U.S. Punishes Russia for Election Hacking

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John F
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U.S. Punishes Russia for Election Hacking

Post by John F » Thu Dec 29, 2016 2:48 pm

U.S. Punishes Russia for Election Hacking, Ejecting Operatives
By DAVID E. SANGER
DEC. 29, 2016

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration struck back at Russia on Thursday for its efforts to influence the 2016 election, ejecting 35 Russian intelligence operatives from the United States and imposing sanctions on Russia’s two leading intelligence services, including four top officers of the military intelligence unit the White House believes ordered the attacks on the Democratic National Committee and other political organizations.

In a sweeping set of announcements, the United States was also expected to release evidence linking the cyberattacks to computer systems used by Russian intelligence. Taken together, the actions would amount to the strongest American response ever taken to a state-sponsored cyberattack aimed at the United States.

The sanctions were also intended to box in President-elect Donald J. Trump. Mr. Trump has consistently cast doubt that the Russian government had anything to do with the hacking of the D.N.C. or other political institutions, saying American intelligence agencies could not be trusted and suggesting that the hacking could have been the work of a “400-pound guy” lying in his bed.

Mr. Trump will now have to decide whether to lift the sanctions on the Russian intelligence agencies when he takes office next month, with Republicans in Congress among those calling for a public investigation into Russia’s actions. Should Mr. Trump do so, it would require him to effectively reject the findings of his intelligence agencies...

The Obama administration is also planning to release a detailed “joint analytic report” from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security that is clearly based in part on intelligence gathered by the National Security Agency. A more detailed report on the intelligence, ordered by President Obama, will be published in the next three weeks, though much of the detail — especially evidence collected from “implants” in Russian computer systems, tapped conversations and spies — is expected to remain classified...

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/29/us/po ... tions.html
John Francis

lennygoran
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Re: U.S. Punishes Russia for Election Hacking

Post by lennygoran » Fri Dec 30, 2016 6:26 am

Just noticed this breaking news. Regards, Len



Russia Set to Expel 35 U.S. Diplomats in Response to Move by Obama

By NEIL MacFARQUHAR DEC. 30, 2016


Russia moved on Friday to expel 35 United States diplomats and ban American diplomatic staff from using properties in Moscow, a day after President Obama ordered the expulsion of 35 suspected Russian intelligence operatives from the United States and the imposition of sanctions.

The moves, recommended by the Foreign Ministry, must be approved by President Vladimir V. Putin, but given the way they were presented, with Foreign Minister Sergei V. Lavrov proposing them in remarks broadcast nationally on television, they seemed sure to be adopted.

The Obama administration announced sanctions against Russia and released a report that states that the Russian government deployed computer hackers to attack the Democratic Party’s computers.


The foreign minister recommended that 31 American diplomats be expelled from Moscow and four more from St. Petersburg. He also said that a recreational compound and a warehouse in Moscow used by diplomats should be closed.

The administration also penalized four top officers of one of those services, the powerful military intelligence unit known as the G.R.U. because of its efforts to influence the 2016 election.

United States intelligence agencies have concluded that the G.R.U., with the approval of the Kremlin, ordered the attacks on the Democratic National Committee and other political organizations, and it enabled the publication of the emails it obtained to benefit Donald J. Trump’s campaign.
The Perfect Weapon: How Russian Cyberpower Invaded the U.S.
A Times investigation reveals missed signals, slow responses and a continuing underestimation of the seriousness of a campaign to disrupt the 2016 presidential election.

As part of the punishment, the State Department said that it would close two waterfront estates — one in New York, the other in Maryland — that it said were used for Russian intelligence activities. It was not clear, however, whether the two properties were used as a base for the election-related hacking.

The actions amounted to the strongest American response yet to a state-sponsored cyberattack.

While vowing that Mr. Putin would decide personally how to respond, his spokesman, Dimitri Peskov, said, “We proceed from the premise that these decisions were taken by President Obama, and that in three weeks Donald Trump will be the new head of state.”

Mr. Lavrov, in making his recommendations, said such actions by the United States could not go unanswered. “Of course we cannot leave such mischievous tricks without a response,” he said. “Reciprocity is the law of diplomacy and of international relations.”




http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/30/world ... pe=article

John F
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Re: U.S. Punishes Russia for Election Hacking

Post by John F » Fri Dec 30, 2016 7:49 am

Predictable. Anyway, President Obama's action was aimed not just at Putin but at Trump.
John Francis

lennygoran
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Re: U.S. Punishes Russia for Election Hacking

Post by lennygoran » Fri Dec 30, 2016 8:04 am

John F wrote:Predictable. Anyway, President Obama's action was aimed not just at Putin but at Trump.
Yes I'm hoping Trump gets boxed in on the hacking by security conscious Republicans and on Obamacare by all the signups who would be punished if Obamacare goes out the door. Regards, Len

lennygoran
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Re: U.S. Punishes Russia for Election Hacking

Post by lennygoran » Fri Dec 30, 2016 9:14 am

And now this! Regards, Len


Vladimir Putin Won’t Expel U.S. Diplomats as Russian Foreign Minister Urged

By NEIL MacFARQUHAR DEC. 30, 2016


MOSCOW — In a head-spinning turn of events on Friday, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia announced that he would not retaliate against the United States’ decision to expel Russian diplomats and impose new sanctions — hours after his foreign minister recommended doing just that.

Mr. Putin, betting on improved relations with the next American president, said he would not eject 35 diplomats or close any diplomatic facilities, rejecting a tit-for-tat response to actions taken by the Obama administration on Thursday.

In an statement on the Kremlin’s website, Mr. Putin said he did not want to deprive children of access to a recreational area on an island in the Moscow River that his foreign minister had recommended closing. He went one step further, inviting all children of American diplomats accredited in Russia to participate in the traditional New Year and the Russian Orthodox Christmas parties at the Kremlin.

“While we reserve the right to take reciprocal measures, we’re not going to downgrade ourselves to the level of irresponsible ‘kitchen’ diplomacy,” his statement said, using a common Russian idiom for quarrelsome and unseemly acts. “In our future steps on the way toward the restoration of Russia-U.S. relations, we will proceed from the policy pursued by the administration of D. Trump.”

Mr. Putin called it “unfortunate” that the Obama administration chose to end its relationship with Russia this way, but sent New Year’s greetings to President Obama, his family, Mr. Trump, and “all the American people.”

The switch was remarkable, given that the foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, had just made the recommendation in remarks broadcast live on national television, and given the long history of tit-for-tat expulsions between the two countries. Russian officials have traditionally been sticklers for diplomatic protocol.

On Thursday, the Obama administration declared 35 Russians suspected of being intelligence operatives “persona non grata”; imposed sanctions on two of Russia’s leading intelligence services; and penalized four top officers of one of those services, the powerful military intelligence unit known as the G.R.U., because of its efforts to influence the presidential election.

As part of the punishment, the State Department said that it would close two waterfront estates — one in New York, the other in Maryland — that it said were used for Russian intelligence activities.

The actions amounted to the strongest American response yet to a state-sponsored cyberattack.

United States intelligence agencies have concluded that the G.R.U., with the approval of the Kremlin, ordered the attacks on the Democratic National Committee and other political organizations, and that the Russian government enabled the publication of the emails it obtained to benefit Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign.

The Obama administration announced sanctions against Russia and released a report that states that the Russian government deployed computer hackers to attack the Democratic Party’s computers.


In addition to giving 35 Russian diplomats and their families 72 hours to leave the country, the measures announced by Mr. Obama imposed sanctions on Russia’s two main intelligence services. Washington described the diplomats as intelligence agents working under the cover of diplomacy.

The administration also penalized four top officers from one of the highly secretive services, the G.R.U.

Previous sanctions by the United States and its Western allies were levied against broad sectors of the Russian economy and also blacklisted dozens of individuals, some of them close friends of Mr. Putin’s who were considered crucial in the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and in destabilizing Ukraine.

The economic sanctions covered three main areas, including blocking Russian access to international credit, cutting off cooperation in advance oil field technology and stopping arms deals or the sale of dual-use technology.

Much of their effect stemmed from the fact that they coincided with a sharp drop in global oil prices, hitting Russia with a double blow. Companies had trouble obtaining credit, driving up the short-term cost of borrowing and compounding a deep recession. Over the long run, the effect is likely to be strongest in the oil sector because it dried up most exploration in difficult areas like the Arctic.

Russia responded with sanctions of its own, mostly banning agricultural products and certain foods imported from the West. Mr. Putin and other officials have repeatedly crowed that this resulted in a successful campaign of “import substitution.”

Russia also maintained a secret list of Western officials who were no longer allowed into the country. Most, like the former American ambassador Michael McFaul, discovered it only when they applied for visas to Russia.

Even before the announcement of the latest Russian measures, Maria Zakharova, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, took to Facebook to denounce the Obama administration, although she spared Secretary of State John Kerry the bulk of her criticism.

Ms. Zakharova called the Obama administration “a group of a foreign policy losers, embittered and narrow-minded.”

“Today America, the American people, were humiliated by their own president,” she wrote.

There was no immediate response from the Obama administration. Elizabeth K. Trudeau, a spokeswoman for the State Department, said by phone from Washington that it was studying Mr. Lavrov’s statement and would respond later.


There is a long history of reciprocal expulsions and other measures between the United States and Russia, even after the Cold War ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

While vowing that Mr. Putin would himself decide how to respond, his spokesman, Dmitry S. Peskov, said, “We proceed from the premise that these decisions were taken by President Obama, and that in three weeks Donald Trump will be the new head of state.”

In retaliation, Mr. Lavrov recommended on Friday morning that 31 American diplomats be expelled from Moscow and four from St. Petersburg. He also recommended the closing of two facilities: a wooded picnic area on a Moscow island used by diplomats, as well as a warehouse in the southern, industrial part of the Russian capital.

“Of course, we cannot leave such mischievous tricks without a response,” he said on Friday morning. “Reciprocity is the law of diplomacy and of international relations.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry denied reports that Moscow was planning to close the Anglo-American School, which is heavily attended by the children of Western diplomats and wealthy Russians.

While Mr. Obama framed the new American measures as a response to Russian hacking during the election, the expulsion of Russian diplomats from Washington and San Francisco was described as a response to continued harassment of American diplomats in Russia.

Mr. Peskov denied that any such harassment takes place, but American diplomats tell a different story. Many travel around Moscow in cars with red diplomatic license plates that start with 004, denoting United States Embassy vehicles. That makes them easy targets for traffic stops.

Embassy employees said they were tailed as they moved around the city, and that sometimes, when they were not at home, agents would enter and move the furniture around, just to show that they had been there.

Some find it unnerving, while others shrug it off as part of the job. One young father said he was just grateful that his children were too small to realize that the family was being followed.

The country house now barred to American diplomats is in Serebryany Bor, a small park located within the city limits and surrounded by the Moscow River. It boasts some of the best beaches in the city.



http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/30/world ... v=top-news

John F
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Re: U.S. Punishes Russia for Election Hacking

Post by John F » Fri Dec 30, 2016 11:33 am

Looks like Putin is looking past Obama to Trump and continuing to cultivate him.
John Francis

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