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Dems ask FEC to create new rules in response to Russian Facebook ads

Dems ask FEC to create new rules in response to Russian Facebook ads
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Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday asked the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to establish new guidelines for online advertising platforms that would prevent foreign spending to influence U.S. elections.

The move comes after Facebook provided information to Congress and special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s election interference, about Russian ad purchases during the 2016 campaign.

"The recent revelations that foreign nationals with suspected ties to the Russian government sought to influence the 2016 election through social media advertisements are deeply concerning and demand a response," 20 House and Senate Democrats wrote in the letter.

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"We are fast approaching the 2018 election cycle. As such, it is imperative the Federal Election Commission begin this effort in earnest," they wrote.

Facebook said it sold thousands of political ads over the past two years to fake accounts based in Russia. The social network estimated that 470 such accounts, which have since been suspended, spent about $100,000 on close to 3,000 ads.

CNN, which first reported on the Democrats' letter, cited Facebook sources saying they expect Congress may try to require disclaimers on online political ads in the future, similar to political television ads.

The Democratic lawmakers suggested that any FEC guidance address how foreign actors can use corporate or nonprofit designations to avoid disclosing political spending; what advertisement platforms can do to prevent foreign campaign activity; and possible changes to disclosure standards for political advertisements.

They asked for a response from the FEC by Oct. 4.

The letter was signed by Democratic Sens. Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichFor everyone’s safety, border agents must use body-worn cameras Electric carmakers turn to Congress as tax credits dry up A Senator Gary Johnson could be good not just for Libertarians, but for the Senate too MORE (N.M.), Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenCollusion judgment looms for key Senate panel Hillicon Valley: Facebook deletes accounts for political 'spam' | Leaked research shows Google's struggles with online free speech | Trump's praise for North Korea complicates cyber deterrence | Senators want Google memo on privacy bug On The Money: Jobless rate hits 49-year low | Officials face legal obstacles to pursuing tax charges against Trump | Tax story prompts calls to revise estate rules MORE (Ore.), Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallHillicon Valley: Officials warn of Chinese influence efforts | Dow drops over 800 points | Tech stocks hit hard | Google appeals B EU fine | James Murdoch may be heading for Tesla | Most Americans worried about election security For everyone’s safety, border agents must use body-worn cameras Senate Democrats increase pressure for FBI investigation of Kavanaugh MORE (N.M.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenBiden leads crowded field of Dems in potential 2020 matchup: poll Trump attacks Democrat in Ohio governor's race Warren responds to 'arrogant woman' insult: 'Was I tough on John Kelly? ... You bet I was' MORE (Mass.), Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanElection Countdown: O'Rourke brings in massive M haul | Deal on judges lets senators return to the trail | Hurricane puts Florida candidates in the spotlight | Adelson spending big to save GOP in midterms Former Dem aide makes first court appearance on charges of posting GOP senators' info online Ex-House intern charged with 'doxing' GOP senators during Kavanaugh hearing MORE (N.H.), Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinBipartisan bill would block foreign adversaries from owning US election vendors Missing journalist strains US-Saudi relationship Democrats seek to turn Kavanaugh anger into votes MORE (Md.), Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenFormer campaign aide to New Jersey governor says she was sexually assaulted by his ex-staffer Prosecutor drops some charges against Harvey Weinstein Poll: Dems maintain double-digit leads in Minnesota Senate races MORE (Minn.), Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedFive changes Democrats will seek at Pentagon if they win power The Hill's Morning Report — Historic, high-stakes day for Kavanaugh and Ford Admiral defends record after coming under investigation in 'Fat Leonard' scandal MORE (R.I.), Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyEPA chief calls racist Facebook post he liked ‘absolutely offensive’ Senate sends bill regulating airline seat sizes to Trump Ben Shapiro slams both parties for partisan treatment of FBI MORE (Mass.), Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenSenators concerned as Trump official disputes UN climate change warning Hillicon Valley: Facebook deletes accounts for political 'spam' | Leaked research shows Google's struggles with online free speech | Trump's praise for North Korea complicates cyber deterrence | Senators want Google memo on privacy bug Bipartisan bill would block foreign adversaries from owning US election vendors MORE (Md.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownLawmakers, Wall Street shrug off Trump's escalating Fed attacks The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — Dem victories in `18 will not calm party turbulence Election Countdown: Minnesota Dems worry Ellison allegations could cost them key race | Dems struggle to mobilize Latino voters | Takeaways from Tennessee Senate debate | Poll puts Cruz up 9 in Texas MORE (Ohio), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerNoisy democracy, or rude people behaving like children? Georgia gubernatorial candidate confident election will be fair despite allegations of voter suppression Biden leads crowded field of Dems in potential 2020 matchup: poll MORE (N.J.), Bob Menendez (N.J.), Catherine Cortez Masto (Nev.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseDemocrats won’t let Kavanaugh debate die Senate poised to confirm Kavanaugh after bitter fight Hillary Clinton bursts out laughing about Kavanaugh's 'revenge on behalf of the Clintons' remark MORE (R.I.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisBiden leads crowded field of Dems in potential 2020 matchup: poll Kamala Harris to campaign in Iowa for first time Harris accuses GOP of ‘weaponizing’ 2020 Census MORE (Calif.).

Four House members also signed on: Reps. John Sarbanes (Md.), John Conyers Jr. (Mich.), Elijah Cummings (Md.) and Derek KilmerDerek Christian KilmerDems reverse course on White House parks plan Dems urge Trump to reinstate top cyber post Congress to require FEC report on foreign money in elections MORE (Wash.).