Federal officials are warning ahead of November’s midterm elections that Russia is working to cast doubts about the integrity of the US election, while China is interested in undermining US politicians, whom it sees as a threat to Beijing’s interests. sees it as a threat.
A recently acquired declassified intelligence device The Associated Press, says China is trying to selectively influence elections to “disrupt candidates who are perceived as particularly anti-Beijing.” In notices sent to state and local officials in mid-September, intelligence officials said they believe Beijing sees less risk in interfering in mid-term elections than presidential elections.
While officials said they did not identify any credible threats to US election infrastructure, the latest intelligence alert comes amid a midterm campaign in which a growing number of candidates and voters are vocal. Their lack of faith in the democratic processes of the country.
Foreign countries have long sought to influence public opinion in the United States, perhaps most notably in a covert Russian campaign that used social media to ignite social issues ahead of the 2016 presidential election. was. The US has been on high alert since then, warning of attempts by Russia, China and Iran to interfere in US politics and shape the way voters think.
The US is facing foreign influence campaigns as it grapples with growing threats to election workers across the country and the systematic spread of lies and misinformation about voter fraud. Former President Donald Trump and many of his supporters, including candidates overseeing elections in several states, continue to lie about the 2020 presidential election, even though no evidence of significant voter fraud has emerged.
“The current environment is quite complex, probably far more complex than it was in 2020,” Jane Easterly, director of cybersecurity at the Department of Homeland Security, told reporters on Monday.
Russia is increasing the divisive topics already circulating on the Internet, including questions about the integrity of the US election, but not making up its content, a senior FBI official said Monday informed reporters on condition of anonymity under established conditions.
In general, the official said, China’s efforts are focused more on shaping political prospects, including at the state and local levels, than on election results.
Still, China has focused its attention on a “subset of candidates” in the US, which it sees as contrary to its political interests, the official explained. In a high-profile case in March, the Justice Department accused Chinese agents of plotting to undermine the candidacy of a Chinese dissident and student leader of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests who were running for a seat in Congress.
Monday’s briefing came weeks after DHS distributed a notice that described China’s approach during this midterm as different from that of the 2020 election, when the intelligence community assessed that China considered but made any attempt to influence presidential elections. did not do.
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