Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

MI5 Chief Warns That Social Media 'Distortion' Is Fuelling Russian Propaganda

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

MI5 Chief Warns That Social Media 'Distortion' Is Fuelling Russian Propaganda

Article excerpt

Byline: Martin Bentham Home Affairs Editor

SOCIAL media "distortion" is fuelling Russia's propaganda assault and contributing to a new "hybrid threat" targeting Britain and the rest of Europe, the head of MI5 warned today.

Andrew Parker said that "the blending of media manipulation by Russia with social media distortion" was combining with "new and old forms of espionage, high levels of cyber attacks, military force and criminal thuggery" to threaten European nations.

He also condemned the "reckless" poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal and listed many Kremlin-backed transgressions, including interference with elections in the US and France, an attempted coup in Montenegro, and a cyber attack on the German Bundestag.

"Our respect for Russia's people and desire for a productive relationship cannot and must not stop us from calling out the Kremlin's flagrant breach of international rules," he declared.

Mr Parker's comments came during the first speech given outside Britain by a serving head of MI5, to security chiefs in Berlin. …

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