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British Signals Intelligence Agency To Launch Major Offensive Against Russian Disinformation On UK Covid-19 Vaccine

November 17th, 2020 14:39

Glob­al media is report­ing that the UK’s Sig­nal Intel­li­gence Agency, oth­er­wise known as GCHQ, is prepar­ing to launch what is described as a “major offen­sive cyber oper­a­tion against state-spon­sored pro­pa­gan­da aimed at under­min­ing research on the COVID-19 vaccine.”According to an Intel­News report:

Novem­ber 9, 2020 Britain’s Sig­nals Intel­li­gence Agency is prepar­ing to launch a major offen­sive cyber oper­a­tion against state-spon­sored pro­pa­gan­da aimed at under­min­ing research on the COVID-19 vac­cine. Accord­ing to the Lon­don-based Times news­pa­per, which pub­lished the infor­ma­tion about the pur­port­ed cyber oper­a­tion, it will be aimed most­ly against dis­in­for­ma­tion cam­paigns com­ing out of Rus­sia. The alleged dis­in­for­ma­tion cam­paigns appear to be tar­get­ing research tak­ing place at Oxford Uni­ver­si­ty, which seeks to cre­ate an effec­tive vac­cine against the nov­el coro­n­avirus. A main theme in these cam­paigns pro­motes the claim that the vac­cine will turn those who take it in to chim­panzees. Dozens of memes around this theme are said to have flood­ed Russ­ian social media web­sites, with Eng­lish-lan­guage trans­la­tions mak­ing the rounds on Face­book, Twit­ter and Insta­gram. The Times reports that the British gov­ern­ment con­sid­ers shut­ting down the alleged Russ­ian dis­in­for­ma­tion cam­paign a strate­gic pri­or­i­ty, which grows in sig­nif­i­cance the clos­er British sci­en­tists get to their goal of cre­at­ing a suc­cess­ful vac­cine against the pan­dem­ic. Lon­don has there­fore ordered the British Army’s 77th Brigade, which spe­cial­izes in infor­ma­tion oper­a­tions, to launch an online cam­paign that will counter decep­tive nar­ra­tives about a poten­tial vac­cine against the coronavirus.

Read there rest here.

The Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) report­ed in Octo­ber on a US Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty (DHS) threat analy­sis that dis­cussed Russ­ian influ­ence oper­a­tions in con­nec­tion with the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic. Accord­ing to the DHS analy­sis:

Russ­ian online influ­ence actors are advanc­ing mis­lead­ing or (what they per­ceive as) inflam­ma­to­ry nar­ra­tives about the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic prob­a­bly to stoke fear, under­mine the cred­i­bil­i­ty of the U.S. gov­ern­ment, and weak­en glob­al per­cep­tions of Amer­i­ca. Moscow prob­a­bly will study the Amer­i­can pub­lic’s reac­tion to its COVID-19 dis­in­for­ma­tion to improve future influ­ence cam­paigns aimed at shak­ing pub­lic con­fi­dence in Wash­ing­ton, which it can unleash oppor­tunis­ti­cal­ly dur­ing a cri­sis, hos­til­i­ties, or a peri­od of degrad­ed relations:

  • Russ­ian online influ­ence actors have claimed that the U.S. Pres­i­dent is inca­pable of man­ag­ing the COVID-19 cri­sis and sought to exac­er­bate pub­lic con­cerns by ampli­fy­ing con­tent crit­i­cal of the U.S. response to the pub­lic health cri­sis and the eco­nom­ic down­turn. In con­trast, the actors high­light­ed Chi­na’s and Rus­si­a’s alleged suc­cess against the COVID-19 out­break and praised Pres­i­dent Putin’s COVID-19 plan and Rus­si­a’s ample sup­ply of tests.
  • Russ­ian online influ­ence actors spread mis­in­for­ma­tion and con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries about the ori­gin of COVID-19, claim­ing it is a U.S.-engineered bio­log­i­cal weapon that U.S. mil­i­tary offi­cials spread in China.

We also report­ed ear­li­er this month that White House coro­n­avirus advis­er Dr. Scott Atlas had apol­o­gized for appear­ing on RT (for­mer­ly Rus­sia Today), a state-con­trolled inter­na­tion­al tele­vi­sion net­work fund­ed by the Russ­ian taxes.