Google unearths evidence of large-scale Russian interference during the U.S. election

File Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Vladivostok Russia 2012

File Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Vladivostok Russia 2012

Russian operatives bought Google ads and exploited the company's many platforms in an attempt to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, according to a new report out of Washington.

According to the report, the ads did not appear to be purchased by the same Kremlin trolls who overwhelmed Facebook with propaganda and fake news - suggesting that the Russian cyber attacks might be even more extensive than previously reported. The Washington Post report is based on anonymous sources familiar with the investigation.

Google downloaded the data from Twitter and was able to link Russian Twitter accounts to other accounts that had used Google's services to buy ads, the people said.

Russia's ad purchases on Google were first reported by the Washington Post.

Google officials have been invited to testify publicly about Russian attempts to use their platforms to influence the election before both the House and Senate intelligence committees on November 1 alongside Facebook and Twitter.

The advertisements, said the report, do not appear to be from the same troll groups that bought ads on Facebook and could be part of a much broader effort to meddle with the United States election. Facebook's ads were turned over to the House and Senate intelligence committees and the Senate Judiciary Committee.

But after launching a review, the company found around $100,000 (£76,000) in ad spending potentially linked to Russian sources, according to a source. Later, Twitter also found that 200 accounts on its platforms were in some way linked to the profiles that Facebook flagged previously. Facebook was reported last week working with Twitter and Google on these matters.

Carr not expected to play
Making matters worse is Derek Carr is out with a back injury for multiple weeks, and EJ Manuel will start in his place. Since then, Lynch and the running game have been quiet, averaging 2 yards a carry in the previous two weeks.

It's early days for Google, and it remains to be seen whether it will testify before USA congress on 1 Nov, along with Facebook and Twitter executives.

The revelation is likely to fuel further scrutiny of the role that Silicon Valley technology giants may have unwittingly played during last year's election.

Twitter, meanwhile, also "proactively" shared with Congress a "round-up of ads" that Russia's state-run TV network Russia Today (RT) targeted at US users in 2016.

Facebook found roughly 3,000 ads adverts linked to Russian Federation - but it has refused to publicly release them despite calls from congressional investigators.

That includes efforts on Capitol Hill to study Russian attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election.

In a blog post in September, Facebook's chief security officer said the "ads and accounts appeared to focus on amplifying divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum".

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