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Russia arrests FSB cybersecurity experts in ‘US-linked’ treason case: lawyer

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An employee walks past a glass panel at the Moscow headquarters of Kaspersky Lab, whose top investigator was among those detained (AFP Photo/Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV)

Russia has arrested two senior FSB cybersecurity officials and a top anti-hacking expert on suspicion of committing treason linked to the United States, a lawyer involved with the case said Wednesday.

Sergei Mikhailov, deputy head of the FSB’s Centre for Information Security, and his deputy Dmitry Dokuchayev are currently in detention along with Ruslan Stoyanov, head of the investigation unit at Moscow-based cybersecurity giant Kaspersky, lawyer Ivan Pavlov told AFP.

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Pavlov confirmed the three were charged with treason and said “the case is connected to the United States”. But he added that there was no mention of the CIA in the documents related to the case.

News of the arrests followed a flurry of reports in the Russian media over a case which could prove to be one of the highest-profile treason cases to hit the Russian intelligence community in years.

Russian authorities have not confirmed the arrests, but the Kremlin said President Vladimir Putin had been informed about media reports on the matter.

A CIA spokesman told AFP the agency has “no comment.”

Russian hacking is currently in the spotlight following accusations by the US intelligence community that Putin ordered cyberattacks on American organisations to help get Donald Trump elected president.

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Peskov insisted there could be no connection between the US allegations and the reported treason case because Moscow “categorically denies any claims on the possible Russian involvement” in any hacking.

Pavlov — who is representing one of the defendants — said court proceedings would likely not to start for a long time.

He said the case involved more than three suspects, without elaborating.

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Kaspersky confirmed Stoyanov’s arrest last week but gave no details, saying the allegations against him pertained “to a period of time when he was not an employee of the company.”


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2020 Election

The View hosts mock Republicans for ‘shooting themselves in the foot’ on election conspiracies

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The hosts of "The View" couldn't help but notice that the Republicans are making it more difficult to get their own voters out to support Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) for the special election in January.

The problem the GOP has to overcome is that the overwhelming majority of Republican voters believe that the 2020 election was "rigged" by Democrats. It puts Republicans in a difficult place because now they have to combat that message with assurances that the Georgia special election isn't already rigged for the Democrats.

"I'm really sick of all of this," Whoopi Goldberg bemoaned. "I'm sick of people blaming American citizens for cheating in their own elections. I'm sick of this. You're blaming Republican governors. You're blaming people who are saying, 'Actually, no.' Why would they fight against their own interests, and, again, I will say if the Democrats had done this, why has everybody still got a job? None of this makes any sense to me."

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Georgia Republicans turn on Gov. Brian Kemp: He ‘will be primaried’

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Georgia Republicans were already unhappy with Gov. Brian Kemp, and his refusal to interfere in President Donald Trump's election loss may have been the last straw.

Trump claims credit for Kemp's election win two years ago, but he and other Republicans have withdrawn their support after the governor has declined to get involved in the president's efforts to overturn his loss to Joe Biden in Georgia and other states, reported The Daily Beast.

“[Kemp] will be primaried," said Kay Godwin, the chair of the Pierce County GOP. "Just hoping and praying we get the right one this time.”

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2020 Election

Georgia secretary of state: ‘There are those that are exploiting the emotions of many Trump supporters’

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Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger warned on Monday that outside groups are trying to take advantage of the "emotions" of President Donald Trump's supporters with false information about the recent and upcoming elections.

"There are those that are exploiting the emotions of many Trump supporters with fantastic claims, half-truths, misinformation and, frankly, they are misleading the president as well," Raffensperger explained at a Monday press conference.

The Georgia official went on to announce investigations into over 250 claims of election irregularities.

"Upholding the law matters, truth matters, and your vote matters," he insisted. "Anyone telling you to boycott an election is not on your side. You're right to vote is sacred. Don't let someone con you out of it."

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