The mass document dump looks likely to become an inevitable part of modern elections. After the hacking of the Democratic party in the 2016 US election and the dumping of embarrassing emails through WikiLeaks, French and German governments have been braced for similar attacks during their own elections. And the onslaught has duly arrived. On Friday night, tens of thousands of internal emails and other documents from the campaign of the French presidential frontrunner, Emmanuel Macron, were released online. Gerard Araud, the French ambassador to Washington who witnessed the assault on the Hillary Clinton campaign during the 2016 US presidential election, responded to the Macron attack with weary resignation.Full Article: As France becomes latest target, are election hacks the new normal? | World news | The Guardian.
Articles about voting issues in the French Republic.
Leading French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron’s campaign said on Friday it had been the target of a “massive” computer hack that dumped its campaign emails online 1-1/2 days before voters choose between the centrist and his far-right rival, Marine Le Pen. Macron, who is seen as the frontrunner in an election billed as the most important in France in decades, extended his lead over Le Pen in polls on Friday. As much as 9 gigabytes of data were posted on a profile called EMLEAKS to Pastebin, a site that allows anonymous document sharing. It was not immediately clear who was responsible for posting the data or if any of it was genuine.Full Article: French candidate Macron claims massive hack as emails leaked | Reuters.
France: U.S. far-right activists, WikiLeaks and bots help amplify Macron leaks: researchers | Reuters
U.S. far-right activists helped amplify a leak of hacked emails belonging to leading French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron’s campaign, some researchers said on Saturday, with automated bots and the Twitter account of WikiLeaks also propelling a leak that came two days before France’s presidential vote. The rapid spread on Twitter (TWTR.N), Facebook (FB.O) and the messaging forum 4chan of emails and other campaign documents that Macron’s campaign said on Friday had been stolen recalled the effort by right-wing activists and Russian state media to promote hacked documents embarrassing to Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton last year. It also renewed questions whether social media companies have done enough to limit fake accounts or spammed content on their platforms and how media organizations should report on hacked information.Full Article: U.S. far-right activists, WikiLeaks and bots help amplify Macron leaks: researchers | Reuters.
France: France starts probing ‘massive’ hack of emails and documents reported by Macron campaign | The Washington Post
The French campaign watchdog on Saturday began investigating the “massive and coordinated piracy action” that presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron reported just minutes before the official end of campaigning in the most heated election for the presidency that France has seen in decades. Late Friday, the Macron campaign said in a statement that it had been the victim of a major hacking operation that saw thousands of emails and other internal communications dumped into the public domain. At the end of a high-stakes race, the news quickly stoked fears of a targeted operation meant to destabilize the electoral process, especially after reports of Russian hacking in the U.S. presidential election.Full Article: France starts probing ‘massive’ hack of emails and documents reported by Macron campaign - The Washington Post.
French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron suffered a “massive, co-ordinated hacking” effort Friday night less than 48 hours before the election—an attack that drew immediate parallels to the cyberattacks that hit Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign last year, as well as to alleged electoral interference in other parts of Europe. Macron’s campaign announced Friday that tens of thousands of its internal emails and documents were leaked to the public via a file-sharing website. The parallels to the 2016 U.S. election are striking: Both occurred days before an election. Both were carried out by hacking the personal and professional email accounts of campaign staffers. And both were directed at more establishment-friendly candidates—not their conservative opponents. While the perpetrators of the Macron hack haven’t been identified, numerous intelligence agencies have expressed confidence that Russia was behind the hacking of Clinton’s emails during the 2016 U.S. election. Russia is also said to have targeted the French electoral process, as well as elections in other counties where the leading candidates have been critical of Vladimir Putin, the Russian president.Full Article: Macron’s Campaign Hack Shouldn't Be a Surprise - The Atlantic.
France: Official probe launched as Marine Le Pen is accused of deploying ‘fake news’ against Macron | The Independent
Marine Le Pen has been accused of using “fake news” during a head-to-head debate with Emmanuel Macron days before the final vote of France’s presidential election, after she alluded to allegations circulating online that her rival has an offshore account in the Bahamas. Mr Macron filed a legal complaint on Thursday, prompting the Paris prosecutor’s office to open a formal investigation into whether falsified documents and false online news were being used to influence voting ahead of Sunday’s second round ballot. The Front National candidate, who has been urged by her father and predecessor as party leader to adopt a “Trump-style” campaign, asked Mr Macron if the online rumours about his personal finances were true during a virulent exchange watched by 15 million people.Full Article: French election debate: Official probe launched as Marine Le Pen is accused of deploying 'fake news' against Macron | The Independent.
The campaign of the French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron confirmed on Friday that it had denied the pro-Kremlin media outlets Sputnik and Russia Today accreditations to cover the rest of his campaign. On Sunday, after it became clear that Mr. Macron and Marine Le Pen would face each other in the election runoff on May 7, the news media descended on Macron headquarters. But journalists from RT, Sputnik and Ruptly, a Russian video news agency, were denied access. Other Russian media outlets were accredited for the event, according to a spokeswoman for the campaign, who said RT and Sputnik were considered “alternative media” that produce “propaganda.”Full Article: Macron Denies Access to 2 Russian Media Outlets in French Campaign - The New York Times.
The campaign of the French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron has been targeted by what appear to be the same Russian operatives responsible for hacks of Democratic campaign officials before last year’s American presidential election, a cybersecurity firm warns in a new report. The report has heightened concerns that Russia may turn its playbook on France in an effort to harm Mr. Macron’s candidacy and bolster that of Mr. Macron’s rival, the National Front leader Marine Le Pen, in the final weeks of the French presidential campaign. Security researchers at the cybersecurity firm, Trend Micro, said that on March 15 they spotted a hacking group they believe to be a Russian intelligence unit turn its weapons on Mr. Macron’s campaign — sending emails to campaign officials and others with links to fake websites designed to bait them into turning over passwords. The group began registering several decoy internet addresses last month and as recently as April 15, naming one onedrive-en-marche.fr and another mail-en-marche.fr to mimic the name of Mr. Macron’s political party, En Marche.Full Article: Russian Hackers Who Targeted Clinton Appear to Attack France’s Macron - The New York Times.
The Russian cyber-spying group Pawn Storm (also known as Fancy Bear) has targeted French presidential front-runner Emmanuel Macron, according to Japanese cyber-security experts. Macron campaign officials, however, say the group has so far failed. Barely two weeks before the critical second round of the French presidential election, fears of Russian meddling in the 2017 campaign mounted with the publication of a report accusing Pawn Storm of targeting Macron’s En Marche! (Forward!) movement, employing identical tactics used to attack the Hillary Clinton campaign during the US presidential race. A 41-page report, “Two Years of Pawn Storm,” by the Japanese cyber-security firm Trend Micro detailed a long list of the group’s targets, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party ahead of the September German general elections.Full Article: Cyber experts '99% sure' Russian hackers are targeting Macron - France 24.
As France braces for the second round of its election, security researchers try to figure out if Russia was really behind the alleged hacking attempts against frontrunner Emmanuel Macron. After months of speculation on whether dreaded Russian hackers would try to meddle with the French elections the same way they did last year in America, cybersecurity researchers finally pointed the finger earlier this week.Full Article: This Is the Evidence Linking Russian Hackers to the French Election - Motherboard.
France: Cyberattack on French presidential front-runner bears Russian ‘fingerprints,’ research group says | The Washington Post
A security firm claimed Tuesday that a new cyberattack against the campaign offices of the front-runner in France’s presidential race carried similar digital “fingerprints” to the suspected Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee and others. The report, released by the Trend Micro research group, did not disclose what possible fallout the infiltration had on the campaign of Emmanuel Macron, a centrist who is in a two-person runoff with far-right rival Marine Le Pen in the May 7 election. But if a Russian connection was proved, the hacking would add to mounting allegations of Moscow-backed attempts to influence Western elections in favor of candidates with policies potentially more favorable to the Kremlin. Le Pen has voiced opposition to the powers of the European Union and has called for better ties with Russia, echoing some of the campaign rhetoric of President Trump.Full Article: Russian hackers suspected in cyberattack on Macron before French election, research group says - The Washington Post.
France: Right-wing Le Pen claims victory alongside centrist Macron for French presidential runoff, with EU future at stake | The Washington Post
An anti-immigrant firebrand and an unconventional centrist were set Sunday to advance to a runoff in a tight race for France’s president, according to exit polls released immediately after balloting closed. If confirmed, the results set up a sharp confrontation between those who embrace globalization and those who want to roll it back. Centrist Emmanuel Macron placed first and far-right leader Marine Le Pen placed second in initial exit polls in the first round of France’s presidential election, advancing them to a head-to-head showdown in the runoff on May 7. It was poised to be a historic wipeout for the two political parties that have traded power in post-World War II France, with neither the Socialists nor the center-right descendants of Charles de Gaulle having a shot at the presidency. Center-right candidate Francois Fillon, a former front-runner, conceded defeat shortly after the exit polls were released, calling for patriotic French citizens to unite behind Macron to defeat Le Pen, whose party he said was known for “violence and intolerance.” The victor could determine whether the international alliances that formed the backbone of the post-World War II West strengthen or are shattered by the force of nationalism.Full Article: Right-wing Le Pen claims victory alongside centrist Macron for French presidential runoff, with E.U. future at stake - The Washington Post.
After more than two hours in a queue that snaked for more than a mile round the cosseted streets of South Kensington, Jérémy, 36, was finally nearing the voting booth – and still was not sure for which candidate he would cast his ballot. Who are the leading candidates in the French presidential election? With his two-year-old son Ernest in a pushchair, the engineer from Guildford said he had followed the campaign closely on French media but was still hesitating. Would it be the independent centrist Emmanuel Macron, or the hard-left veteran Jean-Luc Mélenchon? “It all feels new this time around,” he said. “Elections used to be all about left and right. This is between the centre and the extremes, continuity or change, Europe or not Europe. There are good elements in both programmes … I just don’t know. Angel, or demon?”Full Article: 'We don't need a third shock': French expats flock to vote in UK and US | World news | The Guardian.
The flagging, scandal-plagued presidential campaign of François Fillon — a former prime minister of France much liked by the Kremlin but not so much, it seems, by French voters — received a surprise lift late last month with a report that he had staged a remarkable recovery in opinion polls and was now leading the pack ahead of voting this Sunday. “The Return of Fillon to the Head of Opinion Polls,” declared the bold headline, contradicting other French polls suggesting that the onetime favorite had fallen to third or even fourth place as he battled corruption charges. As it happens, Mr. Fillon’s lead in the polls existed only in a world of alternative facts shared by the French-language service of Sputnik, a state-funded Russian news operation with the motto “Telling the Untold.” For weeks, Sputnik and a second Russian outfit, the new French-language arm of RT, a Kremlin-funded television station, have published reports that critics characterized as “Telling the Untrue” but that fans welcomed as a breath of contrarian fresh air.Full Article: It’s France’s Turn to Worry About Election Meddling by Russia - The New York Times.
Since the U.S. intelligence community concluded that Moscow waged an influence campaign targeting the 2016 U.S. elections, experts have asked: Will it do the same in the French and German elections? Both votes will have an enormous impact on the future of Europe and the liberal order, and much is weighing on whether these democracies are adequately shielded from outside manipulation. In fact, Moscow has already interfered in French elections. In 1974, the KGB launched a covert propaganda campaign to discredit both François Mitterrand and Valéry Giscard d’Estaing. Overtly, Moscow courted Giscard, to an extent that papers such as the right-wing L’Aurore condemned it as an “intolerable” insertion into French domestic politics. Correspondents interpreted the move as “open intervention in national politics.”Full Article: How Russia hacked the French election – POLITICO.
French voters are being deluged with false stories on social media ahead of the country’s presidential election, though the onslaught of “junk news” is not as severe as that during last year’s U.S. presidential campaign, according to a study by Oxford University researchers. The study to be published Friday and another published on Wednesday add evidence to complaints by officials in France, Germany and the United States that Russia is trying to replicate its cyber-powered election meddling in American politics. Just days before France votes in the first round of a presidential election, the study said misinformation at times has accounted for one-quarter of the political links shared on Twitter in France. It defined “junk news” as deliberately false stories and those expressing “ideologically extreme, hyper-partisan or conspiratorial” views with logical flaws and opinions passed along as facts.Full Article: Experts say automated accounts sharing fake news ahead of French election | Reuters.
Extremism concerns shook France’s presidential campaign Tuesday as authorities announced arrests in what they said was a thwarted attack and candidates urged tougher counterterrorism efforts for a country already under a state of emergency. While national security previously has been a strong theme in the campaign, far-right candidate Marine Le Pen hardened her tone on foreign extremists and border controls in the wake of the arrests that came days before the first round of voting. Centrist Emmanuel Macron called for national unity and stronger intelligence. Le Pen and Macron are among four leading candidates seen as most likely to progress from Sunday’s first round and to reach the May 7 runoff between the top two. As the government prepared to flood streets with more than 50,000 police and soldiers to safeguard the ballot, Interior Minister Matthias Fekl said police thwarted an imminent “terror attack,” arresting two French men in the southern port city of Marseille.Full Article: Thwarted Attack Rattles France Days Before Presidential Vote | World News | US News.
Facebook says it has targeted 30,000 fake accounts linked to France ahead of the country’s presidential election, as part of a worldwide effort against misinformation. The company said Thursday it’s trying to “reduce the spread of material generated through inauthentic activity, including spam, misinformation, or other deceptive content that is often shared by creators of fake accounts.” It said its efforts “enabled us to take action” against the French accounts and that it is removing sites with the highest traffic. Facebook and French media are also running fact-checking programs in France to combat misleading information, especially around the campaign for the two-round April 23-May 7 presidential election.Full Article: Facebook targets 30,000 fake France accounts before election - ABC News.
France: Presidential election launches with an unprecedented choice of 11 candidates | Los Angeles Times
For voters, it is a case of plus ça change — same-old-same-old — after four months during which the leadership battle has dominated the headlines as it veered from scandal to scandal. France’s presidential election campaign was launched Monday, two weeks before the first round that sees voters faced with an unprecedented choice of 11 candidates. The official opening of the race means all runners, major or minor, must be given the same airtime on television and radio and the same poster space on the municipal billboards. With two weeks to go, two of the front-runners are under investigation for fraud, and the traditional socialist and conservative parties who have governed France for more than 50 years are struggling to remain in the race.Full Article: France’s presidential election launches with an unprecedented choice of 11 candidates - LA Times.
The golden domes of one of Vladimir Putin’s foreign projects, the recently built Russian Holy Trinity cathedral in the heart of Paris, rise up not far from the Elysée palace, the seat of the French presidency. Dubbed “Putin’s cathedral” or “Saint-Vladimir”, it stands out as a symbol of the many connections the French elite has long nurtured with Russia, and which the Kremlin is actively seeking to capitalise on in the run-up to the French presidential election. France is an important target for Russia’s soft power and networks of influence. The country is a key pillar of the European Union, an important Nato member and home to Europe’s largest far-right party, the Front National, whose leader, Marine Le Pen, is expected to reach the 7 May run-off in the presidential vote and has benefited from Russian financing.Full Article: Spectre of Russian influence looms large over French election | World news | The Guardian.