The FBI director told lawmakers Wednesday local time that Russia is engaged in an “information war” as the U.S. enters the 2020 presidential election,media reported, though he said there was no indication that Russia was targeting the U.S. election infrastructure.
Chris Wray has been told the House Judiciary Committee that Russia is secretly using social media to create political divisions to sow the seeds of discord among Americans, as they did during the 2016 election.
Wray says this includes fictitious characters, using web bots, social media posts and traditional fake news. In addition, he said, the threat was persistent, making it harder to deal with than breaking through the electoral system.
It is understood that disinformation has been part of Russia’s foreign policy strategy, and social media has allowed such malicious provocations to spread quickly. In response, U.S. intelligence agencies warned Congress that these activities would continue in future elections.
Wray’s comments come as the United States prepares for the 2020 presidential election. In addition, russia is believed to have targeted the systems of all 50 states during the last presidential election, according to the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee, although a report on the subject concluded that there was no evidence that the actions altered the outcome of the vote.