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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

A new clue on the Russian collusion case

Por qubano22005

The crumbs that the Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller has followed are showing good results and his suspicion of the possible involvement of the Russians in the interference of the 2016 elections is not so argumentless. This week, Democratic lawmakers from the US House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence demonstrated a Russian company paid for more than 3,000 Facebook adds, according to the Committee's report, to "create political chaos and hurt American democracy." Internet Research Agency based in St. Petersburg, Russia, is responsible for these payments that were part of the information war launched before and during the elections in the United States.

Robert Mueller had already had his eye on this entity. Previously, the Special Attorney had denounced their involvement on the collusion and he has even expressed that a large part of the company’s staff is involved in other technological areas responsible for attacking US companies to perform intelligence and misinformation tasks.

Now it is revealed that the Internet Research Agency created Facebook pages to cover the entire political and ideological spectrum of the United States, from "Blacktivist", in defense of the rights of the African-American community, to "Heart of Texas", aimed at bringing together people with a conservative mentality. Thousands of dollars were spent to reach more American voters with their campaigns. The idea was very simple, to make viral their political positions to Hillary Clinton’s detriment and in favor of Donald Trump’s hard line.

The strategy of the Russian company apparently covered all professional profiles and positions, both political and religious. One of the pages named "Army of Jesus" tried to capture the attention of those moral and conservative Christians.

Apparently the idea of the Russian entity was to divide the social sectors and the American voters. Several of these webpages made voters believe that they belonged to groups of American origin. The messages issued were mainly aimed at surveying criteria related to emigration and racism, very controversial issues in the United States and currently two of the issues that the government of Donald Trump has had to face.

Hilariously, Mark Zuckerberg's company never stopped these messages perhaps defending the freedom of speech but mainly due to precisely the desire of the company to gain dollars for advertising. Already the CEO, after the Congress hearing, committed to a greater responsibility regarding the messages, as well as the security and privacy of them. Although he always pointed out that it is very difficult to trace and identify the origin and content of messages.

However, the company only a few weeks ago announced a list of restrictions and security policies to ensure the identity and location of advertisers as a way to stop false identities that, in the case of the Russian collusion, are suspected to have been the main factor of destabilization in social networks.

The report revealed by Democratic lawmakers describes that ads purchased from the most popular social network in the world had an effectiveness of up to one million views. The data presented shows that the 470 accounts spent more than $ 100,000 to buy 3,000 ads. Although initially Facebook denied that its platform was used for such purposes, later they admitted they had no control over this procedure, regardless the Russian ones.

Robert Mueller has previously accused Internet Research Agency for its interference work on the internal affairs of the United States. Recently, 13 individuals were identified as some of those responsible for interrupting the election process in the United States, who acted under false identities to ask for the support of American citizens to different political causes, especially those related to Donald Trump.