Did Kushner's data operation help select Facebook targets for the Russians?

Todd Singleton
September 18, 2017

Sources told the outlet this included copies of advertisements, info about which accounts purchased the ads, and the targeting criteria used.

The social media company told lawmakers last week that it identified about 3,000 ads that were linked to fake accounts.

The Facebook analysis suggests these accounts and Pages were affiliated with one another and likely operated out of Russian Federation.

On Friday night, a report in the Wall Street Journal revealed that Mueller has obtained a search warrant for records of the "inauthentic" accounts Facebook shut down earlier this month.

Facebook says it's working with investigators and will continue to look into the ad buys to see if any other foreign bots purchased ads that the company hasn't found yet.

The company has not been called to testify in the Russian Federation probe, the Journal reported.

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It been reported that a Russian company paid Facebook $100,000 to place political ads.

According to Asha Rangappa, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation counterintelligence agent and an associate dean at Yale Law School, "This is big news - and potentially bad news for the Russian election interference 'deniers'".

Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti also focused on the warrant in a series of tweets, arguing that its presence meant that Mueller was "close to charging specific foreign people with a crime", and that if Trump associates were part of the planning behind it, they could face serious charges as well. The ads were targeted at American Facebook users and covered issues like gun rights and immigration.

Facebook, the world's largest social network, said last week that an operation likely based in Russian Federation had placed thousands of US ads with polarizing views on topics such as immigration, race and gay rights on the site during a two-year period through May 2017.

Facebook said the ads from inauthentic accounts did not mention Trump or former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Facebook said approximately one-quarter of the ads were geographically targeted and ran mostly in 2015 rather than 2016.

The report said a Facebook spokesperson said the company was continuing to investigate and was cooperating with authorities, and that a spokesperson for Mueller declined to comment. "For example, if somebody knew about the Russian operation and helped it succeed, they could also be criminally liable", he said.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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