FBI launches website on efforts to combat foreign influence campaigns
The FBI announced Thursday that it has launched a new website to share information on efforts to curb foreign influence campaigns.
The bureau said that the site is designed “to educate the public about the threats faced from disinformation campaigns, cyber attacks, and the overall impact of foreign influence on society.”
The website stems from the Foreign Influence Task Force, which FBI Director Christopher Wray launched last year as part of an effort to identify and combat foreign influence campaigns targeting the U.S.
“Foreign influence operations—which include covert actions by foreign governments to influence U.S. political sentiment or public discourse—are not a new problem,” the FBI said in a release.
“But the interconnectedness of the modern world, combined with the anonymity of the Internet, have changed the nature of the threat and how the FBI and its partners must address it. The goal of these foreign influence operations directed against the United States is to spread disinformation, sow discord, and, ultimately, undermine confidence in our democratic institutions and values.”
The FBI also announced a new series of videos with the Department of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence to teach political campaigns “the most urgent cybersecurity issues that may leave a political campaign’s computer networks vulnerable to attacks.”
The new website comes after Facebook and other social media platforms announced earlier this month that they had removed accounts believed to be part of a foreign influence campaign launched by Iran’s government. Facebook also deleted pages believed to be tied to Russia.
The Iranian-based accounts were first revealed by the security firm FireEye, and amplified concerns that countries other than Russia were seeking to influence U.S. elections.
Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen also signed a joint statement this week with the United States’ international intelligence-sharing partners, known as the “Five Eyes” nations, that in part stated that the countries were committed to combatting foreign influence campaigns.