Posted by on December 12, 2016 7:00 am
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Categories: Angela Merkel BfV central intelligence agency Cybercrime cyberwarfare Cyberwarfare in the United States disinformation Economy European migrant crisis European Union federal government Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution German government germany Government hacking Human migration Mexico Military technology Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe Politics Politics of Germany Propaganda techniques Reuters Russian intelligence Security Social Issues SPY television

Either Russian intelligence officials have suddenly become extremely efficient at disrupting national elections in the world’s largest democracies or the establishment leaders of those democracies have intentionally launched a coordinated, baseless witch hunt as a way to distract voters from their failed policies. We have our suspicions on which is more likely closer to the truth…

Either way, per Reuters, Germany’s domestic intelligence agency is reporting a “striking increase” in Russian propaganda and disinformation campaigns aimed at destabilizing German society, and targeted cyber attacks against political parties.

“We see aggressive and increased cyber spying and cyber operations that could potentially endanger German government officials, members of parliament and employees of democratic parties,” Hans-Georg Maassen, head of the BfV spy agency, said in statement.

Maassen, who raised similar concerns about Russian efforts to interfere in German elections last month, cited what he called increasing evidence about such efforts and said further cyber attacks were expected.

The agency said it had seen a wide variety of Russian propaganda tools and “enormous use of financial resources” to carry out “disinformation” campaigns aimed at the Russian-speaking community in Germany, political movements, parties and other decision makers.

The goal was to spread uncertainty, strengthen extremist groups and parties, complicate the work of the federal government and “weaken or destabilise the Federal Republic of Germany”.

Putin Merkel

Like accusations made by Hillary and Obama in the U.S., German politicians, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, have asserted that Russian intelligence agents and media outlets have attempted to spread “fake news” in an effort to “fan popular angst over issues like the migrant crisis.”  Of course, it can’t simply be that voters disagree with Merkel’s “open border” policies which have resulted in a massive influx of migrants that have been linked to increasing crime, terrorist attacks and sexual assaults on German citizens…that would just be silly and racist and xenophobic.

German officials have accused Moscow of trying to manipulate German media to fan popular angst over issues like the migrant crisis, weaken voter trust and breed dissent within the European Union so that it drops sanctions against Moscow.

But intelligence officials have stepped up their warnings in recent weeks, alarmed about the number of attacks.

Last month, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she could not rule out Russia interfering in Germany’s 2017 election through Internet attacks and misinformation campaigns.

Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser on Thursday said he expected Russia to continue a campaign of “psychological warfare” and spreading false information after the cyber attacks launched during the U.S. election.

“It’s a pretty safe bet that they will try to do it again,” he told Reuters in Hamburg at a meeting of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe. “They will try to surprise us. That’s something that we should be very careful to look at and try to protect ourselves from.”

While we have absolutely no doubt in Merkel and Obama’s assertions that Russia has been able to successfully sabotage national elections, it is curious that, in the U.S., Russian efforts were only successful in certain states where voters had been disproportionately hurt by past Clinton policies (e.g. WI, MI, PA, OH) but not in other swing states like Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado. 

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