back to article Germany warns Moscow will splash cash on pre-election propaganda and misinformation spree

Germany's intelligence agency has accused Russia of hacking its politicians and election systems under the guise of online activism. Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) chief Hans-Georg Maassen says Russia is intending to “weaken or destabilise the Federal Republic of Germany”. Germany's national …

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      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: BAU

        'So, USA, UK, Eu (inclusive of Germany) splashed cash and "(mis)informed the population" for 20 years'.

        So, USA, UK... Germany splashed cash and "(mis)informed the population" for 200 years.

        FTFY. With a few necessary changes, such as substituting "Prussia" for "Germany". Britain and the USA, as well as France and many other powers have been paying heavily for systematic propaganda for centuries. The word "propaganda" itself, of course, was first used in that sense by the Roman Catholic Church.

      2. veti Silver badge

        Re: BAU

        No.

        Let's assume for the sake of argument, it's true. We do it to them. That doesn't mean we should just shrug and accept them doing it back to us.

        Yes, it's true. The West has, wisely or otherwise, tried to support regime change in places like Libya, Syria, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Russia. Does that mean it's OK for them to do it back? I'm not talking about "fair" or "right", just "should we make no attempt to resist?"

        Hint: all those regimes resisted, they resisted like buggery, often with extreme violence, and many of them survived largely because they were more willing to murder their own people than we were.

        No, it's not okay. Merkel et al may have "interfered" in Russian politics, but that doesn't mean the Russians should be given free rein to interfere in European politics. That's like being at war and saying "well, we bombed them, it's only fair they should have their turn at bombing us" - it's just not something a sane person would think.

  1. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Surely it's Facebook that destablises elections. They publish the fake news without checking the source.

    On the other hand, people who use social media for anything other than sharing funny cat videoes are the kind of people politicians love - sheeple. It just nowadays is a question of who is the shepard.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Anyone who thinks that "Facebook destabilises elections" needs to have their head checked.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Possibly. There are a lot of people are destabilised enough to use Facebook in the first place.

        I didn't downvote BTW.

    2. Michael Habel Silver badge

      I couldn't agree more... But, the problem is if it weren't for Facebook (Such as it is...), then we'd be even more in the dark than we already are. It's sure as Hell never gonna be published in any of our State run Propaganda News outfits.. al-la the BBC, but with Commercials!

      Makes ya wonder why we too have to pony up for a TV Licence over here.

  2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Windows

    And we are off to an early start!

    The establishment is really unhappy about the possibility of getting it up the arse via protest votes, aren't they? CIA is just now trying to rumorize the US presidential election. Didn't obtain the right candidate, apparently. Imagine that, people should have voted for the standard corruptoblishment lift lady, goddammit. Not that there are much signs that Mister T will be enormously better.

    Economic Refugees, War Refugess, all sleeping on your front porch, the Turkey clusterfuck, Lybia, the Ukraine scam, the Syria debacle, the Brexit two-finger salute, "Russia is coming! Russia is coming!!!" every single fuckling day, a danger of getting NATO defunded a bit, the EURO bubble about the burst like a pus monster, the economy still in the dumps in spite of Keynesianism, OH MY!

    Populist parties against the clowns in charge making headway, OH WHY!

    "Fake News" my arse. The MSM are good in that!!

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: And we are off to an early start!

      While all of what you are saying is true, there is also the fact that Russia has started retaliating after being on the receiving end of the regime change operation game for 20 years. Up till recently they have passively defended against it - changed their laws and regulations, tax code, visa regime, etc.

      For the last 3 years or so they have started regime change operations in return and they are doing it significantly better than the West too.

      It is a case of chickens coming home to roost and having diarrhea. We should have thought it more than 5 minutes forward when allowing and enforcing the right of self-determination to Bosniaks, Croats, Slovenians and Kosovans while specifically denying it to anyone who speaks Russian. We should have thought it through while financing directly or via our best beloved Saudi friends "freedom fighters" which take maternity wards and theaters as hostages and massacre primary schools. We should have thought it through...

      Probably a bit too late now.

    2. fajensen Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: And we are off to an early start!

      ... still in the dumps in spite of Keynesianism, OH MY!

      Good Rant, but, Nit to Pick: "They" never tried Keynesianism, The strategy of giving banks more money than God to inflate flaccid asset valuations does not crate Demand. Keynsianism would create demand via wage inflation and public spending.

      What we actually have is Ordoliberlism, a very German thing: We have all politics and other fuctions of society being subsumed by "Markets" like in plain Neoliberalism, but, in Ordoliberalism those markets must also be rigged to provide "socially acceptable outcomes" -> making failed banksters more money than God and letting Wolkswagen off Diesel-gate. That kind of "acceptable".

      It is thus no great wonder that the EU and democracy itself is failing to deliver agreeable outcomes for the majority. Now with the EU visibly falling apart, finally the clowns in charge realise that they cannot blame the EU for their own failures any longer, so, "Russian Spies Everywhere" comes out of the recycling bin.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And we are off to an early start!

        "The strategy of giving banks more money than God to inflate flaccid asset valuations does not crate Demand. Keynsianism would create demand via wage inflation and public spending".

        A reasonable point of view, but actually that strategy has very little in common with John Maynard Keynes. One of the cleverest and hardest-working economists of the 20th century - and actually one of the very few economists to talk sense at all - he doesn't deserve to have his name appropriated as a term of abuse. Although he's in good company, along with conservatives, liberals, socialists, democrats, republicans, and many other schools of thought whose names have been stolen and are now flung around heedlessly by people who didn't stay in school long enough to understand what they mean.

        If you look up what he actually said, you will find that Keynes proposed deficit spending by governments in times of recession, to boost demand and thus kick-start the economy. The money to do this was to be saved in times of surplus - essentially nothing more complicated than the Biblical story of Joseph, Pharaoh and the seven lean years. Governments and their "experts", of course, distorted this common sense advice to mean deficit spending all the time, even in times of surplus - a policy Keynes would have been the first to condemn as crazy.

        1. Arctic fox
          Thumb Up

          @Archtech ".....that strategy has very little in common with John Maynard Keynes."

          Indeed. It is refreshing to see somebody post something about Maynard Keynes that shows they actually know what they are talking about. A very informative and concise summary of what he was in fact recommending. See icon.

        2. veti Silver badge

          Re: And we are off to an early start!

          The trouble with Keynes was that, smart guy though he was - he didn't take politics into account. Politics is what makes it impracticable to run up the government finances during a boom.

          I still remember the jeers in the House of Commons when Nigel Lawson announced that part of the government surplus would be used to pay down the government's debt. I find it the supreme irony that the only government in recent times to attempt to adhere to true Keynesianism - was Thatcher's.

    3. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: And we are off to an early start!

      The MSM are good in that!!

      So good in fact that a certain c**t actually beloved her own Bullsh*t, and lol, and behold... Had her sorry arse handed to her :)

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The real problem is education, if you educate a population with television to blindly follow then don't get upset when they don't follow what you want them to.

    Russia will play on immigration with the German election while the politicians will claim there is no problems and nothing to see. I'm not saying there are problems (I honestly don't know) but you can't take in a million people without there being some change to peoples daily lives.

    1. fajensen Silver badge
      Big Brother

      As I see it, it is more like they invested all this agit-prop training in television and mass media but they forgot about maintenance: The generations who watched television and believed in mass media is now dead or retired, the new internet generation is at least 25% of "I believe what I wanna believe". To move those people you have to engage almost 1:1 which breaks "their" centralised top-down model for social control entirely.

      Coasting on the spoils of the old model, Unions and established political parties have for decades scaled down on 1:1 engagement and focused on hardening "the core" instead for more "efficient & stable" - or sale-able, one might add - decision making.

      The new parties, "Brexit", Trump, Le Pen, Wilders are big on 1:1 engagement, that's why they can win.

      Emerging, small groups like Nazis and Jihaddis can work with this new demographics, it won't scale, but it doesn't need to. Events are decided on the margins these days. Very unstable.

  4. 9Rune5 Silver badge

    "misinformation"

    I'm a foreigner so I had to look up the word in the dictionary. Yet, I am none the wiser. m-w.com hints that the "mis-" prefix signifies "wrong", but if somebody is quoting your own e-mails then the source of that "wrong information" is yourself. So stop sending wrong information by e-mail and you are golden.

    Oh, and by "propaganda" I guess the reporter is hinting at the massive amount of half-truths surrounding the campaign in Syria where the Obama-administration supported terrorists (oh, excuse me, the technical term is "moderate terrorists" I guess) in their bid to topple the secular government of that country.

    The real problem here is that both parties presented a very limited pool of candidates. Religious or war-mongering nut jobs the lot of them, often based on the "age before talent" principle. You know you are in trouble when both candidates end up bragging about their last health check-up.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "misinformation"

      Nowadays a distinction is often made between "misinformation" - accidental errors - and "disinformation" - deliberate deception. "Disinformation", as you might expect from its ugly sound, has a military origin.

    2. naive

      Re: "misinformation"

      It seems more likely that the German spokesman meant they do not want potential voters to get in touch with any information but what is fabricated by the liberal and state orchestrated mainstream press.

      So it is logical they have issues with Moscow funding "fake" news on social media.

      The election of Trump showed that US citizens were smart enough not to swallow the dirt liberal mainstream media was feeding them, September 2017 will be the test if Germans can match this.

      And until then, watch RT now and then, to get some information about what is really going on.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "misinformation"

        If you think the bulk of the people voting for Trump as being "smart" you have never been to the South of the USA, naïve. (what an appropriate handle) The dirt-poor sods who got suckered into this "new, truth-telling, conspiracy waving, orange-skinned, white man, with a shemale partner" will still be stupid and poor in four years time. Nothing will have made them millionaires, or smart, or successful in anything but placing blame for their failed lives on "immigrants who came here and did something. Were not sure what, but immigrants are surely bad!" Then they go back to reading fake news on fakebook and fake ideas from their bibles. Neither of those tasks will net them new shiny jobs with better pay and health benefits in the form of expensive insurance plans for less than quality services.

        I shit on those people. No problem telling you this. The new "honesty" in the world makes it possible for me to say anything, and make up anything to be said as a "fact." Stupid people made this possible! Thanks, morons!

        If you think these shitheads are smart, go visit them and have a nice chat! Unless you're; "not from 'round here", or "you ain't white!"

        Good group you got there! Keep to yourselves. The real world is for progress and technology and information making things better, despite naysayers like you and your southern US ilk.

        Oh, and fuck off, turd. HA! I got a billion of 'em!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "misinformation"

          Sharing the AC cover to say 'Amen' on that. Recently working with a colleague who grew up in some godforsaken, god-fearing Deep South backwater, who realised about age 12 that almost her entire family was comprised of a bunch of moronic cretins who couldn't see beyond their own pitiful prejudices. She made her way out of there as soon as she could but returns annually to visit family and remind herself just how unbelievably myopic and incapable her folks are.

          You can find this in most countries somewhere but the Trump vote demonstrating that the US masses are comprised of intelligent people able to tease apart the nuances of media stories to get at the truth in the face of the junk that was trucked out in the election? Nah.

    3. veti Silver badge

      Re: "misinformation"

      Oh, for fuck's sake...

      Please, do us all a favour and go read some of those incriminating Hillary emails we've heard so much about. Not the digests on your news site of choice, go to Wikileaks and read the originals. In full. With context.

      When you send "wrong information", but you put it in a huge quote and prefix it with something like "This is what Mr Journalist is saying:", that's not exactly the same thing as lying.

      The liars would be the ones who take it out of context and pretend that was the burden of the original email.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can't wait!

    As a German, I can hardly wait for all the entertaining fake-news the Russkys might come up with.

    Like how Germany is ruled by a bunch of lying, war-mongering, weapon-selling, privacy-invading, drone-murder-enabling, constitution-ignoring, opposition-smearing, us-controlled muppets.

    Oh, wait…

    1. Primus Secundus Tertius

      Re: I can't wait!

      @AC / I can't wait

      I thought that was East Germany, before 1989 (substitute Soviet Union for US).

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  6. Old one

    Bigger concern?

    Isn't Germany's need for natural gas a more critical influence on elections? Posturing is one thing and people freezing or factories not being able to produce salable products is just as important.

  7. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    The Bigger APT Picture ...... the Serially Inept and Petrified vs the Virtually Adept and ACTive

    Which Sectors are UKGBNI Special Forces and Secret Intelligence Service Servers Rooting and Routeing Information for?

    A little something to consider, no matter what sector of the planet you inhabit and are subject to dealing with ... or not dealing with as the case may most probably be for so very few are able to generate the energy required to move everything or anything forward in a manner which be perfectly acceptable and truly newsworthy.

    We are not a self-tasking organisation; we obtain intelligence based only on the questions set for us by government. …… Alex Younger, C, MI6 [8th December 2016] .... just a few random words from a veritable gaggle of other words to be found here ..... Read the full text of the speech

    A Great Game Player and Grand Master Puppeteer would more certainly have said …. We are a self-tasking organisation; we provide intelligence based on the answers required for good governance with Absolute Command and Remote Anonymous Control of Live Operational Virtual Environments …. with Advanced IT and Media Hosting the Present and Realities ….. Bigger Surreal Picture Shows.

    Such are surely the fields and eras of expertise in which Secret Intelligence Services are drawn into to either do battle against or engage with their special force sources if they are to retain and maintain any credibility which will allow them to survive and prosper and lead in the future. And that also equates to such Secret Intelligent Services/Anonymous Autonomous State and Non-State Actor Agents leading the future.

    To not be at least equal to such tasking is a Persistent Advanced Cyber Threat which will never fail to take advantage of and exploit every weakness and opportunity.

    Hmmm? Methinks that PACT is a brotherly/sisterly morph of “They represent an existential threat combined with a golden opportunity.” and if terrorising, just a practically realised figment of deluded paranoid imagination. ...... and such requires a secretive executive administration and an assisting media collusion.

    J'accuse. And now you all know how things are done and to be done, if you are to have chance of being responsible for input to output.

    And by all media reports, does it sound like Russia is the goto identity if you want to get things done efficiently virtually and practically anonymously and globally. Bravo, Ivan, that is most impressive.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Bigger APT Picture ...... the Serially Inept and Petrified vs the Virtually Adept and ACTive

      "...we obtain intelligence based only on the questions set for us by government".

      There seems to be a typo.

      "...we deliver 'intelligence' based only on the answers set for us by government".

      FTFH.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: The Bigger APT Picture ...... with Fixes Guaranteed to Spectacularly Fail

        Even that "fix", Archtech, reveals and does not conceal the fact that SIS leaderships are as putty and puppets in the hands, hearts and minds of their remote virtually anonymous taskmasters.

        Such though is not without opportunities and dark web avenues to explore and exploit ruthlessly, for who wants to played for a fool puppet and manipulated muppet. One imagines rank and file officers would be quite thoroughly pissed off over the situation, given the lowly state of regard and high derision that it would naturally deliver to them and their supporting allies.

        Using an easily enough understood analogy ....... when their programming and projects are so Ford Model T like, purchase an Aston or a Bentley or a Rolls Royce servering replacement. It is that sort of customer vessel which delivers all manner of exotic, erotic and priceless goods which are prime non standard standard ....... unique and exciting, sensuous and inviting. Or are they flat broke and being held to a reverse ransom demand ..... Do as you are told or you get virtually nothing, which is a really stupid game to be playing against systems which hoover up and analyse communications in order to render to clients an overwhelming unfair secret advantage.

  8. Tom Paine

    Demonstrable win for Russia

    You've only got to look at the comments above to see that the general public in the west have completely lost confidence in the organs of their states. They don't trust politicians, governments, civil servants, the IC or the military. Who benefits from that?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Demonstrable win for Russia

      ... the general public in the west have completely lost confidence in the organs of their states ...

      Ugh, and who's fault is that? Are you trying to tell us it was Russians who were relentlessly spying on the activities of the ordinary citizens? Were it Russians who saddled us all for several generations with crippling national debts, so that their "businessmen" chums do not have to face the consequences of their actions? Were it Russians who have been breaking all the promises they were doling out to us at the election times?

      Thought not.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh joy

    I am still trying to decide whether to parse the title of this article as:

    "Germany warns: Moscow will splash cash on pre-election propaganda and misinformation spree"

    or as:

    Germany warns Moscow, will splash cash on pre-election propaganda and misinformation spree

    I guess there is a bit of truth in either version.

  10. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz - english site

  11. Florida1920
    Joke

    If you can get him to stop Tweeting for a minute

    Donald Trump will turn off the Internet. Problem solved!

  12. Howard Hanek
    Childcatcher

    Warning: Objects May Appear Closer Than They Are

    Ah, the Nanny state warning everyone about things that THEY fear. I've been experiencing difficulty in interpreting what 'disinformation' and 'fake news' really means, there's been so much of it from everybody.

    Sundials don't lie and the weather forecast often differs from reality. That's about as far as I've gotten.

  13. Mahhn

    Discredit

    "deliberately discredit Democrat presidential contender Hillary Clinton"

    lol, she did that herself, over and over.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Discredit

      In what ways? By being unlikable, or a woman, or a politician? Yeah, so many to choose from for you to place blame. How lovely.

      The mail server was a recommendation from the previous Secretary of State Colin Powell. End of story. The Benghazi fiasco was the republican congress and senate deciding NOT to provide more funding to protect our embassy, so they could line their own pockets more securely. End of story.

      Any of the "facts" you see otherwise are merely clever rehashing of their personal hatred for; 1) the other party, 2) successful women, and any woman outside of their kitchen, 3) redirecting any attention away from their own inadequacies and shortcomings.

      Democrab or Republican't; their both part of the same money-led organization. The United States of Plutocracy.

      Get a fucking clue, DOPE!

  14. Michael Habel Silver badge

    WHATEVER IT TAKES...

    To finally be rid of that c**t who's running this insane asylum now. AfD in 2017!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: WHATEVER IT TAKES...

      No, man. Just no. Just stop right there. Thank you.

  15. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Hmmm? Whatever next, do you think, whenever to think has one so many strange allies to seed

    It is inevitable that the Bigger APT Picture ...... the Serially Inept and Petrified vs the Virtually Adept and ACTive will lead in a Novel AI Direction with NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActive Instruction for Future Sees to be presented as real and true and/or denied and spun as fake news in Mainstreaming Media Productions ......

    If you set up the super surveillance state, hoovering up all the internet traffic of pretty well everybody, that is not just going to affect the ordinary people whom the elite despise. There is also going to be an awful lot of traffic intercepted from sleazy members of the elite connected to even the most senior politicians, revealing all their corruption and idiosyncracies. From people like John Podesta, to take an entirely random example. And once the super surveillance state has intercepted and stored all that highly incriminating material, you never know if some decent human being, some genuine patriot, from within the security services is going to feel compelled to turn whistleblower.

    Than they might turn for help to, to take another entirely random example, Julian Assange. .... former intelligence analyst, British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, and chancellor of the University of Dundee, Craig Murray ..... http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-12/intelligence-officer-who-personally-met-democratic-email-leaker-confirms-he-was-amer

    The secret of success in the field is not to be a fool tool. And that requires, not least amongst a whole legion of other fundamental things, a continuous contiguous supply of advanced intelligence verging on an immaculate foreknowledge of nearly distant future events.

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