Facebook Gave Mueller Information On Russian Ads It Found On Platform

Marlene Weaver
September 18, 2017

Mariotti said Mueller would have needed to do two things to secure the search warrant: prove there's good reason to believe a crime occurred and lay out evidence that the crime existed on Facebook.

"Our analysis suggests these accounts and Pages were affiliated with one another and likely operated out of Russia", Facebook said last week.

Facebook policy normally requires the company to disclose "the stored contents of any account", including messages and location information in a search warrant request, according to the report. The information provided to Congress included copies of the ads and buyers' identities.

Reports of the warrant, that might come as bad news those who have denied the Russian election interference or have called it a "witch hunt" also focus on probing the targeted ads these accounts purchased during the 2016 election.

"This is big news", said former Federal Bureau of Investigation counterintelligence agent Asha Rangappa, "and potentially bad news for the Russian election interference 'deniers'".

The warrant obtained by Mueller means his team now has more information to look into how Russian Federation used social media to meddle in last year's presidential election. "To justify forcing FB to give up the info".

Last week, Facebook acknowledged that phony accounts appearing to have originated in Russian Federation bought $100,000 in advertising on its platform during the 2016 presidential election cycle and in the months after.

There's more to the $100,000 in ads that Facebook sold to a Russian propaganda company.

Google, which said last week it had seen no evidence of a Russian ad campaign on its platforms during last year's USA election, earlier this year offered to defend election organizers and civic groups against cyber attacks free of charge.

Facebook said the ads from inauthentic accounts did not mention Trump or former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

A Facebook spokesman told the newspaper that the company was continuing its probe and was cooperating with federal authorities.

Warner wants a public hearing to force Facebook to account for what happened on its platform during the election, and has been frustrated at the company's disclosures to date.

"Platforms like Facebook and Twitter really need to put technical measures in place that would prevent the spread of fake information or the creation of groups that may promote hate speech", Gruzd said.

Other reports by Insurance News

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