The FBI confirms that Russia and Iran have obtained US voter information and are trying to influence the 2020 elections

The FBI confirms that Russia and Iran have obtained US voter information and are trying to influence the 2020 elections

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation announced that Iran and Russia have taken “specific measures” to influence the 2020 US elections.

“First, we confirmed that Iran had obtained some voter registration information, separately, from Russia,” said US Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe.

“This data could be used by foreign actors to try to deliver false information to registered voters, which they hope will cause confusion and undermine your confidence in American democracy.”

Ratcliffe said Iran was distributing video content indicating that individuals could cast fraudulent votes, as well as “phishing emails” intended to “intimidate voters.”

“We have already seen Iran sending fake emails aimed at intimidating voters, inciting social unrest and harming President Trump,” he said.

He said that the FBI had not seen the same efforts from Russia, but was aware that it had obtained “some voter information, just as they did in 2016.”

Ratcliffe said US President Donald Trump has instructed him to “keep the public informed” of efforts to interfere in the US elections “as appropriate.”

The Director of the FBI, Chris Wray, said that the United States will impose costs on any foreign country that interferes in the 2020 US elections.

Americans urged not to spread misinformation

He demanded “every American” to make sure that the intervention efforts had no intended effect.

“If you receive a scary or tampered email in your inbox, don’t worry, don’t post it. This is not a partisan issue,” Ratcliffe said.

Ray said Americans should be confident that their voices matter.

“Early unverified allegations to the contrary must be viewed with a healthy dose of suspicion,” he said.

Specifically, election officials in your state, and being an informed consumer of information on the Internet are thoughtful, wary, and discerning.

The FBI assured Americans that it was safe to vote in the 2020 election.(Reuters: Drago)

Earlier in the day, the Washington Post reported that two US officials had linked Iran to a series of threatening emails sent to Democratic voters.

Federal officials have long warned of the possibility of this type of operation, as these registry lists are not difficult to obtain.

Christopher Krebs, the Department of Homeland Security’s chief electoral security official, tweeted after reports of the emails first surfaced: “These emails are intended to intimidate and undermine the confidence of American voters in our elections.”

The emails, which allegedly were sent by a far-right group called the Proud Boys, asked voters to change their registration and vote for Donald Trump.

They read: “You will vote for Trump on election day or we will follow you.”

The emails appear to contain information from “voter files,” which are digital databases of voter information that are sometimes commercially available.

The emails were discovered in Florida and Alaska, though the Washington Post reported reaching voters in four states, including three competitive battle regions.

More is coming

ABC / wire

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