Cybersecurity Firm Behind Senate’s Report on Russian Meddling Caught in Massive Hoax

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Cybersecurity Firm Behind Senate’s Report on Russian Meddling Caught in Massive Hoax
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Cybersecurity Firm Behind Senate’s Report on Russian Meddling Caught in Massive Hoax
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According to the New York Times and Fox News, cybersecurity company New Knowledge was involved in a large-scale hoax involving Russian Election Interference. New Knowledge was one of two cybersecurity companies whose findings regarding 2016 election interference by Russia were published by the US Senate Intelligence Committee. According to the new reports, New Knowledge teamed with another firm to create fake Russian social media accounts in an attempt to give the perception that Russians were attempting to influence US elections. The other firm involved in the hoax, American Engagement Technologies, is a Democrat linked organization run by former Obama administration official Mikey Dickerson and funded by LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman.

The secret projected orchestrated by the two firms was code named the “Birmingham Project.” As part of the project, thousands of fake Russian Twitter accounts were created give the impression Republican senate candidate Roy Moore was being supported by Russians. The project also created a fake Facebook page portraying itself as conservative, which encouraged Republican voters not to support Moore’s candidacy.

According to BuzzFeed’s reporting on the massive hoax, an internal report from the Birmingham Project openly expressed the groups desire to influence the Alabama senate race. Moore lost the senate race to Democrat Doug Jones by 22,000 votes. Jones is the first Democratic senator from Alabama in over 20 years.

Even though Jones was the victor in his senate race, he has called for a federal investigation into the project. Jones stated, “I’d like to see the Federal Election Commission and the Justice Department look at this to see if there were any laws being violated and, if there were, prosecute those responsible.” Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall has said his office is looking into the project.

The chief executive of New Knowledge, Jonathan Morgan, has essentially chosen to place all the blame on American Engagement Technologies. Morgan is claiming he never had any involvement in the hoax. However, Morgan does not have a lot of credibility. He has made numerous demonstrably false statements about the project in the past, which he simply refers to as “a small experiment.”

The Birmingham Project did more than damage executive Jonathan Morgan’s credibility. It destroyed the credibility of New Knowledge. All the past work of New Knowledge has come under scrutiny as a result of the hoax, including their findings published by the Senate Intelligence Committee earlier this month.

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