US Warns of Foreign Disinfo Ops Ahead of Midterms

The US authorities have urged voters to critically evaluate any information they receive about the upcoming midterms, after warning that foreign actors may seek to sow doubt about the result.

The FBI and the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) stated in a new Public Service Announcement (PSA) yesterday that attempts to manipulate information or spread disinformation could appear in the lead up to and after the elections in November.

“Foreign actors may intensify efforts to influence outcomes of the 2022 midterm elections by circulating or amplifying reports of real or alleged malicious cyber-activity on election infrastructure,” the PSA noted.

“Additionally, these foreign actors may create and knowingly disseminate false claims and narratives regarding voter suppression, voter or ballot fraud, and other false information intended to undermine confidence in the election processes and influence public opinion of the elections’ legitimacy.”

These false narratives could be spread via surface and dark web media channels, online journals, messaging apps, spoofed websites, emails, text messages and fake online personas on social media platforms, the PSA claimed.

It predicted one tactic could be to leak allegedly hacked voter registration data, some of which is publicly available anyway, to imply that such an incident could impact the accuracy of registration information, prevent voters from casting a ballot, or compromise the integrity of any ballots cast.

“The FBI and CISA urge the American public to critically evaluate the sources of the information they consume and to seek out reliable and verified information from trusted sources, such as state and local election officials and reputable news media,” the PSA concluded.

The authorities may have their work cut out given that one side of the US political spectrum still adheres to the “Big Lie” that the previous Presidential election result was ‘stolen’ via voter fraud and other underhand means.

Much depends on the outcome of the result in November. If Republicans gain control of Congress, President Biden will struggle to pass any meaningful legislation in his remaining two years in office.

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