The Guardian, and all the other predictable voices, are currently reporting that Russian “state sponsored hackers” have been attempting to steal “medical secrets” from British pharmaceutical researchers.
At this stage they offer no substantiation, but it does serve as good teaching exercise in the techniques of modern propagandists.
First the lack of evidence. Observe the Guardian article, note the complete absence of sources or references. There’s not a link in sight. There’s no content there beyond the parroted words of UK government officials, whose honesty and/or competence is never interrogated.
Second, the lies by omission. They don’t mention, for example, the Vault 7 revelations from Wikileaks that the CIA/Pentagon have developed technology to make one of their own cyber-attacks appear to come from anywhere in the world, Russia obviously included. This is clearly vital information.
Third, the multitasking. When you splash a huge red lie on your front pages, it’s always best to make it serve several agendas at once. In fact, an unsupported statement which serves multiple state-backed narratives at the same time is one of the telltale signs of propaganda.
With this one completely unverified claim, the Guardian – or rather the people who tell the Guardian what to say – back up three narratives:
1: The further demonisation of an “enemy”. Russia is portrayed as pursuing “selfish interests with reckless behaviour”, whilst we (and our allies) are “getting on with the hard work of finding a vaccine and protecting global health.”
2: Promoting the vaccine. The vaccine is coming. It will likely be mandatory, it will certainly have been insufficiently tested, if tested at all. They need some pro-vaccine advertising, and nothing sells better than “our vaccine is so good, people are trying to steal it”.
3: Most importantly – Enhancing the idea that Sars-Cov-2 is a unique global threat which puts us all in danger. The unspoken assumption is that Russia needs to steal our research because the virus is so dangerous we all need to be afraid of it…despite it being harmless to the vast majority of people.The “Russian vaccine hack” is a 3-for-1 deal on propaganda