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    Computer screens display the Facebook sign-in screen in this photo illustration taken in Golden, Colorado, United States July 28, 2015

    Senator Urges Congress to Ban Foreign Entities From Buying Online Political Ads

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - House Intelligence Committee released on Thursday more than 3,500 Facebook ads allegedly used by St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency to influence the 2016 US election.

    US Senator Amy Klobuchar said in a press release that US Congress must pass legislation to ensure foreign entities cannot purchase political online advertisements to influence US election.

    "Instead of waiting for Congress to release the ads — or counting on major platforms to voluntarily release this information — Congress should step up and get the Honest Ads Act passed to ensure that all major platforms that sell online political advertisements are held to the same rules of the road," Klobuchar said on Thursday.

    According to the release, the content and purchasers of online advertisements during the 2016 election were a mystery "because of outdated laws that have failed to keep up with evolving technology," the release said.

    "The Honest Ads Act would help prevent foreign actors from influencing our elections by ensuring that political ads sold online have the same transparency and disclosure requirements as ads sold on TV, radio, and print," the senator said.

    The release said Congress must ensure other digital platforms aside from Facebook, such as Twitter and Google, are also regulated immediately in order to prevent foreign nations from using online ads to influence US elections.

    The measure would require digital platforms with about half a million viewers a month to maintain a public file of all electioneering communications purchased by an individual or entity that spends more than $500 on online advertisements through their platforms.

    Each digital platform would have to provide a description of the audience each advertisement targets, the number of views each advertisement generates, the contact information of the purchaser and other information, the release said.

    Russian officials have repeatedly rejected the allegations of Moscow tampering with the US election as unfounded.


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