Thursday, March 21, 2019

Congressmen urge FBI to investigate bots targeting veterans with fake news

WASHINGTON — Four congressmen urged the FBI on Tuesday to investigate “foreign entities” believed to be targeting servicemembers and veterans online with false information.
Reps. Gil Cisneros, D-Calif., Don Bacon, R-Neb., Ted Lieu, D-Calif., and Greg Steube, R-Fla., wrote to FBI Director Christopher Wray, asking for an investigation into “suspicious” social media accounts that could be impersonating veterans service organizations.
“Online influence and psychological operations against trusted civilian community leaders like our nation’s veterans are novel threats that demand law enforcement attention,” they wrote.
The request for an FBI investigation follows an announcement earlier this month from the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, which launched its own review into foreign actors using “shadowy practices” to disseminate false information to veterans, servicemembers and their families.
The committee is in a fact-finding stage and is planning to hold meetings with stakeholders about the issue.
Cisneros, a Navy veteran, is a member of the veterans affairs committee and the House Armed Services Committee. He asked for an FBI investigation “in order to identify and dismantle these cyber threats before they cause harm,” he said.

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