FBI Director Christopher Wray said there was no observed “material impact on election infrastructure” from foreign adversaries on the US midterm elections. At the same time, intelligence experts say US influence campaigns on social media against foreign governments have continued unabated, despite growing American concern for foreign government manipulation of their own country.
Compounding the problem is the threat of foreign influence campaigns, used around the world to pass authoritarian measures to stifle dissent. The threat of outside influence is used as a cover to stifle all kinds of internal dissent. In contexts where censorship would have otherwise had no public support, systems of internal censorship are suddenly acceptable. This trend of using threats from foreign nations to implement censorship is occuring in the US, China, Russia, France and dozens of other countries around the world.
The US government has been working closely with social media companies, FBI director Wray said at a cyber security conference that the cooperation has been a “great example of how the government and private sector can work together in a common defense.”
Experts believe US intelligence agencies are using “blended” attacks with government-private partnerships to destabilize foreign targets. People familiar with these campaigns say they are unlike anything anyone has ever seen in terms of destabilizing a foreign government.