake news, particularly on social media like FB, for apparently influencing the outcome of the US election.
The general theory is that the Russian state is responsible.

From the outset, their is no dispute that foreign nations interfere with each others affairs.
Yet it is the US that is in a tizzy about it - even though it interferes with other nations affairs.

The accusation is that the outcome of the 2016 election was interfered with by Russia through, in no small part, fake social media accounts and that it is possible that Trump colluded with the Russians.

From where im sitting, there is next to zero evidence produced that suggests the Kremlin interfered with the election. That it influenced the outcome of the election and/or that Trump colluded with Russia.

1) Do you believe that the Russians conspired, through social media fake accounts, to influence the outcome of the US election in favour of Trump?

2)If yes, do you believe those fake social media accounts had enough impact to influence the outcome of the election?

3)If yes, do you think Trump colluded with Russia in this regard.

My view is 1) I don't know.
2) There is no evidence to suggest this happened.
3) In the absence of any evidence, no.

Which leaves me to believe that this Russia saga is mostly garbage.
 

TarfHead

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Of course I have not.

Everything evidential and circumstantial points to Russian interference in the 2016 US Presidential Election.
 

TheBigShort

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Of course I have not
Dont you think you should?
Its about 30pages, but in easily readable form. Its full of presumption "most likely", "probably" etc

It reads mostly as a critique of the RT network. Putin said this, Putin said that, and from that it concludes interference. If that report is a measure of what is classed as interference, then interfere they have.

But if you think it had any sort of meaningful impact on the outcome, (anymore than what CNN or Fox were broadcasting) then I can only assume that this is some elaborate joke.


Everything evidential and circumstantial points to Russian interference in the 2016 US Presidential Election.
How can you say that if you haven't read the report?
I recall Obama saying on a trip to London that if the UK votes to Leave EU then it will be back of the que for a trade deal with US.
Was this interference? What was the impact (if any)?
I would impossible to gauge. It may have convinced some voters to vote Remain, it may have galvanized some to vote Leave.
Impossible to say.

In the report from the US Director of National Intelligence, Putin is quoted as saying certain things. But its impossible to know what impact (if any) he had on US voters.
 

TarfHead

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Because I trust .. see above.

Do you doubt everything ? Do you feel the need to counter check every primary source before trusting what you read ?

I don't. I put my trust unprofessional sources and that trust endures.
 

TheBigShort

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Do you doubt everything ?
No, not everything. But I do doubt this whole Russia interference saga for sure.

. I put my trust unprofessional sources and that trust endures.
Thats your prerogative. Im somewhat more skeptical of hugely resourced intelligence agencies that led their country into an illegal war.
I would have thought that the NY Times would be too.

https://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/26/world/from-the-editors-the-times-and-iraq.html
 

Leo

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So...

Ireland cant legislate for the rest of the world?!?!
But we're talking about Ireland legislating for Ireland in the same way you seem to think the US can legislate for the US and somehow that will address content published elsewhere. If you want to focus on the US, how do they legislate for content published elsewhere? How do they vet every single journalist that might publish an article anywhere in the world?

And still you seem to be focusing very narrowly and conveniently on advertising, you know the vast majority of the content alleged to have been published and promoted by the Russians is not categorised as advertising, and only 2-3% of the content would be classified as political in nature.
 

TheBigShort

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But we're talking about Ireland legislating for Ireland in the same way you seem to think the US can legislate for the US and somehow that will address content published elsewhere.
So why ask questions about Ireland legislating for the rest of the world?...nevermind!

The US can legislate for content published in the US, Ireland can legislate for content published in Ireland.

If you want to focus on the US, how do they legislate for content published elsewhere?
Yes, the focus is on the US, the topic relates specifically to apparent Russian interference in US elections.
The short answer to your question is they cant, but so what?
Are you suggesting that content published outside of the US has interfered with the US election? Can you give an example?

How do they vet every single journalist that might publish an article anywhere in the world?
Why on earth would every single journalist outside, or even inside, of the US need to be vetted???
Are you suggesting that articles published in the Irish Times for instance, about the US Presidential election, are targeted at US public?
They are not, they are targeted at Irish readers.
It may be a case that Irish Americans living in the US, with US voting rights, may read Irish Times articles about US election that may influence their votes, but the same could be said of the other 194 nation states of the world.
Not only that, there is no evidence, nothing, zilch, to suggest that articles published all around the world and outside of the US have had any impact whatsoever on influencing the outcome of that election.
The Irish media coverage is pretty much wall-to-wall by itself, how on earth can the world's media ever be scrutinized to the extent of detecting if outsiders are interfering?


And still you seem to be focusing very narrowly and conveniently on advertising, you know the vast majority of the content alleged to have been published and promoted by the Russians is not categorised as advertising, and only 2-3% of the content would be classified as political in nature
Well im glad at least to see that you recognise that the content published and promoted by Russia is only an allegation.
At some point, some concrete evidence is wanting, but this thing is going now for 18 months(?) and still its mostly bluster over substance.
Which leaves me to believe the whole Russian interference saga is more propaganda for ulterior motives.

If only 2-3% of the alleged Russian publications is only political in nature, then im guessing that the other 97-98% of content will have next to zero impact on the political affairs of the US.
 

Leo

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So why ask questions about Ireland legislating for the rest of the world?...nevermind!
Because you brought up the example of Ireland in the first place!!!

You keep flip flopping between it's an easy problem to solve via legislation to then admitting it's impossible for any nation to control content published outside their border.

If only 2-3% of the alleged Russian publications is only political in nature, then im guessing that the other 97-98% of content will have next to zero impact on the political affairs of the US.
If you still don't understand the influence this material had, you're clearly not qualified to speak on the topic.
 
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