Reddit: US-UK NHS ‘Sale’ Docs Leaked by Russia

Documents allegedly revealing a secret post-Brexit US-UK trade deal were leaked online as part of a Russian influence campaign, Reddit has claimed.

The social site said it has banned 61 accounts and one subreddit following an investigation into the origin of the documents, which had been seized on by the opposition Labour Party as proof of a deal to ‘sell’ the NHS to US companies.

Those it found guilty of posting and sharing the documents are probably part of a Russian campaign dubbed “Secondary Infektion” that has already been attempting influence operations on Facebook, it claimed.

“In late October, an account u/gregoratior posted the leaked documents and later reposted by an additional account u/ostermaxnn. Additionally, we were able to find a pocket of accounts participating in vote manipulation on the original post. All of these accounts have the same shared pattern as the original Secondary Infektion group detected, causing us to believe that this was indeed tied to the original group,” explained Redditt in a post over the weekend.

“Outside of the post by u/gregoratior, none of these accounts or posts received much attention on the platform, and many of the posts were removed either by moderators or as part of normal content manipulation operations. The accounts posted in different regional subreddits, and in several different languages.”

The Secondary Infektion group is known for attempts to sow discord between NATO allies and in its mature OpSec capabilities, which help to keep its tracks covered.

If true, the incident would seem to echo attempts to influence the 2016 US Presidential election, when Russian hackers stole and leaked sensitive Democratic Party documents, to the detriment of Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

However, these don’t seem to have had the same impact. Reports claim UK officials are currently investigating whether the documents were originally leaked or hacked.

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