Take Action: October 6, 2017 Prevent cyber threats to US elections

Russia continues to wage a disinformation campaign that aims to undermine democratic governments and sow division and dissent throughout the United States.

“We know that Putin’s Russia has not slowed its efforts to interfere in our elections and domestic affairs. The Senate Armed Services Committee will continue working to address this challenge, which is a threat to our national security,” Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) said in a statement.

The remarks come after Facebook revealed Monday that Moscow purchased online ads that specifically targeted key presidential swing states such as Michigan and Wisconsin as well as specific demographic groups in an attempt to influence the presidential election. One ad urged its viewers to attend an anti-Muslim, anti-immigration rally in Idaho, though Facebook deleted the event’s page before it occurred. Another suggested that Black Lives Matter is a growing political threat.  The ads, which were seen by roughly 10 million users, have been turned over to lawmakers for review. More information here.

Our representatives must know that we value a truly free press and accept the responsibility of being rightly informed that comes with democracy.  Here are some actions we can take:

  • Call your Senators and urge them to support S.1821, a bill to create an independent commission to prevent cyber threats to US election systems.

Possible Call Script:  This is [NAME] and I’m a constituent in [ZIP]. I want [Sen.____] to support S.1821, which creates an independent commission to prevent cyber threats to U.S. election systems. The Senate committee on intelligence has determined Russia tried to interfere with our election systems in 2016 and is continuing to try to disrupt them. Almost nothing has been done to combat the Russian cyber threats to our election systems. The integrity of our elections system is critical to our democracy. We must have a thorough and credible bipartisan report on Russian attempts on our election systems and guidance on how to combat on-going threats.

  • Facebook has said it will provide the contents of 3,000 ads bought by a Russian agency to congressional investigators, while also pledging to make political advertising on its platform more “transparent.” Twitter has shut down 201 accounts tied to the same Russian operatives who posted thousands of political ads on Facebook, but the effort frustrated lawmakers who said the problem is far broader than the company appeared to know.” We can let Twitter and Facebook know that expect them to maintain integrity.  Facebook:  1 Hacker Way, Menlo Park, CA 94025, and Twitter:  1355 Market St #900, San Francisco, CA 94103

Possible Call Script:  Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from [PLACE, ZIP CODE].  I’m calling to ask that [Senator/Representative] support the creation of an independent commission on the Trump-Russia matters. Neither special counselor Mueller nor the congressional committee investigations are leading to public, unclassified answers about any possible wrongdoings that may have occurred, and the American people deserve to know what really happened. Thank you for your time and attention.  [IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

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