On May 16, Facebook banned an Israeli company called The Archimedes Group. Their website declared that it had taken “significant roles in many political campaigns, among them presidential campaigns and other social media projects all over the world,” and that they utilize “every advantage available in order to change reality according to our client’s wishes.” The Archimedes Group is a real communications firm making money through the dissemination of fake news.
Currently, Russia is targeting European parliamentary elections. Far-right candidates can receive financial backing in exchange for signing cooperation agreements with Russia. The Russian government is also responsible for websites focused on sowing fear about migration and over-regulation by the E.U.
The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI issued a Joint Intelligence Bulletin in March saying that Russian cyber actors conducted online research and reconnaissance to identify vulnerable databases, usernames and passwords in at least 40 state election board offices.
Election meddling is the new reality. It doesn’t matter who you voted for in 2016, or to what party you belong. We all deserve trustworthy elections. Now is the time to write, call or email our representatives demanding that safeguards be put in place.