Carole Cadwalladr+ Your Authors @carolecadwalla Late adopter. Late giver-upper. Guardian & Observer writer. Jul. 21, 2020 1 min read + Your Authors

In Dec 2016, Sir Alex Younger, the head of MI6, made a highly unusual public speech. He didn't name Russia. But he made it clear that the UK was at risk from bad actors exploiting social media platforms.

We now know that this warning was not heeded 

In April 2017, a senior intel analyst told me it was a marker. I used it to preface 2nd major report on Cambridge Analytica.

The head of MI6 understood the risks.

His boss, Boris Johnson, & his boss's boss, Theresa May, stopped him investigating. No other explanation now

Report makes it clear that this threat became known when Russia conducted 'hack & leak' against DNC in summer 2016.

When Boris Johnson was foreign secretary.

When leaks being orchestrated via London.

When London Russian embassy became conduit for Trump-Russia comms

I find this an footnote. Disinformation 'does not lead to any criminal or civil liability in UK law. But an 'influence campaign' which it describes as including 'illicit funding, disruption of electoral mechanics' could. ie, an offence outside PPERA

You can follow @carolecadwalla.


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