The Russians began organizing in 2013 and stole American identities. “Beginning in or around June 2014, and continuing into June 2015, public reporting began to identify operations conducted by the [IRA] in the United States,” the indictment says. The Russian operatives also created fake accounts on Twitter and YouTube. Yet the Obama Administration waited until December 2016 to slap sanctions on Russians for hacking Democratic National Committee emails. It doesn’t appear that social-media interference was ever a priority.
The FTC is now investigating Facebook’s privacy controls, but a few questions: Why didn’t the commission ensure years ago that Facebook had established policies to prevent third-party apps from repurposing data? Was the agency too trusting? The Obama campaign app in 2012 exploited data from users and their friends. This may also have violated the FTC consent decree, especially if it shared the data with other liberal groups. Did political considerations influence the FTC’s lax oversight?
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