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It specifically says this is a potential threat to > "elected officials, candidates, political campaigns, [and] political parties

But that is NOT what it says at all.

I can't emphasise how misleading this summary is! The exact quote is:

> If the FBI assesses that elected officials, candidates, political campaigns, political parties are targets of foreign influence operations involving FaceApp [then the the FBI would investigate].

Note that "IF"? That puts a pretty different spin on it to your interpretation!

Separately, it says:

> The FBI considers any application or similar product developed in Russia, such as FaceApp, to be a potential counter-intelligence threat.

@dang - I think that the current headline "FBI designates FaceApp as counterlintelligence threat" as misleading. "Designates" implies something like being added to an official list (like a sanctions list or something). A better headline would be "FBI responds to congressional query on FaceApp" or "FBI considers all Russian-built apps counterintelligence threats"






Not at all. There's plenty of people in this thread wondering what "potential" means in "potential threat". This is what that potential means. The FBI has assessed that this app is a potential threat but they haven't found any evidence that Russia's government is actually using it in this way. If the FBI finds out that it's being used as an attack vector, then they will jump in to assist.

Not misleading at all. I don't know why so many people are reading this so wrong, it's not a long letter. The Senate asked the FBI if this app was a threat to US politicians, the FBI said it could be but they don't see it being exploited at this time. If that changes, the FBI will intervene. Pretty simple to understand as long as you read the words that were written.


Your version It specifically says this is a potential threat to "elected officials, candidates, political campaigns, [and] political parties" makes it sound like the FBI said that.

In the letter it speaks separately about FaceApp specifically (~"no known campaigns") and general potential threats (~"anything developed in Russia"). Your summary combines a quote from the "no known campaign" and the "anything developed in Russia" bit to say something they never said.

Specifically the letter says the FBI will investigate any foreign influence operations involving FaceApp aimed at officials.

Your version turns that into a claim that the FBI says FaceApp is only a potential threat to those officials. The letter doesn't say that at all.

Additionally you make up a bunch of stuff around the threat model that you claim the FBI sees. ("The potential threat is for someone at Candidate_1's campaign taking selfies with the app, that then uploads them to Russian servers where the Russian government can see them and can also see what's in the background (sensitive documents?) or see geo-location from the app (like how Strava was leaking the coordinates at military bases [1]) or any number of things a hostile foreign government who has already hacked American elections once and is planning to do it again might want to do with pictures that interns/staffers might think are private.")

Again, this letter doesn't say or imply that. In-fact, the foreign influence operations may imply that the FBI is more concerned about foreign adversaries using the politician's likeness (eg for "Fake News" style videos or something).




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