Technology Pokemon Go reportedly got played in Russian meddling, too

00:53  13 october  2017
00:53  13 october  2017 Source:   CNET

Russian spymaster denies meddling in US election

  Russian spymaster denies meddling in US election The head of Russia's top domestic security agency is rejecting allegations of interference in the U.S. election.Alexander Bortnikov, the director of the Federal Security Service (FSB), the main KGB successor agency, said Thursday that he discussed claims of Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential vote with John Brennan when he led the CIA.Bortnikov reaffirmed that "Russia has never interfered and won't interfere in sovereign nations' affairs."The statement carried by Russian news agencies Thursday was the latest in a stream of denials issued by Russian officials in response to the meddling accusations.

The effort apparently shows how broad Russian interference in the 2016 US election may have been.

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It's not just Facebook, Twitter and Google.

Even Pokemon Go, the mega-popular smartphone game that became a phenomenon last year, was reportedly the target of Russian agents trying to meddle with the 2016 US election, according to a report Thursday by CNN.

The effort was allegedly centered on a campaign called "Don't Shoot Us," an apparent reference "Hands Up, Don't Shoot," a mantra in widespread use after the shooting of Michael Brown.

The campaign is said to be tied to agents in Russia, and it reportedly used social media services like Facebook and Twitter to try to exploit racial tensions in the US. But there was one surprise target: Pokemon Go.

Russian spymaster denies meddling in US election

  Russian spymaster denies meddling in US election The head of Russia's top domestic security agency is rejecting allegations of interference in the U.S. election.Alexander Bortnikov, the director of the Federal Security Service (FSB), the main KGB successor agency, said Thursday that he discussed claims of Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential vote with John Brennan when he led the CIA.Bortnikov reaffirmed that "Russia has never interfered and won't interfere in sovereign nations' affairs."The statement carried by Russian news agencies Thursday was the latest in a stream of denials issued by Russian officials in response to the meddling accusations.

The Pokémon news, while shocking for some people, was just too much for many others. Exclusive footage of the FBI taking Pikachu in after he got caught colluding with the Russians So Russia used Pokemon Go to meddle in our election, and we ended up with Gumshoos as president.

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In playing Pokemon Go, people go to real-world locations to find and train digital monsters, which appear on their phone screens against the landscape picked up by the phones' cameras.

According to the CNN report, the Don't Shoot Us campaign announced a contest on its Tumblr page in July 2016 for Pokemon Go players. The contest encouraged them to visit locations where alleged cases of police brutality took place. Players were also asked to give their Pokemon critters the names of people shot by police, including Eric Garner. The campaign offered players Amazon gift cards as rewards.

The CNN report says it's not clear what the campaign was trying to accomplish with the Pokemon Go contest, though it might have been to upset the people living near those places and remind them of the police brutality issues.

Carter Page refuses to testify before Senate Intel: report

  Carter Page refuses to testify before Senate Intel: report Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page is refusing to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee in its investigation into Russian interference in the election, Politico reported Tuesday.Page reportedly told the committee Tuesday that he won't cooperate with the lawmakers in their probe Page reportedly told the committee Tuesday that he won't cooperate with the lawmakers in their probe and plans on pleading the Fifth Amendment if he does make an appearance.

Russian efforts to meddle in American politics did not end at Facebook and Twitter. In July 2016, this Tumblr account announced a contest encouraging readers to play Pokémon Go , the Police say a 3-year-old boy spent the night in child welfare custody after he got lost in a Utah corn maze.

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Niantic, the game developer behind Pokemon Go, said the game itself was not compromised.

"It's clear from the images shared with us by CNN that our game assets were appropriated and misused in promotions by third parties without our permission," a Niantic spokesman said in a statement. "It is important to note that Pokémon GO, as a platform, was not and cannot be used to share information between users in the app, so our platform was in no way being used. This 'contest' required people to take screen shots from their phone and share over other social networks, not within our game."

Pokemon Go was only one of several popular services used by the Don't Shoot Us campaign, the CNN report said. The same group had accounts on YouTube and Tumblr, as well as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, services that have already been named as being used by Russian-affiliated accounts to promote divisive content online.

Trump campaign spent more than $1M in legal fees during third quarter

  Trump campaign spent more than $1M in legal fees during third quarter President Trump's campaign spent $1.1 million on legal fees over the past three months as the probe into alleged ties between the campaign and Russian election meddling intensifies, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings. The campaign paid $237,924 to the law firm of Alan Futerfas, who has represented Donald Trump Jr. in the ongoing probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Williams and Jensen, which employs Karina Lynch, who is also representing Trump Jr., received $30,000 from the campaign over the past past three months.The Hill has reached out to Futerfas and Lynch for comment.

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Instagram, Tumblr and YouTube didn't immediately respond to requests for comment. Facebook and Twitter declined to comment.

Silicon Valley has been under intense scrutiny as the federal government delves into what happened during the election. Facebook, Twitter and Google are expected to testify on Nov. 1 in Congressional hearings about foreign actors using social media to try to interfere with the election.

Tech giants themselves have been investigating possible Russian meddling as they look to fend off the threat of potential regulation. Facebook, Twitter and Google have conducted their own internal probes and said they would cooperate with federal investigators.

Facebook earlier this month handed over 3,000 ads from Russian-linked accounts to Congress. Twitter said last month it discovered 201 accounts that appeared to be tied to the same Russian accounts that purchased ads on Facebook. Google is conducting its own internal investigation, and reportedly found that Russians spent tens of thousands of dollars on ads on YouTube, Gmail and Google search.

Ghost Type Pokemon Coming In 'Pokemon Go' Halloween Update .
Players will soon be able to catch ghost type Pokemon in Pokemon Go during an annual Halloween event, developer Niantic announced today. Starting tomorrow at 12:00 p.m. PT (3 p.m. ET) and running until November 2nd, players will begin to find Pokemon originally from the Hoenn region, such as Sableye and Banette. Additionally, Niantic said it will increase the number of "spooky" Pokemon, such as Gastly, Cubone, Misdreavus and Houndour. Get a look at some of the ghostly Pokemon in the trailer above. © Provided by Wenner Media, Inc.

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