Facebook is said to tell Mueller more on Russian Federation ad spending

Facebook is said to tell Mueller more on Russian Federation ad spending

IT

Sources told the outlet this included copies of advertisements, info about which accounts purchased the ads, and the targeting criteria used.

President Donald Trump's team has denied working with Russian Federation to win the presidency, while Russian Federation has previously said it did not meddle with the US election.

Facebook gave special counsel Robert Mueller more records on Russian ad purchases than it provided to Congress last week, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Facebook said last week it found about US$100,000 (RM419,200) in ad spending connected to fake accounts probably run from Russian Federation. Facebook said approximately one-quarter of the ads were geographically targeted and ran mostly in 2015 rather than 2016.

"Mueller clearly *already* has enough information on these accounts - and their link to a potential crime", tweeted Asha Rangappa, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation counterintelligence agent.

The warrant obtained by Mueller means his team now has more information to look into how Russian Federation used social media to meddle in last year's presidential election.

Google, which said last week it had seen no evidence of a Russian ad campaign on its platforms during last year's USA election, earlier this year offered to defend election organizers and civic groups against cyber attacks free of charge.

Facebook is launching the program in Canada as internet companies seek to fend off criticism they are not doing enough to thwart online interference with elections and politics.

The ads and accounts appeared to focus on amplifying divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum, touching on topics from LGBT matters to race issues to immigration to gun rights, the social networking giant had earlier said.

Some were circulated before the election and mentioned candidates Clinton and Trump by name.

A Facebook spokesman told the newspaper that the company was continuing its probe and was cooperating with federal authorities.

To obtain a warrant, experts say Mueller would have needed to prove he has a reasonable suspicion a crime was committed.

Sen. Mark Warner, the Virginia Democrat who co-chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, said last week that Twitter officials would soon talk with congressional investigators about Russian activity on its platform, the Journal reported.

  • Terrell Bush