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Russia pushes disinformation in online network

CHICAGO (AP) — The State Department says Russia is using a well-developed online operation that includes a loose collection of proxy websites to stir up confusion around the coronavirus by amplifying conspiracy theories and misinformation.

The disclosure on Wednesday was rare for the Trump administration, which has been cautious about blaming the Kremlin for disinformation campaigns, especially around the U.S. election. Despite evidence that Russia launched a divisive disinformation operation on social media during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the State Department’s report did not examine how — if at all — Russia is waging another online influence campaign in this year’s election.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did, however, announce Wednesday that the U.S. would offer a reward of up to $10 million for information that identifies people working with foreign governments to interfere in the U.S. election through illegal cyber activity.

The department detailed a Russian-backed misinformation cycle

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Gaming TV Network VENN Lines Up Distribution Partners for August Launch

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As traditional cable programmers struggle, startup VENN is stepping up to the plate with a business model the founders of the live-streaming video-game entertainment network say is custom-built for the over-the-top era.

For the Aug. 5 launch, VENN will make its 24-hour, free-to-watch linear network available on Amazon’s Twitch, YouTube, Facebook Gaming and Twitter. In addition, the company says, it will be coming to dedicated channels on connected-TV platforms representing more than 30 million U.S. households, including Vizio’s smart TVs, Comcast’s Xumo streaming service, Sinclair’s STIRR and DistroTV.

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VENN, the Video Game Entertainment and News Network, is in talks for additional distribution deals with OTT platforms as well as traditional and internet pay-TV providers, said Ben Kusin, co-founder and co-CEO. VENN’s programming, totaling 21 hours of original shows per week at launch, will also be available directly on its website

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