Britain’s cybersecurity agency is investigating whether state-sponsored Russian hackers were behind the leaks of British government documents used by opposition politicians to embarrass Boris Johnson’s ruling Conservative Party ahead of Thursday’s general election.
The official probe into the origin of the leaked material — which included documents detailing discussions between British and U.S. negotiators on a possible post-Brexit transatlantic trade deal — comes days after the social media site Reddit announced it had blocked 61 accounts linked to the dissemination of the documents after investigating suspect activity bearing similarities to previous Russian online influence operations.
The leaked documents were used by Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Britain’s main opposition Labour Party, as "evidence" that the Conservatives might include the country’s public health service in any future trade deal with the United States — a claim firmly denied by British Prime Minister Johnson.
Corbyn, other Labour leaders, as well as Scottish nationalists, have contended that the Conservatives will “sell off” the National Health Service to American companies in order to secure a trade deal.
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