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It’s France’s Turn to Worry About Election Meddling by Russia
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d***@agent.com
2017-04-18 18:37:06 UTC
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Raw Message
It’s France’s Turn to Worry About Election Meddling by Russia
By ANDREW HIGGINS, APRIL 17, 2017, NY Times

PARIS — 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.

The broader question as France charges toward the first round
of the presidential election on Sunday, however, is what exactly
lies behind what looks to many, particularly supporters of the
liberal front-runner, Emmanuel Macron, like a replay of Russia’s
interference in the presidential election in the United States
last year.

Is Moscow meddling covertly, as American intelligence agencies
say it did before Donald J. Trump’s victory? Or is it just
benefiting from a network of politicians, journalists & others
in France who share the Kremlin’s views on politics there, and
much else besides?

Whatever the answer, squalls of fake news reports & a barrage
of hacking attacks on the computers of Mr. Macron’s campaign
have left many in France — and Washington — with an unnerving
sense of familiarity.

It all looks so recognizable that Senator Richard M. Burr,
Republican of North Carolina and the chairman of the Senate
Intelligence Committee, recently said, “I think it’s safe by
everybody’s judgment that the Russians are actively involved in
the French elections.”

Stung by criticism that its services turbocharged the spread of
fake news during the United States election campaign, Facebook
announced last week that a drive to purge “inauthentic activity”
had led it to “take action against over 30,000 fake accounts”
in France.

It is also clear, however, that Russia often does not so much
intrude as amplify existing voices with which it agrees,
notably on Syria, the perils of American power & the futility
of economic sanctions on Moscow.

Nataliya Novikova, who leads Sputnik in Paris, said that its
operations there, while eager to present Russia’s take on events,
did not serve Moscow but rather a French audience eager for a
“different angle.”

Complaining that Mr. Macron and members of his staff had
repeatedly ignored interview requests, she said that Sputnik
tried to represent all points of view and had been unfairly
branded a Russian bullhorn. “There are many different truths,”
Ms. Novikova said. “There has to be a pluralism of truth.”

Cécile Vaissié, a professor of Russian, Soviet and post-Soviet
studies at the Univ of Rennes 2, said the Kremlin, building on
methods & contacts developed in the Soviet Union, had assembled
a “formidable machine of influence” in France that works to
promote its interests as well as those of its preferred candidates.

Russia, or at least its state-controlled news media, has been
backing two horses in the French race. One is Mr. Fillon, who,
while prime minister from 2007 to 2012, struck up a friendship
with Vladimir V. Putin, who is said to have sent the French
politician a bottle of wine after the death of his mother.

Among the accusations of financial impropriety engulfing Mr.
Fillon’s campaign is that he received $50,000 from a Lebanese
businessman in return for arranging a meeting with Mr. Putin.

The Kremlin dismissed the report as “fake news.”

Lately, Mr. Fillon has seen a bump in real opinion polls. They
still put Mr. Macron in the lead, but the race is tight enough
now that the final result, like those of the British referendum
on leaving the European Union and the American presidential
election, may defy the forecasts of pollsters.

Russia’s other preferred candidate is Marine Le Pen, the leader
of the far-right National Front party who traveled to Moscow
last month for a meeting with Putin, whom she openly admires.
Her party, traditionally hostile to the United States and the
European Union, has received millions of dollars in loans from
Russian banks.

Mr. Macron, on the other hand, is the most enthusiastically
pro-European Union candidate in the race, and Russia has been
seeking to undermine and divide the union.

Unlike in America, where attitudes toward Moscow formed during
the Cold War often continue to hobble Russian efforts at public
outreach, France has numerous individuals & organizations that
speak out for views that mirror Russia’s — and its preferences
for the French election.

Russia’s influence machine, said Ms. Vaissié, the Rennes
professor, has been fueled in large part by “the paradox at the
heart of our political discourse: a fascination with the U.S. &
a permanent rejection of it that provides absolutely fertile
ground for the Russians.”

Anti-Americanism in France has seeped deep into the ctr-right,
encouraging an infatuation among some politicians with Russia
and Mr. Putin that has provided Russian news outlets in France
with some of their most bombastic pro-Russia & anti-Macron voices.

One of those is Nicolas Dhuicq, a member of Parliament, sec'y of
the legislature’s France-Russia Friendship Group and a member
of the board of the French-Russian Dialogue Association, an
organization stacked with pillars of the French establishment &
led by an old political ally of Mr. Putin’s.

It was Mr. Dhuicq who told Sputnik in February that Mr. Macron
was a closet homosexual supported by a “very rich gay lobby.”
The claim, which set off a firestorm on social media, put Mr.
Macron briefly on the defensive.

The furor quickly fizzled, however, after the allegation was
ridiculed by the candidate and the mainstream news media as a
transparent exercise in the dark Russian art of “kompromat,” or
using compromising information to embarrass or hinder.

Mr. Dhuicq also contributed to a Sputnik article that derided
Mr. Macron, a former investment banker, as a “US agent lobbying
banks’ interests.”

In an interview, Mr. Dhuicq stood by his claim that Mr. Macron
had a secret double life and scoffed at allegations of Russian
meddling as fantasy driven by paranoia imported from America.
“I trained as a psychiatrist & know what paranoia looks like,”
he said. The Russians “are clever enough to know their influence
is close to zero on French voters,” he added. “Most people don’t
even know what Sputnik is.”

It is true that very few people read or watch Russian news
coverage in French, but what those outlets say gets recycled on
social media. Once there, the Russian source often gets stripped
away, allowing raw kompromat to churn through blogs, on Twitter
and on what Mr. Macron’s supporters call the “fascisphere” of
anti-establishment and often extreme-right websites.

“The American phenomenon is being repeated here in France,”
said Pierre Haski, a founder of the liberal news site Rue89.
“A large section of the population has broken w/the mainstream
media and gets its information from parallel sources. This is
the world in which RT and Sputnik have found their place.”

Sputnik’s report about Mr. Fillon’s surge in opinion polls,
based on research by a company based in Moscow that studies
social media, got some traction online but never really took
off — in part because of a swift rebuke from a French watchdog
that monitors polling claims.

Using info from the same Moscow company, Sputnik again declared
“Fillon the favorite in the presidential race” on Friday, but
this time it made clear the assertion was not based on polling
data.

Mounir Mahjoubi, digital director of the Macron campaign, said
the principal goals of the state-funded Russian media outlets
were to spread chaos & uncertainty & to undermine Mr. Macron
while diverting attention from Mr. Fillon’s legal troubles.

In one striking example, Sputnik and RT reported in February —
citing what they said was an interview by the WikiLeaks founder,
Julian Assange, with the newspaper Izvestia — that WikiLeaks
had “interesting information” about Mr. Macron & was preparing
to release it. “Assange will pour oil on the fire of the
French election campaign,” RT reported.

But a spokesman for WikiLeaks said that Mr. Assange had never
given such an interview and had merely sent a short email
responding to a question from an Izvestia reporter.

Murkier still are the thousands of cyberstrikes against the
Macron campaign’s website & hundreds of attempts to gain access
to its email accounts through so-called phishing attacks. The
same tactic was used to gain entry to the Democratic National
Committee’s servers last year.

Yet Damien Bancal, a French journalist who founded & runs the
website Zataz, which focuses on digital security, said that
attributing such activities to Russia was wild conjecture. The
Macron campaign’s computer system “is like a Swiss cheese,” he
said, open to attack not only by Russia but also by “any 15-
year-old with a computer.”

The government has nonetheless taken the danger seriously, with
Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault warning Moscow that “this
kind of interference in French political life is unacceptable,”
and the country’s equivalent of the National Security Council
in Washington holding a special meeting to discuss cyberthreats.

François Heisbourg of the Foundation for Strategic Research in
Paris said he doubted that any Russian efforts, whatever their
nature, would have much impact on the election. While at times
highly skilled at planting false information and creating
confusion, “they often burn themselves while trying to burn
down the house,” he said.
GLOBALIST
2017-04-18 20:20:39 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
It’s France’s Turn to Worry About Election Meddling by Russia
By ANDREW HIGGINS, APRIL 17, 2017, NY Times
PARIS — 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.
The broader question as France charges toward the first round
of the presidential election on Sunday, however, is what exactly
lies behind what looks to many, particularly supporters of the
liberal front-runner, Emmanuel Macron, like a replay of Russia’s
interference in the presidential election in the United States
last year.
Is Moscow meddling covertly, as American intelligence agencies
say it did before Donald J. Trump’s victory? Or is it just
benefiting from a network of politicians, journalists & others
in France who share the Kremlin’s views on politics there, and
much else besides?
Whatever the answer, squalls of fake news reports & a barrage
of hacking attacks on the computers of Mr. Macron’s campaign
have left many in France — and Washington — with an unnerving
sense of familiarity.
It all looks so recognizable that Senator Richard M. Burr,
Republican of North Carolina and the chairman of the Senate
Intelligence Committee, recently said, “I think it’s safe by
everybody’s judgment that the Russians are actively involved in
the French elections.”
Stung by criticism that its services turbocharged the spread of
fake news during the United States election campaign, Facebook
announced last week that a drive to purge “inauthentic activity”
had led it to “take action against over 30,000 fake accounts”
in France.
It is also clear, however, that Russia often does not so much
intrude as amplify existing voices with which it agrees,
notably on Syria, the perils of American power & the futility
of economic sanctions on Moscow.
Nataliya Novikova, who leads Sputnik in Paris, said that its
operations there, while eager to present Russia’s take on events,
did not serve Moscow but rather a French audience eager for a
“different angle.”
Complaining that Mr. Macron and members of his staff had
repeatedly ignored interview requests, she said that Sputnik
tried to represent all points of view and had been unfairly
branded a Russian bullhorn. “There are many different truths,”
Ms. Novikova said. “There has to be a pluralism of truth.”
Cécile Vaissié, a professor of Russian, Soviet and post-Soviet
studies at the Univ of Rennes 2, said the Kremlin, building on
methods & contacts developed in the Soviet Union, had assembled
a “formidable machine of influence” in France that works to
promote its interests as well as those of its preferred candidates.
Russia, or at least its state-controlled news media, has been
backing two horses in the French race. One is Mr. Fillon, who,
while prime minister from 2007 to 2012, struck up a friendship
with Vladimir V. Putin, who is said to have sent the French
politician a bottle of wine after the death of his mother.
Among the accusations of financial impropriety engulfing Mr.
Fillon’s campaign is that he received $50,000 from a Lebanese
businessman in return for arranging a meeting with Mr. Putin.
The Kremlin dismissed the report as “fake news.”
Lately, Mr. Fillon has seen a bump in real opinion polls. They
still put Mr. Macron in the lead, but the race is tight enough
now that the final result, like those of the British referendum
on leaving the European Union and the American presidential
election, may defy the forecasts of pollsters.
Russia’s other preferred candidate is Marine Le Pen, the leader
of the far-right National Front party who traveled to Moscow
last month for a meeting with Putin, whom she openly admires.
Her party, traditionally hostile to the United States and the
European Union, has received millions of dollars in loans from
Russian banks.
Mr. Macron, on the other hand, is the most enthusiastically
pro-European Union candidate in the race, and Russia has been
seeking to undermine and divide the union.
Unlike in America, where attitudes toward Moscow formed during
the Cold War often continue to hobble Russian efforts at public
outreach, France has numerous individuals & organizations that
speak out for views that mirror Russia’s — and its preferences
for the French election.
Russia’s influence machine, said Ms. Vaissié, the Rennes
professor, has been fueled in large part by “the paradox at the
heart of our political discourse: a fascination with the U.S. &
a permanent rejection of it that provides absolutely fertile
ground for the Russians.”
Anti-Americanism in France has seeped deep into the ctr-right,
encouraging an infatuation among some politicians with Russia
and Mr. Putin that has provided Russian news outlets in France
with some of their most bombastic pro-Russia & anti-Macron voices.
One of those is Nicolas Dhuicq, a member of Parliament, sec'y of
the legislature’s France-Russia Friendship Group and a member
of the board of the French-Russian Dialogue Association, an
organization stacked with pillars of the French establishment &
led by an old political ally of Mr. Putin’s.
It was Mr. Dhuicq who told Sputnik in February that Mr. Macron
was a closet homosexual supported by a “very rich gay lobby.”
The claim, which set off a firestorm on social media, put Mr.
Macron briefly on the defensive.
The furor quickly fizzled, however, after the allegation was
ridiculed by the candidate and the mainstream news media as a
transparent exercise in the dark Russian art of “kompromat,” or
using compromising information to embarrass or hinder.
Mr. Dhuicq also contributed to a Sputnik article that derided
Mr. Macron, a former investment banker, as a “US agent lobbying
banks’ interests.”
In an interview, Mr. Dhuicq stood by his claim that Mr. Macron
had a secret double life and scoffed at allegations of Russian
meddling as fantasy driven by paranoia imported from America.
“I trained as a psychiatrist & know what paranoia looks like,”
he said. The Russians “are clever enough to know their influence
is close to zero on French voters,” he added. “Most people don’t
even know what Sputnik is.”
It is true that very few people read or watch Russian news
coverage in French, but what those outlets say gets recycled on
social media. Once there, the Russian source often gets stripped
away, allowing raw kompromat to churn through blogs, on Twitter
and on what Mr. Macron’s supporters call the “fascisphere” of
anti-establishment and often extreme-right websites.
“The American phenomenon is being repeated here in France,”
said Pierre Haski, a founder of the liberal news site Rue89.
“A large section of the population has broken w/the mainstream
media and gets its information from parallel sources. This is
the world in which RT and Sputnik have found their place.”
Sputnik’s report about Mr. Fillon’s surge in opinion polls,
based on research by a company based in Moscow that studies
social media, got some traction online but never really took
off — in part because of a swift rebuke from a French watchdog
that monitors polling claims.
Using info from the same Moscow company, Sputnik again declared
“Fillon the favorite in the presidential race” on Friday, but
this time it made clear the assertion was not based on polling
data.
Mounir Mahjoubi, digital director of the Macron campaign, said
the principal goals of the state-funded Russian media outlets
were to spread chaos & uncertainty & to undermine Mr. Macron
while diverting attention from Mr. Fillon’s legal troubles.
In one striking example, Sputnik and RT reported in February —
citing what they said was an interview by the WikiLeaks founder,
Julian Assange, with the newspaper Izvestia — that WikiLeaks
had “interesting information” about Mr. Macron & was preparing
to release it. “Assange will pour oil on the fire of the
French election campaign,” RT reported.
But a spokesman for WikiLeaks said that Mr. Assange had never
given such an interview and had merely sent a short email
responding to a question from an Izvestia reporter.
Murkier still are the thousands of cyberstrikes against the
Macron campaign’s website & hundreds of attempts to gain access
to its email accounts through so-called phishing attacks. The
same tactic was used to gain entry to the Democratic National
Committee’s servers last year.
Yet Damien Bancal, a French journalist who founded & runs the
website Zataz, which focuses on digital security, said that
attributing such activities to Russia was wild conjecture. The
Macron campaign’s computer system “is like a Swiss cheese,” he
said, open to attack not only by Russia but also by “any 15-
year-old with a computer.”
The government has nonetheless taken the danger seriously, with
Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault warning Moscow that “this
kind of interference in French political life is unacceptable,”
and the country’s equivalent of the National Security Council
in Washington holding a special meeting to discuss cyberthreats.
François Heisbourg of the Foundation for Strategic Research in
Paris said he doubted that any Russian efforts, whatever their
nature, would have much impact on the election. While at times
highly skilled at planting false information and creating
confusion, “they often burn themselves while trying to burn
down the house,” he said.
Russia has an opinion who they might like.
It is time to drop the Russian crap about them
controlling millions of private citizens votes
Lawrence Akutagawa
2017-04-18 20:39:29 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
It’s France’s Turn to Worry About Election Meddling by Russia
By ANDREW HIGGINS, APRIL 17, 2017, NY Times
PARIS — 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.
/snip - follow the thread/
Russia has an opinion who they might like.
It is time to drop the Russian crap about them
controlling millions of private citizens votes

***** This line separates my response from the foregoing ******

Ha Ha Ha!!
Behold how the Village Idiot again entertain us all with his crappy crappy
English!

You, Village Idiot, are so very very *F*U*N*N*Y* with your crappy crappy
English!

Why, Village Idiot, are you with your crappy crappy English still in this
country?

wups...just look at the Village Idiot run away again from the issue of his
crappy crappy English by performing yet another Intellectual Coward ploy, of
course with his tail barely perceivable between his legs this time, back
into that deep dark diseased hole of his under his rock!

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