FBI: provocateurs may take advantage of delays in vote counting

There have been reports about possible Russian efforts to disinformation related to the US presidential election.

The FBI and America’s top cybersecurity agency have warned that provocateurs could take advantage of the slow vote count in the November 3 election to spread misinformation aimed at discrediting the results.

“Foreign entities and cybercriminals can create new sites, change existing sites, and create or share relevant content on social networks to spread false information,” the FBI and the cybersecurity and infrastructure protection agency said in a joint statement.

They noted that due to the expected mass mail-in voting due to the coronavirus pandemic, local election authorities might need several days to count the ballots and announce the results fully.

“Negative actors” can take advantage of this delay to spread information about alleged voter fraud, or defective or hacked election infrastructure “to convince the public of the illegitimacy of the election,” the FBI and the cybersecurity Agency said.

The agencies did not specify who they mean by negative subjects.

On Tuesday, the Washington Post and New York Times reported that, according to a confidential CIA report, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his top aides are “most likely directing” a disinformation campaign that, in particular, is aimed at reducing the chances of Trump’s opponent, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

The CIA declined to comment on the reports.