The Big Bad Russian Bear: Another Brexit Distraction
In a rather odd 48 hours, we have discovered that Russia “interfered” in social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook during the EU referendum. However, several more statements emerged after the fact, one from our glorious Prime Minister, that suggest this did not happen whatsoever.
The CEO of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), stated “Russian cyber attacks have targeted Britain’s energy networks, telecommunications and media as part of efforts to undermine the international system”. Yet this statement does not correspond to comments made by Theresa May or anyone in her government.
The investigations by the NCSC revealed that over 150,000 accounts based in Russia posted content on Twitter and Facebook, relating to Brexit in the days leading up to voting day on June 23, 2016. However, in the aftermath of these revelations, Facebook has stated it has “seen no evidence to suggest that it was used by Russia to interfere in Brexit”, and a further misleading comment by Boris Johnson in PMQ’s, “seen no evidence of Russia interfering in the Brexit referendum”. It leads many to wonder whether this is yet another ploy to prevent Brexit, but undermining the result and blaming it on outside influences.
The disclosures came just two days after Theresa May delivered a speech accusing Russia of using cyber attacks and online propaganda to “undermine free societies” and “sow discord in the West.” These statements have been viciously attacked by alternative news sources such as RT, who argue that, “its Western Establishment-approved and Establishment-disseminated fake news – the sort you read in neocon-approved ‘sensible newspapers’ and media outlets – which has caused the most damage”.
British Electoral Commission is also looking into whether Arron Banks, a British businessman who donated over £9 million of the Leave side’s spending, was the “true source” of those funds or whether he acted as “an agent”, in breach of electoral rules. It is also looking into other donations to the Leave.EU campaign group and into potentially “impermissible donations” for Brexit ads on Twitter and Facebook. Banks has dismissed the probe, and said it is being driven by unsubstantiated rumours of Russian interference in the referendum.
“Allegations of Brexit being funded by the Russians… are complete bollocks from beginning to end,” Banks said in a statement, adding that the investigation was “the Remain establishment once again trying to discredit the result, and it’s all starting to get rather boring!”
UKIP Cyber and Terrorism Spokesperson Richard Bingley commented on the situation, ” Theresa May is right to raise cyber warfare as a major security issue, but should not single out one state actor. The fact is that dozens of governments undertake information warfare and thousands (if not millions) of cyber crime gangs are extorting money from businesses and individual victims. Some are linked to a variety of national governments but it is exceptionally difficult to prove. The UK should follow the lead of China, Russia, the US, and develop much more offensive cyber capabilities, which should more actively confront and shutdown the cyber criminals who specifically target British people and UK business. Further, money presently handed from the UK to the massively emerging EU cyber command should be brought back into UK agencies. Perhaps if we stopped playing Star Wars alongside Brussels and brokered better diplomacy with Moscow and Beijing, we might yield a lesser cyber threat.”
Overall, this clear attempt to discredit the 17,410,742 voters of Leave into believing their success came about from Russian interventional is a tactic to overturn the decision. It wasn’t the British people who decided to take back control of its sovereignty and identity, it was in fact Russia, who have absolutely nothing better to do than to interfere in the referendums of other country’s.
Now really, Mrs May, you may want to lay off blaming other countries for your shortfalls as Prime Minister, and your attempts to distract us from your failings in handling Brexit and the UK generally. Much to the surprise of yourself and your Remain groupies, the British people are far more intelligent than you give them credit for.