US seizes Iranian websites over disinformation claims | TopGadgetHut

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The US government has seized 33 websites owned by the Iranian Islamic Radio and Television Union (IRTVU), as well as three other sites owned by Iraqi-based Kata’ib Hizballah (KH), after the groups violated US sanctions, the Department of Justice said in a statement yesterday. Specifically, the DOJ accused the news sites of spreading disinformation, which brings to mind the October announcement from then Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, calling out Iran and Russia for using misinformation to interfere with US elections. The seized sites include Press TV, the English-language side of Iran’s state TV, and Palestine Today, which focuses on viewpoints from Islamic militant groups like Hamas, the Washington Post reports

The DOJ says the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) had labeled IRTVU as a Specially Designated National (SDN) in October, due to its direct ties to Iran. That label basically prevents organizations from obtaining US services without a license from OFAC. The DOJ notes that neither IRTVU or KH acquired OFAC licenses for the seized domains, even though the domains were owned by US companies.

In October, the DOJ also announced that it seized 92 domains tied to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard, after saying they were part of a global disinformation campaign. it’s not just the US government making similar claims either. In September, Microsoft also announced that Iran, Russia and China were behind persistent hacking attempts meant to meddle with US elections.

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Kylie Knox

Kylie Knox

Kylie Knox is our lead analyst for Electronics Product reviews. She studied at RPI and worked on the retail side of the industry at B&H before landing at Topgadgethut. Also, she handled all of Good Housekeeping’s nutrition-related content, testing, and evaluation from 2017 to 2019.

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A registered dietitian with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Loyola University and a Master of Science degree in Clinical Nutrition from Columbia University, Kylie Knox handled all of Good Housekeeping’s nutrition-related content, testing, and evaluation from 2017 to 2020.

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