Facebook is said to tell Mueller more on Russian Federation ad spending


The information Facebook gave to Mueller included copies of the ads and information about how the inauthentic accounts bought them and how they targeted the propaganda, according to the Journal, which first reported the disclosure.

Facebook recently revealed bogus Russian-linked accounts bought $100,000 worth of politically charged ads on its site.

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

Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti, now a partner at Thompson Coburn LLP, said that the revelation Mueller obtained a search warrant for Facebook content "may be the biggest news in the case since the Manafort raid".

Facebook didn't share the same information with Congress partly because of concerns of disrupting the special counsel's investigation and because of US privacy laws. Mark Warner, D-Va., who's on the Senate Intelligence Committee, suggested the committee may call Facebook, Twitter and other social media companies in for more information.

"Mueller clearly *already* has enough information on these accounts - and their link to a potential crime", tweeted Asha Rangappa, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation counterintelligence agent.

It also means that Mueller is no longer looking at Russia's election interference from a strict counterintelligence standpoint - rather, he now believes he may be able to obtain enough evidence to charge specific foreign entities with a crime.

He had added, "I called somebody who works for one of the technology companies that I work with, and I had them give me a tutorial on how to use Facebook micro-targeting". "To justify forcing FB to give up the info".

Google, which said last week it had seen no evidence of a Russian ad campaign on its platforms during last year's USA election, earlier this year offered to defend election organizers and civic groups against cyber attacks free of charge.

The investigation into Russia's influence on the 2016 USA presidential election continues in Washington.

Some were circulated before the election and mentioned candidates Clinton and Trump by name. The ads were targeted at American Facebook users and covered issues like gun rights and immigration.

Facebook said it is cooperating with investigators and declined to comment further. US intelligence officials say the Kremlin directed online propaganda and hacking efforts meant to help Donald Trump take the victory.