Google blocks accounts in 'influence operation' linked to Iran

By AFP
Published: August 24, 2018
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This photo taken on August 23, 2018 shows the Google logo on display at the Smart China Expo at Chongqing International Expo Center in southwest China's Chongqing.PHOTO: AFP

This photo taken on August 23, 2018 shows the Google logo on display at the Smart China Expo at Chongqing International Expo Center in southwest China's Chongqing.PHOTO: AFP

Alphabet’s Google said on Thursday it had identified and terminated 39 YouTube channels linked to state-run Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting.

Google has also removed 39 YouTube channels and six blogs on Blogger and 13 Google+ accounts.

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“Our investigations on these topics are ongoing and we will continue to share our findings with law enforcement and other relevant government entities in the US and elsewhere,” Google said in a blog post here

On Tuesday, Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet collectively removed hundreds of accounts tied to an alleged Iranian propaganda operation.

Google, which had engaged cyber-security firm FireEye to provide the company with intelligence, said it has detected and blocked attempts by “state-sponsored actors” in recent months.

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FireEye said it has suspected “influence operation” that appears to originate from Iran, aimed at audiences in the United States, the UK, Latin America, and the Middle East.

Shares of FireEye rose as much as 10 per cent to $16.38 after Google identified the company as a consultant.

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