Senate wrestles with response to foreign influence campaigns

August 01, 2018 - 9:41 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate intelligence committee is wrestling with how to respond to ongoing foreign efforts to undermine American democracy through social media.

Wednesday's committee hearing comes a day after Facebook announced it had uncovered "sophisticated" efforts, possibly linked to Russia, to manipulate U.S. politics.

The committee's Republican chairman, Richard Burr, says social media is an important forum for free speech, but that foreign cyber actors are using U.S. rights to "weaken our country from within."

Sen. Mark Warner, the ranking Democrat on the intelligence committee, says Russia's successful attempts to manipulate and hijack social media reveal the "dark underbelly" of social media platforms. Even after 18 months of study, he says the U.S. is only scratching the surface of Russia's information warfare campaign.

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