WASHINGTON, DC – Now, we not only have to worry about big tech interfering (more on this below) in our election, we have a new international player seeking to compromise the integrity of the process: Russia and Iran.
According to John Ratcliffe, the Director of National Intelligence, both countries have gained access to US citizens’ voter registry information. He teamed up with embattled FBI director, Christopher Wray to say that there will be a heavy cost to any foreign country that interferes with our election.
Ratcliffe stated that there is reason to believe that Iran sent emails to some voters in an attempt to intimidate them.
While it is unclear if the news Ratcliffe broke was related, other reports Wednesday stated that Democrat voters in at least four battleground states received emails claiming to be from the right-leaning group, the Proud Boys.
Those emails instructed people to vote for Donald Trump or the group will “come after” them.
BREAKING: U.S. intelligence officials concluded that Iran was behind a series of threatening emails sent to Democratic voters in Alaska and Florida that told them to vote for President Trump "or else."https://t.co/7wcMoUn80a
— NPR (@NPR) October 22, 2020
But, the DNI stated that any emails sent were not from the people they claimed to be from.
“This data can be used by foreign actors to attempt to communicate false information to registered voters that they hope will cause confusion, sow chaos, and undermine your confidence in American democracy.
“To that end, we have already seen Iran sending spoofed emails designed to intimidate voters, incite social unrest, and damage President Trump. You may have seen some reporting on this in the last 24 hours or you may have even been one of the recipients of those emails.”
The states where residents were targeted have been reported differently, depending on the outlet covering this story. NPR said Alaska and Florida. Fox News stated that it was Florida and Pennsylvania, plus a few others that were not mentioned.
Ratcliffe made certain to assure Americans that there was still integrity of their actual votes, as well as the election process itself.
Ratcliffe pledged confidence in American elections and said:
“These actions are desperate attempts by desperate adversaries…you can be confident your votes are secured.”
FBI director Christopher Wray echoed those sentiments:
“We are not going to let our guard down.”
Wray, trying to calm the fears of voters, was also careful to point out that his agency would be the ones that would investigate election-based crimes, and that the FBI will be taking action to make sure that there is integrity in the election and that every legitimate vote counts.
The information obtained by the two nations included party affiliation, email addresses and phone numbers.
The senders of the emails claimed to know who the recipient was planning to vote for November 3rd.
Not a moment too soon, as we're aware of threatening emails with misleading info about the secrecy of your vote.
FACT: Ballot secrecy is guaranteed by law in all states.
These emails are meant to intimidate and undermine American voters’ confidence in our elections. pic.twitter.com/CocBKrMEaN
— Chris Krebs #Protect2020 (@CISAKrebs) October 21, 2020
According to NPR:
“U.S. officials say the final sprint toward the end of voting could bring an increase in foreign interference and they’ve urged voters to think critically about claims they encounter and seek official confirmation about practices including their local elections policies.
“The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has unveiled a site it calls ‘Rumor Control,’ which ticks through topics including allegations like the one in the scam emails from this week.
“Its director, Chris Krebs, said on Tuesday that voters are the last line of defense in holding off attempts by foreign nations to pollute U.S. democracy.”
In a video issued by the CISA, Krebs said that they believe it is highly unlikely that outside actors would have the ability to change anyone’s vote. He also said that they believe it to be extremely difficult for them to impact the outcome of the election.
Senators Marco Rubio and Mark Warner issued a joint statement regarding what is happening in the attacks against our election, which said, in part:
“Our adversaries abroad seek to sow chaos and undermine voters’ belief in our democratic institutions, including the election systems and infrastructure that we rely on to record and properly report expressions of the voters’ will.”
Voters, whether on election day or during the early voting window, are encouraged to stay alert to what they see and hear.
If something sounds out of the ordinary, do not be afraid to call someone and ask questions. If you are at the polling place and something is off, alert one of the polling place workers of your concerns.
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The following article contains editorial content written by a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.
WASHINGTON, DC- We have heard a lot of rhetoric from politicians on Capitol Hill about trying to “rein in” social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter. That’s about all that’s been done…talk. Perhaps after the latest throttling of a major news story by the two outlets something will be done once and for all.
Breitbart News is reporting Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) has written a letter to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) asking for an investigation into their censorship of a bombshell New York Post story about Hunter and Joe Biden.
Twitter has banned the New York Post article from being tweeted. pic.twitter.com/pzXVNP2Hjq
— Michael Kaminski (@kamando) October 14, 2020
Hawley said that the social media censorship during an election is tantamount to an in-kind campaign contribution to the campaign of Joe Biden.
Law Enforcement Today knows of what we speak. Our national spokesman, Kyle Reyes and the owner of our company, Robert Greenberg, both premium members of LinkedIn were kicked off that platform permanently.
Why? They were accused of “consistently” posting so-called “fake news.” This was of course a lie. The stories they were cited for posting were all widely sourced by mainstream sources. I should know because I wrote several of them.
We have also had content throttled by Twitter, and recently our account was suspended after we had the audacity to endorse President Trump’s reelection. More on all of that here.
The latest adventure in tech censorship occurred this week, when the New York Post published a bombshell news story about a significant revelation about Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
The story reported that despite claims to the contrary, Biden had allegedly met with an executive of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company when he was vice president.
Hunter Biden, Joe Biden’s son was working as a board member for the company and arranged the meeting while acting as a lobbyist for the company.
The Post’s story was gleaned from a series of emails that were downloaded from a computer which Hunter Biden had abandoned at a Delaware computer repair shop when he left it there for repairs, yet never picked up.
In his letter, Hawley told Stevenson, the FEC’s Acting General Counsel, that by suppressing the New York Post story, it could be construed that Facebook and Twitter were in fact making an in-kind contribution to the Biden campaign.
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) October 14, 2020
Hawley, who is a former Missouri attorney general said:
“A ‘contribution’ includes ‘anything of value…for the purpose of influencing any election for Federal office. 52 U.S.C. § 30101(8)(A)(i). Twitter’s and Facebook’s active suppression of public speech about the New York Post article appears to constitute contributions under federal law. There can be no serious doubt that the Biden campaign derives extraordinary value from depriving voters’ access to information that, if true, would link the former Vice President to corrupt Ukrainian oligarchs. And this censorship manifestly will influence the presidential election.
These possible campaign-finance violations by two of the most powerful corporations in America comes only weeks before Election Day, and while millions of Americans are in the midst of voting.”
In addition, Hawley took aim at Facebook’s decision to suppress access of the Post story in a letter to Facebook. He wrote:
“The seemingly selective nature of this public intervention suggests partiality on the part of Facebook. And your efforts to suppress the distribution of content revealing potentially unethical activity by a candidate for president raises several additional questions, to which I expect responses immediately.”
Hawley continued his letter to Stevenson, writing:
“I ask that the FEC take immediate action to investigate these potential violations and, if appropriate, take remedial action to prevent further interference with the 2020 presidential election.”
Hawley’s letter comes after a Facebook executive tweeted after the Post story was published that “we are reducing [the story’s] distribution on our platform.”
Shortly afterward, Twitter also throttled the story, with Twitter users being unable to either retweet the story, link to it, or direct message the post link to other users. RedState noted that they were able to share the story through their feed.
Banned on DM too. pic.twitter.com/SClSdZQYna
— Michael Kaminski (@kamando) October 14, 2020
RedState said that Facebook claimed the action they took was “part of our standard process to reduce the spread of disinformation,” which is of course a crock.
Facebook had no such problem several weeks ago when anonymous “whistleblowers” told The Atlantic about comments President Trump allegedly made about World War I veterans, which were debunked immediately by actual witnesses who went on the record.
Meanwhile, Twitter warned its users that the Post link might me malicious or spammy, or might violate Twitter rules, which they seem to make up as they go.
This is what I found. I didn't proceed. It says there my be malware. It also says it violates tweeter rules if posted directly.
Rudy should be put in twitter jail. pic.twitter.com/D1ptbCkhVb
— Bonnie?BlueBell??? (@BonnieBlueBell1) October 14, 2020
Hawley submitted a list of questions to Facebook and Twitter as follows:
- How did Twitter determine that the New York Post story was a violation of its policy governing the distribution of hacked materials or approach to blocking links? Will Twitter make its decision-making process with regard to this case of content removal publicly available?
- How did Twitter find that the New York Post was “directly” distributing hacked materials—and thus in violation of its policy—when it is not clear that this is the case?
- Why did Twitter take additional, unprecedented action to lock the primary Twitter account of the New York Post, one of the nation’s most widely-distributed newspapers?
- If you have evidence that this news story contains “disinformation” or have otherwise determined that there are inaccuracies with the reporting, will you disclose them to the public so that they can assess your findings?
- Did any member of the Biden-Harris presidential campaign or any person representing themselves as a representative of the campaign’s interests ask, encourage, or direct Twitter to suppress the New York Post?
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) October 14, 2020
The same questions were posed to Facebook.
After that, Hawley called out to fellow Republicans to pass legislation which would amend Section 230, which basically protects companies such as Twitter and Facebook from litigation and certain other regulations since they are not considered “publishers.”
Which is a joke, because clearly, both platforms, as well as others such as LinkedIn and YouTube specifically and directly control the content that is posted, and have historically throttled only conservatives.
I have said over and over that #Section230 must be changed to allow American citizens to challenge #BigTech censorship. I have gone to the Senate floor to try to pass legislation to do it. Today I call on my Republican colleagues to join me. Now is the time for action
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) October 14, 2020
The controversy stemmed from the Post story, which alleged that Hunter Biden had dropped off his computer to get repaired. When he never returned to retrieve the computer, the owner of the business took possession of the computer as abandoned property.
Upon checking the hard drive of the computer, the owner found a number of emails within, along with suggestive pictures of Hunter Biden, one in which he was smoking what appeared to be crack cocaine. However, it was the emails that were of specific interest.
When the owner found the information on the hard drive, he contacted the FBI who allegedly told him not to be concerned about it, but they would take the computer.
He made a copy of the hard drive and kept it. He then contacted the office of Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) but never heard back.
Finally, he contacted Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York City and lawyer for President Trump. He turned the information over to the New York Post.
The most damning item found on the hard drive was a 2015 email from Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to the board of Burisma Holding to Hunter Biden, in which he thanked him for setting up a meeting with his father, Joe Biden in Washington, D.C.
“Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spen[d]some time together. It’s real[ly] an honor and pleasure,” the email read.
In a previous email from 2014, Pozharskyi requested that Hunter Biden “use your influence” to stop political and government attacks on Burisma, which was involved in a corruption probe.
What does that mean? It means Hunter Biden used his father’s position to enrich at least himself and possibly other members of the Biden family, including his father. That remains to be seen.
The elder Biden has repeatedly denying any involvement in Burisma and claimed he didn’t know much about Hunter Biden’s connection to the company. This story would appear to contradict Biden and could be the “October surprise” that seems to be a staple of presidential politics.
The Biden campaign gave a tepid response to the story, only claiming that they “reviewed Joe Biden’s official schedules from the time and no meeting, as alleged by the New York Post, ever took place,” said Andrew Bates, Biden 2020 spokesman.
Among accounts locked out or suspended for sharing the Post story were the one for Trump 2020 and that of White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany.
It is far past time to get these tech companies under control. They have clearly thrown down with one political party and are censoring speech from the other side. They need a comeuppance and they need it now.
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