U.S officials have warned that Iran and Russia are actively trying to interfere in next month’s Presidential election, obtaining voter details and using it to spread “false information”.
FBI officials held a brief press conference to announce the “major election security” issue, which comes just a day ahead of the second debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden.
“We have identified that two foreign actors, Iran and Russia, have taken specific actions to influence public opinion relating to our elections,” Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said.
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“First, we have confirmed that some voter registration information has been obtained by Iran and separately by Russia.
“This data can be used by foreign actors to attempt to communicate false information to registered voters, that they hope will cause confusion, sow chaos and undermine your confidence in American democracy.
“We have already seen Iran sending spoofed emails designed to intimidate voters, insight social unrest and damage President Trump.
“Additionally, Iran is distributing other content to include a video that implies that individuals could cast fraudulent ballots, even from overseas. This video and any claims about such allegedly fraudulent ballots are not true.
Mr Ratcliffe aimed to make it clear the allegations of fraudulent ballots were not true.
“These actions are desperate attempts by desperate adversaries,” he said.
“Even if the adversaries pursue further attempts to intimidate or attempt to undermine voter confidence, know that our election systems are resilient and you can be confident your votes are secure.
“Do not allow these efforts to have their intended effect. If you receive an intimidating or manipulative email in your inbox, don’t be alarmed and do not spread it.”
Just minutes before the press conference, The Washington Post reported that Iran had conducted a deceptive campaign to send threatening emails to Democratic voters while posing as members of the far-right group the Proud Boys.
The messages threatened recipients, some of whom were in swing states, to “vote for Trump on Election Day or we will come after you,” the Post reported.