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BREAKING: Fake news CNN discovers Russian video game “Hilltendo” tricked 60 million Americans to vote Trump (Video)

CNN finally caught Russians swaying millions of US voters with this 3-level game.

Alex Christoforou

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CNN has blown the Trump-Russia 2016 election collusion doors wide open with undeniable proof of how the Russians convinced over 60 million Americans to vote Trump in 2016.

Aside from using 13 Russian bots on twitter working convince Americans to vote Trump, CNN is now reporting that the Kremlin also engineered a “Crooked” Hillary video game (“not playable on smartphones”) which had the awesome power to magically change voters’ minds during the 2016 US presidential campaign.

RT reports on the effects the game called “Hilltendo” had on the unsuspecting American voting public…

CNN’s crackerjack reporters have discovered that Russians created an anti-Hillary Clinton video game called “Hilltendo” and then tried to make it go viral in the weeks before the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Fake news CNN reports

On the surface, it looks like a silly, Flash-based game of the sort that populated the internet for years. Yet Hilltendo appears to be more sophisticated than that. In fact, it may indicate an intent to zero in on the people who played the game, track their behavior on social media, and hit them later with micro-targeted advertisements, according to several website programmers and cybersecurity experts who viewed the code at CNN’s request.

The evidence is embedded in the website’s code, internet records, the methodical campaign to make Hilltendo gain popularity online, and a Russian software developer’s ties to the Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency.

Jonathon Morgan, whose company New Knowledge tracks the spread of misinformation online, said the game is an example of how sophisticated and expansive Russian propaganda is and why it’s difficult for any one social media platform to solve the problem.

The game consisted of three levels, starting with this one: “Help Hillary delete as many classified emails as possible before she is caught.” Players controlled a Hillary Clinton character who sits on a missile and eliminates emails, all while avoiding FBI agents.

The next level asked: “How much money can Hillary get from the Arab states?” At the top of the screen, nations’ flags drop money. At the bottom, the Clinton character holds a basket to collect the cash as it falls.

The final level challenged users to “Help Hillary throw the Constitution as far as possible,” and it included caricatures of then-President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton.

The game’s website had Facebook and Google tracking software embedded on it. This software would have made it possible for the game’s creators to identify people who played the game and later target them with advertising elsewhere on the Web, including on Facebook, potentially to direct them to disinformation campaigns.

Hilltendo would have been a relatively simple game to build, said Brian Moore, a New York-based developer who built the viral anti-Republican video game “GOP Arcade.”

“You could get this out in as quickly as 12 hours. It’s a very simple game. They could have found a template to build the game on. The animations are pretty stock. It’s not anything too insane,” he told CNN. “The art is the hardest part. It’s pretty polished.”

How did fake news CNN connect the dots from the video game to Russia…

Hilltendo.com, like any website, is kept online by a computer network with an Internet Protocol address. Many websites can be randomly grouped together on the same IP address — 17 different websites that have nothing to do with anti-American Russian activity once had the IP address eventually used by Hilltendo.

But records examined by cybersecurity expert Paul Vixie and CNN appear to show that, beginning in May 2016, the hosting company dedicated this IP address to a single client. From that point on, the only new websites assigned to that address were Hilltendo.com, PlayWithHillary.com, and BlackFist.pro. BlackFist.pro has previously been shown to have been run by the Internet Research Agency, the Kremlin-linked corporation indicted by U.S. Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller last month.

There are further signs of the websites’ connections to each other and to Russians.

PlayWithHillary.com and Hilltendo.com were registered on the same day: September 9, 2016. Anonymized records of internet traffic obtained by CNN show that both websites were first connected to just hours apart, possibly by the administrator of the sites testing them. Those records were collected by Vixie, one of the world’s top experts on Domain Name Server records, the system that serves as the internet’s phone book.

It is still theoretically possible that the three websites are unconnected to each other. But Vixie noted that this would be an astounding coincidence: Two different people registering similar domain names on the same day with the same web hosting provider, and assigned the same IP address.

“I don’t see that happening,” he said.

And there’s one more clue on top of that. The identity of the person who registered Hilltendo.com is kept hidden by a corporate proxy — a common tactic used by everyday people seeking privacy online. But the registration information for PlayWithHillary.com is public. It lists someone named Aleksandr Skripnikov in St. Petersburg, Russia, where the Internet Research Agency is based.

CNN also documented how mentions of “Hilltendo” made their way across the internet.

The game does not appear to have been shared widely on Twitter. Only two dozen or so links to the game were still live on Wednesday. One person who did share the game on Twitter, however, appears to be a Russian software developer living in St. Petersburg with two ties to the Kremlin-backed Internet Research Agency.

The Twitter user @MetalRex101, who self-identified as Ilya Ibragimov, created an account there the month Hilltendo went live. When CNN viewed the account last year, it included only two tweets — both linking to Hilltendo, both sent just days after the game was released. The @MetalRex101 account has since been suspended. Twitter would not say why it was taken down, but it has purged thousands of Russian accounts tied to U.S. election meddling.

Ibragimov uses the “MetalRex101” identity on various online services, and he lists his job history on the Russian social media platform VKontakte. In 2016, according to his VKontakte profile, Ibragimov worked at Glavset — a company based in the building where the Internet Research Agency operated: 55 Savushkina Street in St. Petersburg.

In 2014, Ibragimov’s VKontakte profile says, he worked at another St. Petersburg firm, Morkov. Morkov is run by Sergey Polozov, according to Polozov’s own VKontakte account and Russian company records. Polozov was one of the 13 Russian nationals named in Mueller’s indictment of the Internet Research Agency last month.

According to the indictment, Polozov worked for the Internet Research Agency from 2014 to 2016, serving as the manager of its IT department. Part of his role, the indictment claims, was to procure U.S. servers and other computer infrastructure in an attempt to mask the agency’s Russian origins.

CNN has reached out to Polozov and Ibragimov for comment.

Efforts to promote the game appear to have been focused primarily on the online image sharing website Imgur. It is the 14th most popular website in the United States, according to the online audience tracker Alexa — ahead of sites like Pinterest, CNN, and The New York Times.

In September 2016, just days after the Hilltendo.com website was registered, two Imgur accounts, both only weeks old, posted lists of video games to “kill your time.” Both of the posts went viral on the platform and were viewed more than 700,000 times; one even made it to Imgur’s coveted front page.

The pair’s posts have since been removed by the company. But back in September 2016, they were highlighted by Imgur staff in a weekly blog post about the top performing posts on the platform.

CNN reviewed these accounts last fall. Both had telltale signs of sham marketing campaigns.

Months after these posts were made, CNN spoke to several Imgur users who were bothered by them. Daniel Lupton, an actuary in Minnesota, said that when he first saw them he thought, “This doesn’t make sense. It feels all fake. It feels manufactured.”

In a statement to CNN, Imgur said: “We have been actively investigating how our platform may have been used by foreign actors. We plan to proactively share what we have learned with authorities and investigators.” The company said it has not been contacted by Mueller’s team or congressional investigators.

A link to the game was also posted to Voat, a platform that markets itself as an alternative to Reddit. There, the game was posted by user “Peter_Hurst.” Hurst posted to Voat almost 200 times in the two months between July and September 2016.

Dozens of Hurst’s posts linked to articles on DoNotShoot.us and BlackMattersUS.com, two websites CNN confirmed were part of a Russia’s effort to interfere in American politics. The account is still on the platform but has not posted since 2016.

On Reddit, a “Peter_Hurst” account also regularly posted links to Internet Research Agency websites, CNN found.

Reddit said the Peter_Hurst account was suspended in 2016 for spam, but did not provide any further details.

In a post on the platform on Monday, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman said that the company is investigating the spread of Russian propaganda on its platform and is cooperating with congressional investigators.

In a statement, U.S. Senator Mark Warner, the ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election, said that he would encourage Reddit and other sites “to take a much closer look at how their platforms and services could be used to manipulate their users’ trust and attention.”

Hilltendo does not appear to have achieved virality on Facebook or Twitter, perhaps in part because it was not playable on smartphones. It was only available on desktop and laptop computers.

The game is no longer online, but numbers previously displayed on the site claimed the game was played almost 19,000 times.

In the process of investigating the game’s origins, CNN downloaded the Hilltendo video game’s computer code. We reviewed every line of code and received help from Amanda Rousseau, senior malware researcher at the cybersecurity company Endgame. Buried within the thousands of lines of code were mentions of “kek kek,” online slang predominantly used by alt-right trolls to represent laughter.

You can’t make this stuff up!

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Tape recorded evidence of Clinton-Ukraine meddling in US election surfaces (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 114.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou take a look at new evidence to surface from Ukraine that exposes a plot by the US Embassy in Kiev and the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) to leak Paul Manafort’s corrupt dealings in the country, all for the benefit of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

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Via Zerohedge


Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko has launched an investigation into the head of the Ukrainian National Anti-Corruption Bureau for allegedly attempting to help Hillary Clinton defeat Donald Trump during the 2016 US election by releasing damaging information about a “black ledger” of illegal business dealings by former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

The Hill’s John Solomon, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko

“Today we will launch a criminal investigation about this and we will give legal assessment of this information,” Lutsenko said last week, according to The Hill

Lutsenko is probing a claim from a member of the Ukrainian parliament that the director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), Artem Sytnyk, attempted to the benefit of the 2016 U.S. presidential election on behalf of Hillary Clinton.

A State Department spokesman told Hill.TV that officials aware of news reports regarding Sytnyk. –The Hill

“According to the member of parliament of Ukraine, he got the court decision that the NABU official conducted an illegal intrusion into the American election campaign,” said Lutsenko, speaking with The Hill’s John Solomon about the anti-corruption bureau chief, Artem Sytnyk.

“It means that we think Mr. Sytnyk, the NABU director, officially talked about criminal investigation with Mr. [Paul] Manafort, and at the same time, Mr. Sytnyk stressed that in such a way, he wanted to assist the campaign of Ms. Clinton,” Lutsenko continued.

Solomon asked Lutsenko about reports that a member of Ukraine’s parliament obtained a tape of the current head of the NABU saying that he was attempting to help Clinton win the 2016 presidential election, as well as connections that helped release the black-ledger files that exposed Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort‘s wrongdoing in Ukraine.

“This member of parliament even attached the audio tape where several men, one of which had a voice similar to the voice of Mr. Sytnyk, discussed the matter.” –The Hill

What The Hill doesn’t mention is that Sytnyk released Manafort’s Black Book with Ukrainian lawmaker Serhiy Leshchenko – discussed in great length by former Breitbart investigator Lee Stranahan, who has been closely monitoring this case.

Serhiy Leshchenko

T]he main spokesman for these accusations was Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian politician and journalist who works closely with both top Hillary Clinton donors George Soros and Victor Pinchuk, as well as to the US Embassy in Kyiv.

James Comey should be asked about this source that Leshchenko would not identify. Was the source someone connected to US government, either the State Department or the Department of Justice?

The New York Times should also explain why they didn’t mention that Leshchenko had direct connections to two of Hillary Clinton biggest financial backers. Victor Pinchuk, the largest donor to the Clinton Foundation at a staggering $8.6 million also happened to have paid for Leshchenko’s expenses to go to international conferences. George Soros, whose also founded the International Renaissance Foundationthat worked closely with Hillary Clinton’s State Department in Ukraine, also contributed at least $8 million to Hillary affiliated super PACs in the 2016 campaign cycle. –Lee Stranahan via Medium

Meanwhile, according to former Fusion GPS contractor Nellie Ohr, Leshchenko was a source for opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which commissioned the infamous Trump-Russia dossier.

Nellie Ohr, a former contractor for the Washington, D.C.-based Fusion GPS, testified on Oct. 19 that Serhiy Leshchenko, a former investigative journalist turned Ukrainian lawmaker, was a source for Fusion GPS during the 2016 campaign.

“I recall … they were mentioning someone named Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian,” Ohr said when asked who Fusion GPS’s sources were, according to portions of Ohr’s testimony confirmed by The Daily Caller News Foundation. –Daily Caller

Also absent from The Hill report is the fact that Leshchenko was convicted in December by a Kiev court of interfering in the 2016 US election.

A Kyiv court said that a Ukrainian lawmaker and a top anticorruption official’s decision in 2016 to publish documents linked to President Donald Trump’s then-campaign chairman amounted to interference in the U.S. presidential election.

The December 11 finding came in response to a complaint filed by another Ukrainian lawmaker, who alleged that Serhiy Leshchenko and Artem Sytnyk illegally released the documents in August 2016, showing payments by a Ukrainian political party to Trump’s then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

The documents, excerpts from a secret ledger of payments by the Party of Regions, led to Manafort being fired by Trump’s election campaign.

The Kyiv court said that the documents published by Leshchenko and Sytnyk were part of an ongoing pretrial investigation in Ukraine into the operations of the pro-Russian Party of Regions. The party’s head had been President Viktor Yanukovych until he fled the country amid mass protests two years earlier.

-RadioFreeEurope/Radio Liberty (funded by the US govt.).

So while Lutsenko – Solomon’s guest and Ukrainian Prosecutor is currently going after Artem Sytnyk, it should be noted that Leshchenko was already found to have meddled in the 2016 US election.

Watch:

Meanwhile, you can also check out Stranahan’s take on Leshchenko being left out of the loop.

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‘I will take over as Brexit Party leader’: Nigel Farage back on the frontline

Nigel Farage says that if the UK takes part in European elections, he will lead his new Brexit Party.

RT

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Via RT


Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has announced that he will lead his new Brexit Party into the European elections if UK MPs decide to delay Brexit beyond May 22.

Farage, who has ostensibly appointed himself leader, told various media, including the BBC and Sky News on Friday morning: “I will take over as leader of the Brexit Party and lead it into the European Elections.”

It comes after the Brexit Party’s leader, Catherine Blaiklock, quit over a series of alleged Islamophobic statements and retweets of far-right figures on social media.

It is not yet thought that Farage has officially been elected as leader, as the party does not, as yet, have a formal infrastructure to conduct such a vote.

The right-wing MEP vowed to put out a whole host of Brexit Party candidates if the UK participates in the upcoming EU elections in May, adding: “If we fight those elections, we will fight them on trust.”

On Thursday night, the EU agreed to PM May’s request for a delaying to Brexit beyond the March 29 deadline. Brussels announced two new exit dates depending on what happens next week in the UK parliament.

The UK will have to leave the bloc on April 12 unless British MPs agree to May’s Brexit deal. If the withdrawal agreement is passed by next week, EU leaders have agreed to grant an extension until May 22.

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Baltics cannot rely on Germany any more

The matter is NATO today is not as strong as it is supposed to be. And it is not only because of leadership blunders.

The Duran

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Submitted by Adomas Abromaitis…

On March 29 Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia will celebrate 15 years of becoming NATO member states. The way to the alliance membership was not simple for newly born independent countries. They have reached great success in fulfilling many of NATO demands: they have considerably increased their defence expenditures, renewed armaments and increased the number of military personnel.

In turn, they get used to rely on more powerful member states, their advice, help and even decision making. All these 15 years they felt more or less safe because of proclaimed European NATO allies’ capabilities.

Unfortunately, now it is high time to doubt. The matter is NATO today is not as strong as it supposed to be. And it is not only because of leadership’s blunders. Every member state does a bit. As for the Baltic states, they are particularly vulnerable, because they fully depend on other NATO member states in their defence. Thus, Germany, Canada and Britain are leading nations of the NATO battle group stationed in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia respectively.

But the state of national armed forces in Germany, for example, raises doubts and makes it impossible not only defend the Baltics against Russia, but Germany itself.

It turned out, that Germany itself remains dissatisfied with its combat readiness and minister of defence’s ability to perform her duties. Things are so bad, that the military’s annual readiness report would be kept classified for the first time for “security reasons.”

“Apparently the readiness of the Bundeswehr is so bad that the public should not be allowed to know about it,” said Tobias Lindner, a Greens member who serves on the budget and defense committees.

Inspector General Eberhard Zorn said (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-arms/germany-not-satisfied-with-readiness-of-submarines-some-aircraft-idUSKBN1QS1G7) the average readiness of the country’s nearly 10,000 weapons systems stood at about 70 percent in 2018, which meant Germany was able to fulfill its military obligations despite increasing responsibilities.

No overall comparison figure was available for 2017, but last year’s report revealed readiness rates of under 50 percent for specific weapons such as the aging CH-53 heavy-lift helicopters and the Tornado fighter jets.

Zorn said this year’s report was more comprehensive and included details on five main weapons systems used by the cyber command, and eight arms critical for NATO’s high readiness task force, which Germany heads this year.

“The overall view allows such concrete conclusions about the current readiness of the Bundeswehr that knowledge by unauthorized individuals would harm the security interests of the Federal Republic of Germany,” he wrote.

Critics are sure of incompetence of the Federal Minister of Defence, Ursula von der Leyen. Though she has occupied the upper echelons of German politics for 14 years now — and shows no sign of success. This mother of seven, gynecologist by profession, by some miracle for a long time has been remaining in power, though has no trust even among German military elites. Despite numerous scandals she tries to manage the Armed Forces as a housewife does and, of course, the results are devastating for German military capabilities. The same statement could be easily apply for the Baltic States, which highly dependent on Germany in military sphere.

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