Testifying before House Armed Services Cmte, U. of Cincinnati political science prof. Dr. Richard Harknett says Russian cyber operations "are not hacks or thefts or even espionage — we are facing comprehensive strategic campaigns to undermine our national sources of power."

1/
Dr. Harknett: "I don't know why we should afford first amendment rights to bots... If an issue is trending because of foreign manipulation, that's not free speech."
#CyberSecurity

2/
Heather Conley, Center for Strategic & International Studies, tells Senate Armed Services Cmte:

"Russia exploits the weaknesses it finds. They're exploiting weaknesses that already exist." Need to help Americans understand what is coming.

#CyberSecurity

3/
.@SenBlumenthal: "Russia committed an act of war, and they're going to do it again unless they pay a price for it, and that includes sanctions."

Notes that Senate passed sanctions by a 98-2 vote, but Trump admin failed to enforce them.

4/
Conley tells Senate Armed Services Committee: Russian operations are going to look "more and more American," and will likely exploit 1st Amendment issues as social media companies are tasked with cracking down on Russian ops.
#CyberSecurity

5/
Side note (by me): Those of us who watched the "Free Speech movement" get co-opted by violent extremists have already seen how easily the 1st amendment can be exploited — and how woefully underprepared media & society were when it happened.

6/

Here's an article I wrote last fall that provides a tiny glimpse into how easily the 1st amendment can be weaponized & exploited by bad actors.

--> How Russian & Alt-Right Twitter Accounts Worked Together to Skew the Narrative About Berkeley

arcdigital.media/how-russian-al…

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More from @RVAwonk

Oct 8, 2018
NEW: Rick Gates sought proposals from Psy-Group (the Israeli intel firm from the Aug 2016 Trump Tower meeting w/Don Jr, Erik Prince, etc) to create fake online identities & gather intel as part of a social media manipulation effort to swing voters to Trump
nyti.ms/2E6xgmD
NYT reported in May that the intel firm (Psy-Group) proposed a multi-million $$ social media manipulation plan to help elect Trump.

Now, NYT reports that Rick Gates sought out the proposal to gather intel & create fake online/social media identities.
Per NYT: Rick Gates sought one proposal to use bogus personas to target & sway 5,000 delegates at the 2016 RNC by attacking Ted Cruz.

Another proposal describes opposition research & “complementary intelligence activities” about Hillary Clinton & people close to her,
Read 9 tweets
Sep 29, 2018
As expected: The White House is reportedly limiting the scope of the FBI’s investigation into Kavanaugh. The FBI will apparently not be given the authority to investigate the allegations brought forth by Julie Swetnick. nbcnews.com/politics/polit…
wow. The White House counsel's office has given the FBI a list of witnesses they are permitted to interview while investigating Kavanaugh.
The FBI will not be allowed to ask the supermarket where Mark Judge worked to provide records that could verify his time of employment, which was something Dr. Christine Blasey Ford specifically said could help delineate the time frame of the alleged sexual assault.
Read 5 tweets
Sep 26, 2018
.@MichaelAvenatti just released a sworn statement from a 3rd Kavanaugh accuser, Julie Swetnick.

She says she witnessed efforts by Kavanaugh & Mark Judge to get girls intoxicated so they could then be gang raped.

And then she became a victim of this practice after being drugged.
Kavanaugh's 3rd accuser, Julie Swetnick, also says she witnessed Kavanaugh engaging in "abusive & physically aggressive behavior toward girls," including groping/fondling w/o consent & attempting to remove girls' clothing "to expose private body parts."

Describing the parties during which girls were targeted for gang rape, Julie Swetnick says she has a "firm recollection of seeing boys lined up outside rooms ... waiting for their 'turn' with a girl inside the room. These boys included Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh."
Read 5 tweets
Sep 25, 2018
Amnesty International has taken the very rare step of calling to halt Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation process "unless and until" an adequate review of his human rights record is completed and all relevant documents released publicly.

shareblue.com/amnesty-intern…
Amnesty cites Kavanaugh's potential involvement in Bush WH torture policy, as well as the sexual assault accusations.

They warn that he could use his position on the SCOTUS “to either prevent accountability for these crimes or to continue perpetration.”
Kavanaugh has denied playing any role in the Bush administration’s decision to use torture as an interrogation method, but Senate Democrats have challenged that assertion, citing two documents that suggest he was involved “in issues related to torture and rendition after 9/11.”
Read 5 tweets
Sep 24, 2018
"We are aware of significant evidence of multiple house parties in the DC area during the early 1980s during which Brett Kavanaugh, Mark Judge, & others participate[d] in the targeting of women with alcohol/drugs in order to allow a 'train' of men to subsequently gang rape them."
"There are multiple witnesses that will corroborate these facts and each of them must be called to testify publicly."

Holy. Shit.
The evidence described by @MichaelAvenatti - i.e., the targeting of women with alcohol/drugs - aligns very closely with Deborah Ramirez's account, as described by Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer, of being chosen repeatedly to drink during what was supposed to be a "drinking game".
Read 4 tweets
Sep 23, 2018
Kavanaugh is a very hot topic among accounts linked to Russian influence operations.

Last night, an article about Ed Whelan's false claims aimed at "exonerating" Kavanaugh was the #1 URL & top trending URL (9,900% spike in shares) in the network tracked by @SecureDemocracy... 1/
The domain linked to the article about Ed Whelan's false claims was also the #1 domain and top trending domain shared by accounts linked to Russian influence operations last night... 2/

Kavanaugh is currently the #3 topic being discussed by accounts linked to Russian influence operations. And you can see how they're working both sides of the discussion: (#)ConfirmKavanaughNow is a top trending hashtag, while (#)WhyIDidntReport is a top hashtag overall... 3/
Read 8 tweets

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