Saturday, February 17, 2018

emptywheel — What Did Mueller Achieve with the Internet Research Agency Indictment?

Further, by criminalizing “information warfare” (as the Russians admitted they were engaged in, and as we do too, under the same name) we risk our own information warriors being indicted in other countries.
First time I've seen this mentioned. Now the US will have no grounds to stand on for its intrusive operations — other than it is OK when we do it.

Another matter is the law that was broken. It was not political interference in US elections but rather disclosure as required by law.
Effectively, Mueller is saying that it’s not illegal, per se, to engage in political trolling (AKA information warfare), but it is if you don’t but are legally obliged to register before you do so. That’s an important distinction, because much of what these trolls did is accepted behavior in American politics — all sides did this in 2016, with people tied to the campaign and just out of their own political will. Trolling (AKA information warfare) only becomes illegal when you don’t carry out the required transparency or reporting before you do so.
So in the future, all parties need do is disclose themselves as required.

What Did Mueller Achieve with the Internet Research Agency Indictment?

Backgrounder. If you aren't into details, here is the quick summary.
There you have it. There was no political point to what the Russian company did. Whatever political slogans one of the company's sock-puppets posted had only one aim: to increase the number of followers for that sock-puppet. The sole point of creating a diverse army of sock-puppets with large following crowds was to sell the "eyeballs" of the followers to the paying customers of the marketing company.
But the details are interesting, too.

And there are implications.
The indictment sets up a new theory of nefarious foreign influence that could be applied to even this blog.
"b" is German.
Author Leonid Bershidsky, who prominently writes for Bloomberg, remarks:
I'm actually surprised I haven't been indicted. I'm Russian, I was in the U.S. in 2016 and I published columns critical of both Clinton and Trump w/o registering as a foreign agent.
Moon of Alabama
Mueller Indictment - The "Russian Influence" Is A Commercial Marketing Scheme


Noah Way said...

Connect the dots: the Defense Posture Review cites nuclear response to hacking as an appropriate response. They have now established a legal pretext for nuking Moscow.

Not that they needed one ...

Matt Franko said...

“Not that they needed one ...”


Matt Franko said...

"So in the future, all parties need do is disclose themselves as required."

Yup.... just register and disclose... that's all they want...

and imo they will get BETTER results...

googleheim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
googleheim said...


What is the full name of the Igor guy who 7-9 years ago was referenced by this blog that the USA would/could be divided up into opposing regions?


googleheim said...

Matt ... Question