Author: Philip Ewing

Investigators Chase Missing Pieces Of Facebook, Twitter Role In Russian Mischief

NPR Enlarge this image In this photo taken Tuesday Feb. 3, 2015, Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg answers questions during an interview at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. Sandberg is in Washington on Capitol Hill this week meeting with lawmakers and investigators. Eric Risberg/AP hide caption toggle caption Eric Risberg/AP Shortly before Election Day last year, some helpful-looking posts began popping up on Twitter: No need to stand in line or even leave home, they said — just vote by text! The messages, some of which appeared to come from Hillary Clinton’s campaign, had versions in Spanish,...

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Facebook Surrenders Russian-Linked Influence Ads To Congress

NPR Enlarge this image Facebook has handed over ads linked to Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images hide caption toggle caption Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images Updated at 3:26 p.m. EDT Facebook said on Monday it has given Congress thousands of ads linked with Russian influence operations in the United States and is tightening its policies to make such interference more difficult. “Many [of the ads] appear to amplify racial and social divisions,” it said. The social media giant confirmed that it discovered the ad sales earlier this year and gave copies to Justice Department special counsel...

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The Russia Investigations: Sens. Burr, Warner To Give Update; Spotlight On Twitter

NPR Enlarge this image Chairman Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C, (right) and Vice Chairman Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., listen during a hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 21 on Capitol Hill. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption toggle caption Alex Wong/Getty Images Last week in the Russia investigations: Washington gears up for the leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Twitter gets its turn in the barrel and states learn at last about the extent of last year’s attack. D.C. waits to hear from Burr and Warner Before we take a look back at the past week in the Russia...

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As Scrutiny Of Social Networks Grows, Influence Attacks Continue In Real Time

NPR Enlarge this image Twitter officials are expected to meet with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators. Staffers want to know about the use of fake accounts, bots and trolls to influence the trends and topics on the social platform. Richard Drew/AP hide caption toggle caption Richard Drew/AP The presidential election is long past, but online attacks aimed at shaping the U.S. information environment have kept right on coming. This week brought a slate of fresh examples of ways in which users — some of them demonstrably Russian, others not — continue to try to use Facebook, Twitter and other platforms...

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5 Big Unanswered Questions About The Russia Investigations

NPR The Senate side of the Capitol building is shown on the last day of the summer session on Aug. 3. The Senate is scheduled to return from summer break on Sept. 5. Mark Wilson/Getty Images The Senate is long gone. The House? Splitsville. The president is at his golf club in New Jersey. Only the hardiest swamp creatures continue to scuttle in and out of the half-empty offices of late-August Washington, D.C. Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller and his team, however, haven’t gone anywhere. His attorneys and investigators are using a federal grand jury to interview witnesses...

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The Capital City Contemplates The Possibility Of A Washington Without John McCain

NPR Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, in May. Kym Smith/Newspix via Getty Images Beltway denizens heading to work on Thursday were forced to contemplate something inevitable but which no one expected anytime soon: the possibility of a Washington without Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. McCain, the irascible old living legend. McCain, the Vietnam War hero. McCain, the globe-trotting State Department of one. McCain, the outspoken hawk who championed American troops — and Pentagon spending — and also pilloried the defense contractors he felt let them all down. McCain, the Senate institution as much...

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Next Week, Will The Russia Story Actually Be About Russia?

NPR Places are reserved for journalists in the hearing room ahead of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election in the Hart Senate Office Building on Tuesday. More such hearings are still to come. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Next week, Washington is looking ahead to another stretch in which the time is always news o’clock and the stories just don’t stop. The marathon of high-profile congressional hearings continues Tuesday with a session scheduled by the Senate Judiciary Committee’s panel on crime and terrorism. It appears aimed squarely at...

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5 Questions For Sessions At The Senate Intelligence Committee Hearing

NPR Attorney General Jeff Sessions is testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday afternoon. Mark Wilson/Getty Images The nation’s top legal officer is set to go before Congress on Tuesday to try to defuse a bomb that the former FBI director dropped into his lap. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scheduled to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee less than one week after James Comey told it he could not discuss openly certain information about Sessions’ recusal from the investigation into Russia’s election meddling last year. Comey also told the committee that Sessions had agreed to clear the...

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