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UK watchdog calls for transparency on online political ad funding

From Engadget - November 15, 2017

The UK's election rules are currently outlined under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA). The Commission's recommendations would require a piece of secondary legislation, created by the UK government and signed off by parliament, before any fines or sanctions could be levied against uncooperative groups. It follows remarks by the Prime Minister Theresa May, who on Monday accused Russia of meddling in British elections. "We know what you are doing," she said during a speech at the Lord Mayor's banquet, "and you will not succeed."

Bots are but one method that could be used to sway a vote. The Commission says it's aware of the "commentary and concern" raised during the last general election, and would extend its new imprint ruled to cover this campaigning technique. "It should be an offence to use 'bots' in this way without making clear who has caused the material to be created and on whose behalf it is disseminated," it added. The comments follow research from the University of Edinburgh, which discovered more than 400 fake Twitter accounts controlled by Russia to influence Brexit.

Damian Collins, the chairman of the Commons culture, media and sport select committee, has also asked Twitter for Russia-linked accounts that could have influenced "the democratic process of the United Kingdom."

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