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Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff is a senior member of the House Intelligence Committee.

As a member of the House Intelligence Committee leading an investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, I need the assistance of those same companies in our investigation so that together we can protect future elections from foreign influence.

In January, the Intelligence Community assessed that the Russians’ sophisticated campaign was designed to help Donald Trump, damage Hillary Clinton and sow discord in our democracy by following a playbook that Russia has honed for years in Europe, and which is known in intelligence circles as “Active Measures.”

Russia’s most visible intervention was through the hacking of the Democratic Party institutions and the email account of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, which allowed Moscow to steal documents and emails that it then leaked through cut-outs including WikiLeaks.

Less obviously, Russia waged an insidious campaign online, manipulating open internet platforms to inflame partisan and societal tensions and spreading disinformation through a variety of channels.

Russia interfered to benefit Trump in the 2016 election, but the Kremlin’s goals were more expansive than tipping a single election. Putin sought – and seeks still – to weaken us from within by exploiting and exacerbating existing political, religious and racial fissures in our society.

Recently, our committee held a hearing with Facebook, Twitter and Google as part of our effort to understand the extent of Russia’s activities on these platforms. The testimony of these three companies made clear that the Russian effort was extensive, and offered reason to believe that what we now know may be just the tip of the iceberg.

Facebook was the earliest of the three companies to identify and report Russian activity on its platform, disclosing to the committee that an estimated 126 million American users saw content posted on fake pages linked to a notorious Russian “troll” farm. Facebook also identified more than 3,000 Russian-created advertisements that more than 11 million Facebook users saw.

These ads, which the committee is working to make public, promoted phony pages that spoofed causes ranging from “Black Lives Matter,” to anti-immigration activism, to LGBT rights, to pro-Confederacy sentiments.

Twitter also reported significant activity linked to Russia, including more than 30,000 Russian-linked bot accounts generating in excess of 1 million tweets seen by almost 300 million people worldwide. Additionally, Twitter identified nearly 3,000 human-coordinated accounts, some of which had thousands of followers and were cited in the media or even retweeted by senior Trump campaign officials during the election season. Google had the least to report, but we know YouTube has been a focus for Russia, with the Kremlin-controlled news organization RT’s channel racking up 5 billion views.

I appreciated the willingness of these three companies to testify and provide us with information, but much more will need to be done. At the hearing, I proposed several steps these firms, and others, can take to be part of the solution.

First, Facebook, Twitter, and Google, as well as other major tech firms, should pool their resources and expertise to undertake a joint investigation to uncover the full extent of Russia’s covert activity on their platforms and present their findings to Congress, and the American people.

Second, they should work with Congress to make public as much Russia-created content as possible, including individual advertisements and posts, so the public can see the breadth of this Russian propaganda. They should also commit to opening – or in some cases reopening – access to data needed by third-party researchers and academics who are working to understand the manipulation of their platforms.

Finally, each of these companies should commit to notifying users who were targeted with what we now know was Russian propaganda. That step would help educate users who were served ads or content generated by Russian trolls and play a part in inoculating them against future influence operations.

As Congress continues its investigation into Russia’s interference, we will need greater and ongoing cooperation from internet companies to understand the full extent of what Russia did, and to protect ourselves from what they may do next time.

U.S. Rep. Adam B. Schiff, D-Burbank, represents California’s 28th Congressional District, and is ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He wrote this for the Sacramento Bee.

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(27) comments

Brice Prairie

Both sides are off their rocker, but you would think by now there would be some hard evidence, not a bunch of hearsay. Maybe the evidence was on Clinton's server.

Cassandra

This is a legal proceeding. The "hard evidence" is in the hands of the man who will lead the prosecution. Do you think prosecutors should make all their evidence public before filing their cases? If so, you're a fool.

johnnybragatti

Adam Schiff is more spot on ,than any one person currently residing in D. C.
Time is on his side, as is Muellers".
They got Trump"s gonads in a Twist-o-Flex,like my watchband.
The more time they take ,the more twisted he gets.
Meanwhile the Trump "ll attend a "Climate Conference",
to shoot the breeze, "bout fossil fuels.
Say what?

kingman10

"Russia interfered to benefit Trump in the 2016 election, but the Kremlin’s goals were more expansive than tipping a single election. Putin sought – and seeks still – to weaken us from within by exploiting and exacerbating existing political, religious and racial fissures in our society." Rep Schiff hit the nail on the head. And by the looks of it the Russians have succeeded in their goals in large measure by helping elect and inept president, and by people like hoaxer and buggs and snow job who keep up the hatred and societal injustice through their constant incoherent rants, ranging from conspiracies to gun control to immigration, to climate change etc. They are being played for a fool by the Russians and aren't even aware.

oldhomey

The man says: "Less obviously, Russia waged an insidious campaign online, manipulating open internet platforms to inflame partisan and societal tensions and spreading disinformation through a variety of channels."

I think we should all pause to realize how locally people like Snow Cougar and Buggs Raplin were cogs in the Russian effort during the 2016 campaign as they passed on to us the garbage being manufactured by Russian intelligence by repeating Guccifer 2.0 "revelations" in these discussion boards.

kingman10

amen homey. Cogs in the Russian covert efforts is exactly what they are, and they continue to do it.

oldhomey

I notice neither Snow or Buggs decided to make a hapless protestation about being singled out for their part in the Russian efforts to interfere with our electoral process.

Buggs Raplin

Why wouldn't the DNC let Comey's FBI examine its computers? Why did Comey , best buddies with Robert Mueller, roll over and play dead for the DNC? Probably because they would have shown Seth Rich sent their e-mails to Wikileaks. Poor Seth. Another Clinton body count?

kingman10

buggsy, tell us how the flat earth conference in North Carolina was five days ago. I'm sure you must of met some of your soul mates there who reject modern science and became experts themselves simply by watching lots of videos on social media. Yep the conference was real: http://wspa.com/2017/11/09/flat-earthers-from-around-the-world-descend-upon-nc-for-convention/

Cassandra

Still sticking to that ridiculous argument, Chippy? The DNC was under NO LEGAL OBLIGATION to allow the FBI to rummage through it's private communications without a warrant. For someone who continually and loudly proclaims a distrust of government, you see awfully willing to allow politicized government access to private communications that you think MIGHT be damaging to Democrats. Your hypocrisy is really evident.

The Mouse of Death

[angry]«Дональд - моя личная марионетка!» ~ Владимир Путин

awol2009

The writing has been on the wall for over a year regarding collusion with Russian hacks. Follow the works of Paul Mantafort, Flynn, DJ tRump, Jr, ( who now incidentally stated he worked with Jullian Asange and WiikiLeaks to release unauthenticated emails from hacked DNC servers to attempt to discredit those within the DNC), many others within the tRump campaign. Jared Kuchner sought loans from Russian banks and oligarchs for his failing real estate endeavors- a clear violation of laws due to US sanctions with Russia at that time. The list is much longer, GooPer's keep stonewalling with denial or being outright complicit with their ignorant complacency as the Senate hearings sloooowly move along. Meanwhile, trump and Co. daily trample and burn our Constitution while impotent flakes like Schiff write columns like this and still do nothing. Where is the outrage and urgency to do something? Congressional ineptitude at it's finest from both sides of the aisle is what we have. Get the buffoon tRump out of the White House before it's too late.

Mr Wizard

I think we should sic a team of lawyers onto pencil-neck Schiff just to see what they could find in his closet.

oldhomey

Gosh! Get out of the wizard's way when he is angry. No pencil-neck effete, wizard is a thick-necked fruitcake with nuts the size of boulders, a man's man who has whistle-clean closets like that fellow Judge Moore. Thank God for the righteous, for they alone know how to judge. I guess.

kingman10

yea right wizard, go after the messenger who is trying to dig out the truth behind your pals in the Kremlin and the white house. Can't have that now can we.

Cassandra

Nothing like using government resources to attack your political opposition, eh, Wiz?

Slider

Rep Schiff should focus on how Hillary Clinton blocked democracy within the Democrat party!

awol2009

Great deflection there, Slider. What happened with the DNC is problematic, there is nothing illegal.

Slider

No deflection. There is no evidence of Russian collusion. There IS evidence of Democrat collusion.

awol2009

I hate to burst your 'lil bubble there Slider, but yes, there is much evidence of collusion. Do you live under a rock? Obviously you must suck up every lie or embellished snippet from the likes of Lush Rimjob or ShawnthePawn Hannity. Heck, Kureg and Jaguar have now pulled their advertising from Sean Hannity's show of lies and propaganda, they feel they don't want their business name to have any association with Sean the fraud. Maybe Faux News can get Depends to advertise on Sean's fake new hour because when tRump's world finally unravels, viewers like you and the rest of his sick cult following will be wetting yourselves.

Slider

AWOL. Sorry to burst your partisan bubble. No collusion has been found.

awol2009

Hilarious, I'm not partisan, I don't think either party is qualified or ethical. Just calling a spade a spade - tRump will be impeached, the evidence is mounting.

Cassandra

Please provide proof to back up your ridiculous claims, Slider. Verifiable, documented proof, not some vague talking points from a right-wing website. We'll wait. And wait.

MelloRedBuggVet2Lax

Turn off AM radio Mow-ron.

kingman10

yes slider, did you get that straight from Putin or did you have to go through clandestine channels to spread that well thought out propaganda.

Tim Russell

It is refreshing to know that as screwed up as our government is that there still are a few interested in making our country great again.

kingman10

you heard the joke, Trump wants to outlaw shredded cheese and wants to make America grate again.

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