Oxford expert warns of Russian-interference in Indian elections


03 Aug 2018

After US, Russia targeting Indian elections: Oxford University expert

After targeting elections in the US, Russia may turn its focus on other democracies like India and Brazil, an Oxford University social media expert has warned.

The situation could be more dangerous in countries where media isn't as strong and professional as in the US, added Philip N. Howard.

The remarks came during a hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Foreign Influence on Social Media.


'Media in India, Brazil not as strong as in US'

'Media in India, Brazil not as strong as in US'

The remarks by Howard, a statutory Professor of Internet Studies at the Oxford Internet Institute and Balliol College, came after a question after he cited examples of similar interference in Hungarian elections.

"The US has the most professionalized media in the world," he said, and added, "While (US) still sees significant Russian activity, those countries have the media institutions that need to learn, develop."


Russia accused of interfering in 2016 US elections

Russia is accused of interfering in the 2016 US elections that led to Donald Trump's win. Last month, 12 Russians, members of a Russian intelligence agency, were indicted by the US Justice Department for hacking the servers of senior Democrats, including Hillary Clinton.

The White House has consistently distanced itself from the controversy.

Deputy Spokesperson Lindsay Walter said, "There's no allegation that the conspiracy changed the vote count."

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'US government not equipped to counter interference attempts on social-media'

'US government not equipped to counter interference attempts on social-media'

The hearing by the Senate Intelligence Committee was focused on Russian interference.

During the hearing, Vice Chairman Senator Mark Warner alleged that Russian activities have revealed a "dark underbelly of the social media ecosystem.

"These same tools that spread misinformation can negatively affect other aspects of our lives," he said.

Warner added the government isn't capable of detecting and countering such operations on social media.

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