malign disinformation/disruption mischief has been operating since 2016 and it's getting worse

Recall that the White House “over-classified” various documents to prevent Congressional investigation in the Trump impeachment. On the other side of the public sphere, websites like Global Research and Newsfront spread conspiracy theories also promoted by Russian Intelligence.

CHICAGO (AP) — The State Department says Russia is using a well-developed online operation that includes a loose collection of proxy websites to stir up confusion around the coronavirus by amplifying conspiracy theories and misinformation.

The disclosure on Wednesday was rare for the Trump administration, which has been cautious about blaming the Kremlin for disinformation campaigns, especially around the U.S. election. Despite evidence that Russia launched a divisive disinformation operation on social media during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the State Department’s report did not examine how — if at all — Russia is waging another online influence campaign in this year’s election.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did, however, announce Wednesday that the U.S. would offer a reward of up to $10 million for information that identifies people working with foreign governments to interfere in the U.S. election through illegal cyber activity.
The department detailed a Russian-backed misinformation cycle that spreads false information online through state officials and state-funded media reports, by infiltrating U.S. social media conversation, and leveraging a deceptive internet framework of websites. The Kremlin’s efforts have most recently focused on conspiracy theories around the pandemic, the report found.
“Russia is playing a significant role in creating and spreading misinformation and propaganda around many topics,” said Lea Gabrielle, head of the State Department’s Global Engagement Center.
The department named more than a half-dozen websites that, serving as “proxies” for Russia, have peddled a series of conspiracy theories about the pandemic that have been widely spreading and hotly debated across social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

www.fox19.com/…