U.S: Iran and Russia Obtained Voter Registration Data to Interfere in U.S. Election

'If you receive an intimidating or manipulative email in your inbox, don't be alarmed and do not spread it,' the U.S. Director of National Intelligence said on Wednesday.
U.S: Iran and Russia Obtained Voter Registration Data to Interfere in U.S. Election
Image credit: Sean Rayford/Getty Images via PC Mag

Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox

Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now!
3 min read
This story originally appeared on PCMag

Iran has been sending emails to U.S. voters in an attempt to intimidate them at the polls, according to U.S. officials. The warning comes after voters in Alaska, Arizona and Florida reported receiving emails with the subject line: “Vote Trump or Else.” 

The emails claim to come from the far-right organization the Proud Boys and warn the recipient that all their personal information, including phone number and address, has fallen into the group’s hands. “You will vote for Trump on Election Day or we will come after you,” the messages threaten. 

But according to U.S. intelligence, the emails are actually the work of an Iranian group out “to intimidate voters, incite social unrest and damage President Trump,” John Ratcliffe, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, said during a surprise news conference on Wednesday. 

“Additionally, Iran is distributing other content to include a video that implies that individuals could cast fraudulent ballots, even from overseas,” he added. “This video, and any claims about such allegedly fraudulent ballots, are not true. These actions are desperate attempts by desperate adversaries.”

However, Iran isn’t alone in attempting to manipulate U.S. voters. Ratcliffe also claimed Russia has taken “specific actions” to influence public opinion during the elections. Specifically, U.S. intelligence has “confirmed” foreign actors with both countries have obtained some voter registration information, which explains how the Iranian group was able to message the U.S. voters via email.

“This [voter registration] data can be used by foreign actors to communicate false information to registered voters that they hope will cause confusion, sow chaos and undermine your confidence in American democracy,” he added. 

Related: 50 Cent Doubles Down on Rejection of Biden's Tax Plan

So far, U.S. intelligence hasn't observed Russia sending spoofed emails to manipulate U.S. voters. During the short eight-minute press conference, Ratcliffe also didn't go into specifics about how the U.S. determined Iran's and Russia's involvement.

But in response, the U.S. is trying to combat the election interference attempts with the truth so that the public won’t fall for the scare tactics. “Do not allow these efforts to have the intended effect,” Ratcliffe added. “If you receive an intimidating or manipulative email in your inbox, don’t be alarmed and do not spread it. This is not a partisan issue.”

More from Entrepreneur
Entrepreneur Select: A Fund For Entrepreneurs, By Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs require more than just money, which is why we aim to empower you, as well as act as a catalyst for value creation.

Entrepreneur Insider members enjoy exclusive access to business resources for just $5/mo:
  • Premium articles, videos, and webinars
  • An ad-free experience
  • A weekly newsletter
  • Bonus: A FREE 1-year Entrepreneur magazine subscription delivered directly to you
Whether you want to learn something new, be more productive, or make more money, the Entrepreneur Store has something for everyone:
  • Software
  • Gadgets
  • Online Courses
  • Travel Essentials
  • Housewares
  • Fitness & Health Devices
  • And More

Latest on Entrepreneur