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The Daily TIP: Facebook, Twitter Shut Down Iranian Fake News Sites

Posted by Tip Staff - August 22, 2018

Facebook, Twitter Shut Down Iranian Fake News Sites
Lana Del Rey Defies Roger Waters, Will Still Perform in Israel
Israel's Rafael Selected to Produce Weapons for Australian Defence Force
IsraAID Sending Team to Assist in Wake of Deadly Flooding in Indian State of Kerala

Facebook, Twitter Shut Down Iranian Fake News Sites

Following a report released this week by a cybersecurity firm, social media giants Facebook and Twitter shut down hundreds of accounts, including many from Iran, for engaging in what Facebook called "coordinated inauthentic behavior" on the platforms, Wired reported Tuesday.

The report issued by FireEye on Tuesday said that the "inauthentic news" propagated by Iranian social media accounts promoted narratives including "anti-Saudi, anti-Israeli, and pro-Palestinian themes, as well as support for specific U.S. policies favorable to Iran, such as the U.S.-Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA)."

Facebook, in announcing its suspension of the fake news accounts, noted that it shut down a network of accounts associated with Liberty Front Press. The network had, according to Facebook, "74 Pages, 70 accounts, and 3 groups on Facebook, as well as 76 accounts on Instagram." Through its presence on Facebook, Liberty Front Press were followed by roughly 155,000 people and 48,000 people followed at least one of its Instagram accounts.

Facebook also discovered a second network associated with Liberty Front Press that used its presence on Facebook to launch cyberattacks.

Another network Facebook found was formed in 2011 and consisted of 168 pages and 140 accounts. This network had a combined 823,000 followers on Facebook and Instagram. Though this network, which was deemed suspicious, produced content in Arabic and Farsi, no country was identified as being the source of it.

Lana Del Rey Defies Roger Waters, Will Still Perform in Israel

Defying calls from the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, to cancel her performance at the Meteor Festival in Israel, American singer Lana Del Rey said in a statement, “I believe music is universal and should be used to bring us together.”

Del Rey had received widespread criticism from the boycotts movement and specifically from former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters following her announcement that she will perform at a festival in the northern Kibbutz of Lehavot HaBashan in September, The Jerusalem Post reported Wednesday.

“We signed on to the show with the intention that it would be performed for the kids there and my plan was for it to be done with a loving energy and a thematic emphasis on peace,” she said in a statement.

Del Rey noted that she is heading for a place "that many big bands are playing this year and at this festival." This year’s lineup at the Meteor Festival includes rapper Pusha T, DJ Flying Lotus, jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington and many more. And already this summer, popular concerts have been held in Israel by Enrique Iglesias, Alanis Morissette, Ringo Starr, Ozzy Ozbourne, Maluma and many others.

Del Rey also personally responded to Waters, a leading anti-Israel activist, who published an open letter urging Rey to boycott the festival. In a Facebook post Tuesday, Waters said performing in Israel would be “a political act in support of the apartheid state that would deny [Palestinians] basic human rights.”

Rebuffing Waters, Del Rey responded on Instagram, "We will still be playing our show in Israel.”

Israel's Rafael Selected to Produce Weapons for Australian Defence Force

Israel's Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has been selected to provide weapons systems to the Australian Defence Force, The Jerusalem Post reported Wednesday.

The announcement was made by Australia’s Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne at a ceremony marking the creation of VRA Systems, which is a joint venture between Rafael and Australia's Varley Group.

VRA Systems CEO Jacob Blitman said that the new company will initially employ 70 people and hopes eventually to employ hundreds more.

The Spike is a Rafael-designed anti-tank system, that will be produced for the ADF. It will be used on the ADF's new Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles.

In addition to the Spike, Australia is set to purchase the Trophy Active Protection System from Rafael to protect its armored vehicles. Australia is the second nation, after the United States, to purchase Trophy systems.

During Operation Protective Edge in 2014, Israeli tanks operating in Gaza protected by Trophy systems suffered no losses.

Other Rafael systems that will be produced by VRA for the ADF include the Tamir counter-rocket, artillery and missile interceptor, and the Torbuster anti-torpedo defense for submarines.

“This partnership between one of Australia’s best defence companies and a global success story like Rafael is another success story for Australian industry,” Pyne said in announcing the creation of VRA.

“This will bring IP, know-how and advanced manufacturing techniques to Australia to produce capability for use by the ADF with the potential for export to our friends and allies”.

IsraAID Sending Team to Assist in Wake of Deadly Flooding in Indian State of Kerala

Israeli humanitarian NGO IsraAID announced today that it is sending an emergency response team to the southern Indian state of Kerala, which has been hit by the worst flooding in living memory.

More than 350 people have been killed since the monsoon began at the end of May, and at least 220 have died since the August 8, when the rains grew heavier.

About 725,000 people have fled their homes to emergency relief camps, and thousands have been left stranded in areas rendered inaccessible by the floodwaters. The monsoon rains have been significantly heavier than usual and have covered the region.

The emergency team traveling to Kerala this week consists of international and Nepali staff from IsraAID’s office in Nepal, who will distribute urgent relief items and assess the longer-term psychosocial and WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) needs of the affected communities. Members of this same team responded to heavy flooding in the Terai region of southern Nepal last year.

“According to the Indian authorities, Kerala is facing its worst flooding in a century. In the face of this devastation, IsraAID will be partnering with local communities and NGOs to help meet the affected population’s pressing needs,” said Yotam Polizer and Navonel Glick, IsraAID’s co-CEOs.

“Based on IsraAID’s experience, both internationally and in the region, we will focus initially on urgent relief distributions to evacuated communities, while our team assesses next steps in accompanying the affected population on the path to recovery.”

As of 2018, IsraAID has responded to crises in 47 countries, and has programs in 17 countries.

(via Israel21c)

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