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US seizes 92 Iranian website domains accused of disinformation

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The US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Wednesday the seizure of 92 Iranian domains it accused of being used by country’s Revolutionary Guard to spread misinformation on the global scale.

“The United States has seized 92 domain names that were unlawfully used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to engage in a global disinformation campaign,” the US Justice Department said in a statement.


Four of the websites disguised as genuine news outlets and targeted the US, according to DOJ.

US officials identified them as “newsstand7.com,” “usjournal.net,” “usjournal.us,” and “twtoday.net.”

Visiting these domains now will be met by message from the DOJ that they have been seized by the US.

The statement said they targeted the US. “[They were] controlled by the IRGC and targeted the United States for the spread of Iranian propaganda to influence United States domestic and foreign policy in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), and the remainder spread Iranian propaganda to other parts of the world.”

“Today we are 92 domains closer to shutting down Iran’s worldwide disinformation campaign,” said US Attorney David L. Anderson for the Northern District of California.
Giant social media companies helped in the investigation. “This investigation, initiated by intelligence we received from Google, was a collaborative effort between the FBI and social media companies Google, Facebook, and Twitter,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Bennett.

Last week Twitter has removed 130 fake accounts linked to Iran which were trying to influence reaction to the US election.

The FBI said in a statement it gave information to Twitter to curtail “foreign threats”.
"Although we cannot discuss the specific information provided, the FBI regularly shares information with social media companies so they can better protect their platforms," a spokesman said.
"The FBI is actively engaged with our federal partners, election officials and the private sector to mitigate foreign threats to our nation's security and our elections."
Twitter and Facebook have been ramping up efforts to clamp down on foreign interference in the US election.



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