U.S. media outlets in Russia will face investigations into whether they illegally influenced the country’s parliamentary elections in 2016. Outlets such as Voice of America, Radio Free Europe (RL/RFE) and CNN will all fall under the spotlight, said Leonid Levin, the head of the State Duma Committee on Information and Communication. He said that journalists’ work could have affected Russian elections. “The structures we are discussing are part of a larger American system of pressure on our country,” Levin said at a committee meeting on Tuesday. “They are using a variety of instruments in respect to both the Russian electoral process and on our country as a whole.” Levin also pointed to similar investigations on Russian state media in the United States.
Articles about voting issues in the Russian Federation.
Russia is preparing to move the date of the 2018 election that is expected to hand President Vladimir Putin a new term from March 11 to March 18 — the day Russia celebrates its seizure of Crimea from Ukraine. The State Duma approved a bill on the date change on April 12 in the first of three votes on the issue in the lower house of parliament. It is certain to pass. Russian law says that presidential elections are held on the second Sunday in March unless that is a working day, in which case the voting must be held a week earlier. The authors of the bill said that March 11 was likely to be a working day after the March 8 International Women’s Day holiday. But instead of holding the election a week earlier, they proposed March 18.
Foreign ministers of the Group of 7 (G7) countries are voicing concerns about cyber interference in the democratic process, after their meeting in Italy on Tuesday. A declaration issued by the foreign ministers of the United States, Britain, and other member states on responsible behavior in cyber space all but singles out Russia for using cyber intrusions to meddle in democratic elections. “We are increasingly concerned about cyber-enabled interference in democratic political processes,” the declaration published on Tuesday states. The declaration says that international law and the United Nations Charter applies to the use of communications and information technology, and that states that fall victim to malicious cyber activities are under international law allowed to take “proportionate countermeasures.”
Russia: Russia wants India’s electronic voting machine technology for its 2018 presidential election | The Economic Times
Delhi’s close partner Russia is seeking to learn from India’s experience in conducting smooth polls through EVMs — this, at a time when the Opposition in India has raised the possibility of EVM tampering in the recently-concluded Assembly polls in five states. Moscow, it has been learnt, is keen to learn from India’s EVM technology experience ahead of the March 2018 presidential polls when Vladimir Putin will seek re-election.
Russia: Anti-Putin protesters plan next move as jailed opponent considers election bid | The Guardian
“Nobody is scared of going to jail, but we have work to do,” said Kira Yarmysh, spokeswoman for Alexei Navalny, as she waited for the Russian opposition politician to be delivered to court for an appeal hearing on Thursday. Navalny, who was marched to his hearing handcuffed to a stout police officer, saw his appeal rejected, and will spend the next week behind bars, serving out a 15-day sentence after he was arrested at last weekend’s protest in Moscow, one of more than 1,000 people detained by police in the capital alone. There were protests in dozens of Russian cities last Sunday, called by Navalny over allegations of corruption against prime minister Dmitry Medvedev. They were the biggest since a wave of protests in 2011 and 2012, and for the first time since that wave was crushed there is an air of uncertainty on the Russian political scene.
The Russian government used “thousands” of internet trolls and bots to spread fake news, in addition to hacking into political campaigns leading up to the 2016 U.S. election, according to one lawmaker. Disinformation spread on social media was designed to raise doubts about the U.S. election and the campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, said Senator Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat. “This Russian propaganda on steroids was designed to poison the national conversation in America,” Warner said Thursday during a Senate hearing on Russian election hacking. The Russian government used “thousands of paid internet trolls” and bots to spread disinformation on social media.
By staging significant protest actions in almost 100 Russian cities Sunday, Alexei Navalny has laid down a serious challenge to Vladimir Putin. The anti-corruption blogger-turned-politician wants to run for president in elections that are barely a year off, and has been conducting himself as if his campaign were already under way. The Kremlin has the means to prevent him, by invoking a criminal conviction, recently upheld by a regional court, that could bar him from running for office. It has been standard procedure under Mr. Putin’s brand of “managed democracy” to cull the ballot, using various pretexts, to ensure that independent challengers are kept out and results are tailored to match the authorities’ expectations. That system has mostly worked in the Putin era, though it experienced a tough shock when tens of thousands of people took to the streets to protest alleged fraud in the 2011 Duma (parliament) elections. To continue working, the system requires public acceptance of election results, or at least apathy.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is single-handedly trying to undermine democracy in the United States and Europe and rupture their decades-old NATO alliance by meddling in their elections, foreign affairs analysts and Estonia’s former president told a congressional hearing Thursday in Washington. One of the experts, Peter Doran, executive vice president of the Center for European Policy Analysis, a group promoting closer ties between central and eastern European countries and the United States, said U.S. lawmakers “should have no doubt, Russia is a rival to the United States.” Doran declared, “The Russian government is sharpening its use of state-sponsored propaganda against Western democracies. This puts democratic states and NATO at risk. The strategic aims of the Russian government are fundamentally incompatible with American interests in Europe.”
Russia: Cyber attacks and election interference by Russia are acts of aggression says Nato chief | International Business Times
Nato’s principle of collective defence, should be widened to include fake news and cyber hacking, the alliance’s top British officer has said, suggesting that recent moves by Russia be considered acts of aggression. In the wake of Russia’s alleged interference in the US election, European spy agencies fear that Moscow is also involved in meddling in ballots in Germany, France and the Netherlands amid concern that it seeks to promote populist parties. General Sir Adrian Bradshaw said that disinformation and interference could come under the remit of Article 5 of Nato’s treaty. The 1949 founding article specifies defence against an armed attack, but its critics argue that it does not take into account the nature of hybrid 21st century warfare.
A bipartisan resolution in the House of Representatives targeting Russia for its role in election hacking will be announced on Wednesday. The bill, introduced by Republican congressman Peter Roskam of Illinois and Democrat congressman David Cicilline of Rhode Island, will declare that it is US policy “to sanction entities and individuals within Russia or associated with the Russian Government engaged in hacking, cyber-attacks, and propaganda campaigns with the intention of interfering in democratic elections”. The legislation comes after bipartisan concern about the Russian role in influencing the 2016 election through hacking, including of the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. But the proposed legislation is forward-looking and is focused on potential Russian interference in European elections in 2017 including the upcoming presidential election in France, rather than the 2016 cyberattacks, which are currently being investigated by multiple congressional committees.