Analysis | The Cybersecurity 202: Former 2020 contenders take lead on slamming Trump over disinformation
By Joseph Marks
Former contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination are taking the lead on pummeling the Trump administration over disinformation.
In the past few days, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) led a letter from 18 Senate Democrats slamming the Department of Veterans Affairs for not doing enough to protect veterans from online disinformation as the 2020 election approaches. And Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) savaged Facebook for being too slow to take down a deceptive Trump campaign ad that posed as materials for the decennial census.
Fact: Russia interfered in our elections and invaded our democracy -- and now they’re trying to do it again.— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) March 8, 2020
We need to pass my Honest Ads Act and protect our democracy
. https :// t.co/yEAfQ8KLJN
They also come as government officials and analysts are warning about a surge in disinformation campaigns connected with
The efforts also come as the Trump campaign itself has promoted phony information online. Both Trump and White House social media director Dan Scavino tweeted a dishonestly edited video altered to make a verbal stumble by former vice president Joe Biden look worse than it was and to make it look as if he accidentally endorsed Trump, as my colleague Cat Zakrzewski reported.
“It's not surprising that Trump's reelection campaign is resorting to more disinformation about the vice president,” Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates told CNN.
Klobuchar and Harris have been fierce advocates for making elections more secure against hacking and tamping down on misinformation from U.S.
Nevertheless, those issues generally took a back seat during the campaign to
The letter led by Warren slammed VA for not being able to provide a single example of how it’s helping to protect veterans against disinformation operations from Russia, China and elsewhere in response to a previous inquiry from the senators.
“With less than eight months until the next federal election, VA’s vague and wholly inadequate response… is deeply disturbing,” the letter states. It was also signed by Klobuchar and Harris as well as by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N
The letter follows a two-year investigation by the Vietnam Veterans of America that “documented persistent, pervasive, and coordinated online targeting of American service members, veterans and their families by foreign entities who seek to disrupt American democracy.”
Harris’s letter to Facebook came after other top
Facebook's “failure to enforce your policies banning misinformation”
There is simply no excuse for @Facebook approving thousands of Trump campaign ads that misled users and spread misinformation related to the Census.— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) March 6, 2020
I've sent a letter to Facebook demanding answers and accountability. https://t.co/awqpylcqCW
Former vice president Joe Biden.
Twitter applied the label to a version of the doctored video tweeted by White House social media director Dan Scavino last night after it had already received about 5 million views and been retweeted about 21,000 times – including by Trump himself.
“It’s rare for Twitter to take action against tweets shared by Trump, even though there have previously been complaints that the president’s tweets violate the company’s policy,” Cat writes. “Twitter has previously taken action against the president’s tweets for copyright violations.”
The label did not immediately show up when people searched for Scavino’s tweet, though Twitter spokeswoman Katie Rosborough told Cat it was appearing in individuals’ timelines and the company was working on a fix. The White House and the Biden campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Sanders's campaign has repeatedly declined to discuss its
The 2016 Clinton hack is still top of mind for Democrats in 2020, Armen Najarian, Agari’s chief marketing and chief identity officer, told Alexa. “I think that’s adding to the anxiety that there’s not enough being done across the board to prevent an attack like that again,” he said.
Biden's campaign is also trying to protect against
U.S. Treasury Department building.
The White House order cites “credible evidence” that the Chinese company “might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States.” It follows a review by a government committee tasked with assessing foreign acquisitions for national security concerns. The order mandates that the Chinese company Beijing Shiji Information Technology immediately stop accessing any hotel guest data from the U.S.
Shiji said in an email that it doesn't access any hotel guest data. “We believe President Trump’s decision was incorrect,” the company wrote. “Shiji is not a threat to U.S.