Facebook hands over Russian ad details to Mueller

Facebook hands over Russian ad details to Mueller

"Mueller clearly already has enough information on these accounts-and their link to a potential crime-to justify forcing [Facebook] to give up the info", former Federal Bureau of Investigation counterintelligence agent Asha Rangappa told Business Insider.

Facebook said last week it found about US$100,000 (RM419,200) in ad spending connected to fake accounts probably run from Russian Federation.

The Facebook analysis suggests these accounts and Pages were affiliated with one another and likely operated out of Russian Federation.

Sources told the outlet this included copies of advertisements, info about which accounts purchased the ads, and the targeting criteria used. Facebook policy dictates that it would only turn over "the stored contents of any account,". That surpassed the level of information Facebook told Congress last week.

It been reported that a Russian company paid Facebook $100,000 to place political ads.

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Some lawmakers were unhappy with the lack of information divulged by Facebook. Sen.

Mariotti said that the Facebook warrant "means that Mueller has concluded that specific foreign individuals committed a crime by making a "contribution" in connection with an election".

According to Asha Rangappa, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation counterintelligence agent and an associate dean at Yale Law School, "This is big news - and potentially bad news for the Russian election interference 'deniers'". "That means that he has uncovered a great deal of evidence through other avenues of Russian election interference".

Mueller is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Facebook said the ads from inauthentic accounts did not mention Trump or former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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The ads and accounts appeared to focus on amplifying divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum, touching on topics from LGBT matters to race issues to immigration to gun rights, the social networking giant had earlier said.

In its initial statement, Facebook said that about 25 percent of the ads purchased by Russians during the election "were geographically targeted".

The company also listed out steps it has implemented towards curbing fake accounts and stories on the platform.

To obtain a warrant, experts say Mueller would have needed to prove he has a reasonable suspicion a crime was committed.

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