On Monday, the US Department of the Treasury (DoT) expanded its sanctions against entities associated with the Internet Research Agency (IRA), the Russian organization accused of meddling with US elections in 2016 and 2018.The DoT said it had taken action against Russian entities and individuals that allegedly tried to interfere with the 2018 US midterm elections, even as the agency insisted, "there was no indication that foreign actors were able to compromise election infrastructure that would have prevented voting, changed vote counts, or disrupted the tallying of votes."DoT's Office of Foreign Assets Control announced sanctions against four organizations, seven individuals, three aircraft and a yacht associated with Yevgeniy Prigozhin, the Russian financier, who is accused of bankrolling the Internet Research Agency.Prigozhin has been sanctioned by the DoT twice before in 2016 and 2018 for alleged involvement with IRA electoral influence operations.He was indicted by a US grand jury, along with twelve other defendants, for conspiracy and fraud based on the findings of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller.The sanctions are the first under Executive Order 13848, which authorizes punitive action against foreign entities and individuals determined to have interfered with US elections.
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It's been over a month since special counsel Robert Mueller's report on the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election became available to the public on April 18 -- with a fair amount of redactions.But today marks the first time that Mueller spoke out on the report in a public statement that explains why he won't further testify to Congress on the report's contents.Two days after receiving the report in late March, Barr sent a four-page summary to Congress with his conclusion that the Trump campaign didn't conspire with Russia on the interference and that Trump didn't obstruct justice.Mueller's investigation has led to indictments of six of Trump's advisers, along with 26 Russian nationals, including some on charges of hacking.He tweeted: "No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION."Other lawmakers weighed in as well, with Democrats saying Barr showed bias toward Trump and Republicans saying the public release of the redacted report was a positive thing.
At 11 am ET on Wednesday, Department of Justice Special Counsel Robert Mueller will break his silence, following his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.The rare appearance marks Mueller's first public statement since the release of a redacted version of the 448-page report his team spent two years compiling.The report has served as a Rorschach test for the American public over the last month and a half.President Donald Trump and his supporters have clung to the fact that Mueller found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, while the President's opponents have fixated on the fact that the report lists numerous instances in which the President appeared to obstruct justice.The report states clearly that while it doesn't conclude that the President committed a crime, "it also does not exonerate him."The public response was made all the more muddy by Attorney General William Barr's initial four-page summary of the report, which appeared to downplay the special counsel's findings around obstruction of justice.
In the months since, there have been significant developments in many of the cases—particularly in the last three weeks, which have seen the release of Robert Mueller’s final report as special counsel, charges against DC power lawyer Greg Craig for his work alongside Paul Manafort, and the sentencing last week of Russian “spotter” Maria Butina, as well as the arrest of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange after the Ecuadoran government booted him out of its embassy in London, where he’d spent the better part of a decade hiding.Now, as US attorney general William Barr prepares to face congressional hearings this week about the Mueller probe’s conclusions and deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, who oversaw the Mueller probe for nearly two years, resigns, a fresh assessment of the current investigative landscape facing Trump makes clear how the center of gravity of the probes has shifted to New York—to the Southern District, which continues several investigations into Trump’s world and to the new state attorney general, Letitia James, who has followed through on her campaign pledge to hold Trump accountable and who just Monday faced presidential Twitter opprobrium for her push to investigate the NRA.“I’ve been saying for months that the Southern District of New York investigation presents a much more serious threat to the administration, potentially, than what Bob Mueller is doing,” Trump ally, former prosecutor, and one-time New Jersey governor Chris Christie told ABC News this winter.With a few minor exceptions, Mueller appears to have entirely wrapped up four major threads of his investigation: (No.Throughout Mueller’s final report, the sections related to Trump associate Roger Stone and conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi were consistently redacted.Yet it seems possible that the Wikileaks investigation may not end with Stone or Corsi either: Assange’s April 11 arrest (and pending extradition to the US) means he might someday face at least a criminal computer hacking charge here, although there’s some evidence a grand jury may be continuing to consider other charges against him.
This March, a book that advances an outlandish conspiracy theory—a theory whose name I will not mention—soared in Amazon's sales rankings.The book's rise was helped greatly when the ecommerce giant put the book on its carousel of recommended titles, which is shown to shoppers who aren't searching for that particular book.The particular conspiracy theory outlined in this book holds that President Donald Trump pretended to collude with Russia precisely to ensure that he would be investigated, which would give him a chance to secretly collaborate with special prosecutor Robert Mueller to investigate and finally arrest former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who belongs to a global satanic cult of pedophiles with Barack Obama and George Soros.Blame it on the tyranny of recommendation algorithms.Everywhere you look, recommendation engines offer striking examples of how values and judgments become embedded in algorithms and how algorithms can be gamed by strategic actors.Consider a common, seemingly straightforward method of making suggestions: a recommendation based on what people “like you” have read, watched, or shopped for.
When Special Counsel Robert Mueller released his report on Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election yesterday and political wonks across the internet rushed to download it, many people noticed two things: you couldn’t search for any text on the pages, and the whole file was really, really large.If you were annoyed by either of those things, you probably weren’t nearly as ticked off as the PDF Association, which published a long explanation of just why the Mueller report PDF file was so bad.“A Technical and Cultural Assessment of the Mueller Report PDF” is both an indictment of the Justice Department and a celebration of the venerable Portable Document Format.It starts with some basic facts: the 448-page document is “of acceptable quality,” but it doesn’t conform to archival standards.It was produced on April 17th on “probably a typical office network copier/printer,” and it uses lossy compression “more appropriate to photographs than to text.” The Justice Department might have gotten a high-quality PDF from Mueller, printed it, and re-scanned it, or Mueller might have delivered a paper report that the department scanned and released.As the post notes, re-scanning makes absolutely sure there’s no inappropriate text data released, limiting people to the words they can see and the black redacted boxes.
The Mueller report caused a frenzy among journalists and politicians from the moment it was released to the public on Thursday.Turns out readers more broadly are interested in diving into the roughly 450-page report, too.As of this writing, a version of the report called "The Mueller Report: The Final Report of the Special Counsel into Donald Trump, Russia, and Collusion" tops Amazon's bestseller list in the category of Political Conservatism & Liberalism.Right behind it is a Kindle version of the same book.Another version of the report also takes the No.The Mueller report also takes the top four spots on Amazon's US History bestseller list.
If president Donald Trump isn’t guilty of obstruction of justice, who ever could be?According to the report, Trump’s reacted to Mueller’s appointment as special counsel in May 2017 as follows: “Oh my god, this is terrible.And then, as Mueller lays out in sometimes lurid detail, in at least 10 episodes over the ensuing months Trump sought to block or stop that very investigation.He did so even as Mueller doggedly made public the “sweeping and systematic fashion” in which the Russian government attacked the 2016 presidential election, and brought serious criminal charges—and won guilty pleas—from a half-dozen of the president’s top campaign aides.Little if any of those revelations had made their way into attorney general William Barr’s four-page summary of the Mueller report last month.He also misrepresented Mueller’s reasoning for not making a “traditional prosecutorial decision” on the obstruction half of his investigation.
Special counsel Robert Mueller's report on the Trump campaign and Russian election meddling was released Thursday.While parts of the 448-page report are redacted, it sheds light on the investigation, including President Donald Trump's reaction to the appointment of a special counsel in 2017.When former Attorney General Jeff Sessions told the president about the appointment on May 17, 2017, Trump responded: "Oh my God.This is the end of my Presidency.The president became angry, according to the report, and asked Sessions: "How could you let this happen, Jeff?"He continued: "Everyone tells me if you get one of these independent counsels it ruins your presidency.
The report, which many expect to be politically explosive, was released Thursday following a press conference with Attorney General William Barr.Shortly after Barr's press conference, the president claimed victory in a Game of Thrones styled tweet.Some lawmakers remain skeptical, because of the Justice Department's role in redacting multiple pages of the document, as well as Barr's input on its release.Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a Democrat from California, invited Mueller to testify shortly after the report's release."I look forward to presenting the American people with an accounting of the facts the Committee has uncovered as we conclude our own investigation.The ongoing drama of the Mueller investigation has seized the public's attention and shone a spotlight on the ways Russia has been able to manipulate the US electoral process -- an issue companies like Facebook and Google and agencies like the Department of Homeland Security are still working to address.
The report, which many anticipated to be a political bombshell, was released on Thursday following a press conference with Attorney General William Barr.The release of the report caps off roughly a year of speculation and questions about the potential involvement between Russia and members of the Trump campaign -- including the president himself as Mueller's team ran through its investigation.The ongoing drama seized the public's attention and shined a spotlight on the ways Russia was able to manipulate our electoral process -- an issue that companies like Facebook and Google and agencies like the Homeland Security are still working to shore up.The day after, Barr provided a four-page summary of the nearly 400-page report, which Congress members criticized for its lack of details."This should never happen again to another president," Trump said in at a veterans event in the White House, calling it a "hoax."The special counsel looked at how Russian hackers infiltrated the Democratic National Committee, used social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to spread disinformation and the Trump campaign's communications with Russian operatives.
On March 22, special counsel Robert Mueller turned in his long-anticipated report on Russian interference in the 2016 election—and the question of whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice.Or at least what’s left of it, after attorney general William Barr’s redactions.Barr had initially released a brief summary of the report’s key findings in a four-page letter he sent to Congress on March 24.His takeaway: The Trump campaign did not coordinate or conspire with Russia, and there was not sufficient evidence to charge Trump with obstruction of justice.He expanded on those initial thoughts in a remarkable press conference Thursday morning, repeatedly stating that the Mueller report "found no evidence" of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.Barr also confirmed that Trump's legal team had the opportunity to read the report in advance.
After nearly two years, special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign and Russia is over, and a redacted version of the report has been released.Last month, after the conclusion of the investigation, Attorney General William Barr released a summary of the report, but lawmakers have pressed for the complete version to be released.While the nearly 400-page report is now available, it comes redacted — setting up another potential battle over whether the obscured details inside could be politically damaging to the president.While the special counsel’s investigation resulted in the indictment of former Trump advisers like Paul Manafort, the president quickly seized on Barr’s summary of the report as evidence of “no collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia.Mueller’s team also indicted several Russian citizens during the investigation, accusing them, and the country, of interfering with the 2016 presidential election.At a press conference ahead of releasing the report, Barr echoed the White House’s line, repeatedly saying Russian operatives “did not have the cooperation of President Trump or the Trump campaign.”
Before the world reads special counsel Robert Mueller's report, the Justice Department has a foreword: the Trump campaign did not work with Russia to hack the 2016 presidential election.On Thursday morning, just hours before Mueller's report on the Trump campaign and Russian election meddling releases to the public, Attorney General William Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein held a press conference to detail the report.Barr opened up the press conference with details on Russian efforts to spread disinformation on social media and hack President Trump's opponents during the election.The attorney general noted that while these efforts played a role in the election, Trump's campaign was not involved with it."The Special Counsel's report did not find any evidence that members of the Trump campaign or anyone associated with the campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its hacking operations," Barr said.He noted the same for the Internet Research Agency's activities -- the group behind disinformation plaguing Twitter and Facebook throughout the election.
The Mueller report has been published.It was posted at 11am ET, a month after Special Counsel Robert Mueller submitted his findings to the Justice Department examining Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.Per remarks by U.S. attorney general William Barr speaking this morning, there are three major components to the report:How the Russian troll farm, the so-called Internet Research Agency, used social media and disinformation to sow uncertainty and doubt among American voters;The involvement of the Russian government’s intelligence unit, the GRU, in hacking into computers belonging to the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign to steal documents and emails;And the investigation of the Trump campaign’s links and connections over possible collusion with the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election,
After nearly two years of investigation and months of delays — not to mention partisan bickering the whole time, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the president’s campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 election is out today.We’re not a politics news site but we’re still looking into it — tech has figured more prominently than ever in the last few years and understanding its role in what could be a major political event is crucial for the industry and government both.The report and discussion thereof is bound to be highly politically charged from the get-go and the repercussions from what is disclosed therein are sure to reach many in and out of office.But there are also interesting threads to pull as far as events and conspiracies that could only exist online or using modern technology and services, and for these the perspective of technology, not politics, reporting may be best suited to add context and interpretation.What do we expect to find in the report that is of particular interest to the tech world?The topic that is most relevant and least explored already is the nature of Russia’s most direct involvement in the 2016 election, namely the hack of the Democratic National Committee email server, attributed to Russia’s GRU intelligence unit, and funneling of this information to WikiLeaks and the Trump campaign.
Social media might not be the place to find perfect spelling or grammar, but one little typo has given former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani a massive headache.The conservative politician and commentator jumped on Twitter on Saturday to take a swipe at special prosecutor Robert Mueller's investigation of possible ties between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russian efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.That lax attitude toward spaces can also automatically turn your text into a hyperlink.An enterprising Twitter user saw the mistake and registered the domain, turning the inadvertent G-20.in URL/typo into a website with a simple message: "Donald J. Trump is a traitor to our country."The WhoIs record for the domain name is listed as an organisation called Pixel Riot, a small web design company based in Atlanta.But late Tuesday, the former mayor and one-time Trump designate on cybersecurity issues noticed the mistake and showed his cybersecurity knowledge to be lacking.
Former Donald Trump campaign Chairman Paul Manafort met with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London three times, according to a report Tuesday from the Guardian.The last meeting took place around March 2016, at about the time Manafort joined Trump's US presidential campaign, the news outlet said.The Guardian based its report on information from unnamed sources and an internal document from an Ecuadorian intelligence agency.The report comes as Manafort faces an accusation of lying to Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, who's investigating Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.Manafort entered into a plea deal with Mueller's office in September.In the lead-up to the election, WikiLeaks published rafts of emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee, as well as from John Podesta, the manager of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.
A Russian company that says it's a legitimate news agency is suing Facebook to have its account restored after the social network blocked the account as part of a crackdown on accounts linked to Russian election meddling efforts.The complained, filed Tuesday in US District Court of Northern California by the Federal Agency of News, claims Facebook blocked the account in April after the social network and US prosecutors linked the site to the Internet Research Agency, a Russian propaganda group linked with Russian efforts to meddle with the 2016 US election.Facebook said in April in had taken down more than 270 pages and accounts operated by the IRA, a group Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said "repeatedly acted deceptively and tried to manipulate people in the US, Europe, and Russia."In the past few years, governments, propagandists and internet trolls have used Facebook to spread false stories and influence elections.The IRA is an organization affiliated with the Russian government that's known for creating fake online identities and entering into both sides of divisive political debates, according to allegations from FBI Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller.In February, Mueller charged the agency with conspiracy to defraud the US and "aggravated identity theft" for its activities around the 2016 election.
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