Russia is "without a doubt" meddling in the UK - intelligence expert

19 July 2020, 12:56

By Seán Hickey

This intelligence expert insisted that Russian-backed hackers are meddling in the UK's democracy, along with other countries.

After the Russian ambassador denied claims that Russia was attempting to hack UK laboratories trying to find coronavirus vaccine information, Brian Lord, former Deputy Director for Intelligence and Cyber Operations at GCHQ, joined Iain Dale to react to the announcement.

Iain wanted to know if there was any doubt "there has been state sponsored interference not just in the UK but in other countries as well" while Mr Lord confirmed that "without a doubt" there has been interference.

"This is states, in this case Russia taking advantage of the power of social media in this case being able to either take legitimate documents...or spread all kinds of information and using social media to promulgate it" the intelligence expert said.

He went on to state that it is in no doubt that states, not just Russia will be using online platforms "to subtly influence voting, subtly influence perspectives and just create little bits of cracks in the democratic systems we have."

Vladimir Putin has consistently denied Russian interference in foreign politics
Vladimir Putin has consistently denied Russian interference in foreign politics. Picture: PA

On the denial the Russian ambassador made, Iain pointed out that "it's expected that they'll just deny everything" to which Mr Lord said that "that's historically what happens."

He said that denying what has happened is a habit of spies and isn't new here. It is "consistent behaviour of state espionage that's happened over the years and is just now happening in a slightly different way" said Mr Lord.

After three intelligence units of the Five Eyes came out confirming Russian interference, Mr Lord stated that "intelligence agencies do not routinely come out with that level of firm attribution unless they're pretty sure."

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