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US Senate to probe into Russian hacking

The US Senate Intelligence Committee has said it would start a probe into Russian alleged hacking after reports showed Moscow had interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

Last Friday, US intelligence agencies published a report accusing Russia of hacking Democratic Party emails to influence the election, claiming that Russian President Vladimir Putin “sought to help” Donald Trump defeat his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

On Friday, the Senate committee said it would review all assessments, “including any intelligence regarding links between Russia and individuals associated with political campaigns.”

“As part of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s oversight responsibilities, we believe that it is critical to have a full understanding of the scope of Russian intelligence activities impacting the United States,” it added.

Most of the work will be conducted out of public scrutiny in order to protect confidential information, it added.

“The Committee will follow the intelligence wherever it leads. We will conduct this inquiry expeditiously, and we will get it right.”

The probe is being supported by both Democrats and Republicans on the panel. It would see officials of both President Barack Obama’s outgoing administration and the incoming government of Trump.

The intelligence community said that the hacked emails, which were reportedly provided to WikiLeaks by individuals working for the Russian government, were a regular source of embarrassment to Clinton during the presidential race and may have contributed to her defeat.

Trump, who had flatly rejected the reports previously, conceded for the first time Wednesday that Russia was behind the hacking of Democratic Party institutions, but said that not only Russia, but many other countries were hacking the US.

China, for an example, breached 22 million accounts in 2015 during a cyber attack against the US Office of Personnel and Management, the business mogul said.


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