The Obama administration teamed up with the FBI to spy on social media accounts on election day. The excuse? To monitor ‘Russian interference.’ Security officials were specifically searching for accounts distributing ‘fake news.’
Daily Caller reports:
Dozens of FBI officials monitored social media on Election Day 2016 looking for “fake news” being spread as part of a Russian disinformation campaign against former candidate Hillary Clinton, multiple sources told CNN.
The FBI knew it was walking a fine legal line by monitoring the media for “fake news,” according to sources. It was part of a larger effort to look for Russian cyber threats to the elections, CNN reported.
“We were right on the edge of Constitutional legality,” a source briefed on the matter told CNN. “We were monitoring news.”
Intelligence officials monitoring social media held conference calls with the White House throughout Election Day. Some minor issues came up, but nothing happened to disrupt voting.
According to CNN, “FBI analysts had identified social media user accounts behind stories, some based overseas, and the suspicion was that at least some were part of a Russian disinformation campaign, according to two sources familiar with the investigation.”
The Obama administration also had a secret plan in place to deploy troops to voting stations across the country on election day, according to documents obtained exclusively by TIME Magazine.
The New York Post reports:
The Obama administration was poised to send armed federal agents to polling places, deploy the military and launch full-scale counter-propaganda measures in case hackers disrupted the vote on Election Day, according to a report.
The 15-page playbook, produced in October, outlined the “enhanced measures” the government was prepared to take in the event of a “significant incident,” Time magazine reported Thursday, citing a copy of the document.
“In almost all potential cases of malicious cyber activity impacting election infrastructure, state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, to include their law enforcement agencies, will have primary jurisdiction to respond,” it says.
The playbook coordinated the responsibilities of the different government agencies — Department of Homeland Security, Justice Department and FBI — and dictated how they would “activate enhanced procedures and allocate the resources described in their enhanced coordination procedures to coordinate incident response activities.”