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Did Russia Do More Damage Than Just Tamper with the Election?

vladimir putin

This is only my opinion, and not the representation of Saintel Daily, LLC.

More information is coming forward that suggests that the Russians were interested in more than just the American political landscape.  According to the Wall Street Journal, Russia was also looking for personal information on Americans.  The Internet Research Agency used fake social media accounts in order to collect the names, email addresses and other personal information of American citizens.  I should mention that the Internet Research Agency is backed by the Russian government.  This data collection continued long after the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.

By using social media, these Russian accounts were able to reach out to small business owners, asking for personal information in order to write profiles and promotional content.  Then, they promised to add these companies to a business directory as part of their activist outreach.  But that never happened.  My question to you is – are you surprised?  I mean, more and more information keeps coming out that suggests Russians involvement in America during that time period, is far greater than we thought.  But the other question that I don’t think we’re asking enough of is who was to benefit from Russia’s involvement?  I mean, the answer is kind of obvious – Donald Trump.

donald trump

When I hear that they were also collecting data, though, I wonder for what purpose?  If I go back to this having some relationship with Trump, I have to ask myself if this is really the case.  I mean, sure, he has his misgivings, but he is so pro-America, this seems like a bit of a stretch.  (Please don’t take these statements as pro-Trump.  I am merely exploring what this is or isn’t.)  Or maybe it’s a Russian insurance policy.

The fact that they’re being named so much does suggest that they were involved.  The problem is that Trump keeps interfering and blocking any progress that might be made in that battle.  But it’s possible that Russia also collected information on private citizens as a way to ensure that if something came back on them, they had a backup plan.  Or maybe I’m being too much of a conspiracy theorist at this point?

Vladamir Putin
Photo by Mikhail Svetlov

Getting back to this story though – in another case, a supposed activist organization called BlackFist actually paid a man named Maurice Bright via PayPal to teach self-defense lessons in his community. The group asked for personal information of attendees and videos of the classes in exchange. “They were really adamant about getting names,” Mr. Bright told The Wall Street Journal, especially after he refused to send along any contact information. He chose to discontinue the partnership after the group wanted him to start teaching offensive, rather than defensive, tactics.

So what gives?  Honestly, there doesn’t seem to be a clear reason as to why Russia wanted this personal information. Maybe it’s a way to steal identities, or maybe there’s a larger effort to influence US politics.  I mean, two million American identities were stolen so they could be used to submit fake net neutrality comments.  Maybe this is how this information is going to be used in the future?  In which case, I don’t think any conspiracy theory is too far off.

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