A 100-page report published by the Henry Jackson Society cited examples of fake sites used to promote Scottish independence and to promote anti-Saudi, anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian themes in the UK.
Iran, once considered a “tier three” country in terms of cyber capabilities, warns that it is becoming increasingly sophisticated in terms of scope and choice of targets.
In the United States alone, over 100 domain names were confiscated last year by Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards in cyber campaigns. These include syria-victory.com and yemenpress.org related to Iran’s regional foreign policy goals.
Interference in the Scottish Independence Controversy.
Iran also has more than 20,000 followers and was found to have funded a Facebook page to promote Scotland’s independence, including the title “Free Scotland”, which was shut down after the source of the money was revealed.
The report said computer company Grafica recorded Iranian interference online in Scotland ahead of the 2013 independent referendum.
One Facebook page “stole” the name of the newspaper The Scotsman from a site called The Scotsman Cartoon, which used a variety of visual styles to promote Scotland’s need for independence and attacked then Prime Minister David Cameron for “repression of the English language”.
The report said, “There is no suggestion that Scottish nationalist politicians have encouraged or supported Iranian interference, but it sets a worrisome precedent, especially since the issue of a potential second referendum on Scottish independence is highly controversial.”
“So far, Iran’s online involvement in British politics does not appear to have had a decisive impact. It is not for lack of attempts.
“Iran has shown that Iran is a country that spreads disinformation online and establishes fake websites and Internet accounts in an attempt to subvert a political system it considers an enemy.
Promoting anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian messages
Iran has been found behind leftist accounts promoting anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian topics, including the title britishleft.com.
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