US Seizes Further Batch of Iranian 'News' Domains Spreading Disinformation
The US has seized 27 domain names that were unlawfully used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to spread disinformation globally.
"Iran’s IRGC was illegally using (the domains) in attempt to manipulate public opinion in other countries, including the United States," said the FBI, which investigated the seizure.
Four of the domains purported to be official news outlets and targeted US audiences, while the rest targeted other parts of the world. Even though only four targeted the US, all violated US sanctions on Iran and were being operated in violation of US federal law.
All the domains were registered with US-based domain registrars and, because of this, the four targeting the US - rpfront.com, ahtribune.com, awdnews.com, and criticalstudies.org - also violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), which ensures that "the US government and the people of the United States are informed of the source of information and the identity of persons attempting to influence US public opinion, policy, and law."
The investigation and seizure wasn't all down to the work of law enforcement, and the FBI noted the assistance of three tech and social media giants: "Thanks to our ongoing collaboration with Google, Facebook, and Twitter, the FBI was able to disrupt this Iranian propaganda campaign and we will continue to pursue any attempts by foreign actors to spread disinformation in our country."
This seizure came on the back of a seizure in early October of 92 domains, which were also used by the IRGC to engage in a worldwide disinformation campaign.
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