US officials have said Iran is behind a surge of threatening emails sent to Democratic citizens asking them to vote for President Trump.
United States intelligence officials said that many Democratic voters were sent fake yet threatening emails in swing states such as Pennsylvania, Alaska and Florida that sought to manipulate their votes. The neo-fascist group Proud Boys sent these emails that were designed to look like they had been sent and asked the recipients to vote for President Donald Trump.The senders said that if they did not do as they were told, they would know who voted for whom and would come after them.
These emails have been connected to Iran and are a disturbing reminder of sinister foreign intervention in American affairs, coming so close to the November 3 elections. After Russian involvement in the 2016 Hillary Clinton email leak, US officials were constantly on the lookout for such attempts, but they concentrated mainly on Russia and China. Iran was only on the fringes of the radar, as cybersecurity is not considered especially effective.
In August, an intelligence report said that Iran was seeking to weaken President Trump ‘s U.S. political institutions and divide the nation ahead of the elections. It projected that Iran would use online leverage such as misinformation and anti-US content to generate and spread.
Iran is believed to have collected these email addresses from state voter registration lists that also consist of addresses for families, telephone numbers and party affiliations. These lists are not very difficult to navigate, so it did not take a lot of sophistication to pull off the spamming exercise.
Authorities said the emails were intended to damage Trump’s prospects at the polls and at a rally in North Carolina, he emphasised that he did not want Iran to win, like China. But the establishment is working hard to ensure that such actions do not succeed in reducing voter participation and undermining the confidence of the public in the elections.These could be brushed off as “desperate attempts,” but in the run up to the high-voltage elections in the next two weeks, there is nevertheless a renewed drive to protect the legitimacy of democratic processes.