U.S. State Department's Smackdown of Russian Newspaper's Fake Letter about LGBT Groups: "REALLY?? GMAIL??"

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    Nov 19, 2015 10:00 PM GMT

    U.S. Embassy in Moscow (translation via Towleroad)Next time, when you use the fake letter, please send us – will be happy to help to correct the mistakes.

    Yours Sincerely,
    The State Department

    I'm gonna guess the Russian Newspaper (Izvestia) didn't bother to print a retraction to their fake story.

    Ukraine TodayPopular daily newspaper Izvestia ran a story claiming the US Department of State was to provide increased funding to gay rights (organisations) in the country, because they ‘triggered negative reponses’ from Russian officials.

    But the fake letter they used to convince the Russian domestic audience of the authenticity of the fabricated story was embarassingly amateur.

    In a posting to its Facebook page the US Embassy pointed out all the numerous spelling and grammatical mistakes which make the letter appear as if it was made with Google Translate.
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    Nov 22, 2015 1:35 PM GMT
    A few years ago there was a virus (and whatever specific subcategory this would be) that seized control of your computer after you visited certain adult web sites. It displayed a notice allegedly from the US FBI, as I recall, saying I had visited an illegal pornographic site, implying it was something like kiddie porn, which I never had done.

    It said I had been assessed a fine, and if I paid it through the notice's link, which was the only thing that worked, I would regain use of my computer. But I couldn't do anything else with my computer, couldn't close my browser, nothing.

    Like this Izvestia item, however, their URL not being official US government was a big giveaway. The grammar & spelling were poor, and the whole premise that the government could assign a fine (I think around $300) without the "offender" having recourse to legal due process, and that it could hold your computer hostage, was impossible.

    It took me a while but I managed to devise a workaround that defeated it, as I couldn't even access my anti-virus program, and I got my computer back. And changed a lot of passwords and codes, since this thing may have had a phishing capability, too.
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    Nov 22, 2015 3:47 PM GMT

    It seems the Canadians have been trolling the Russians too:


    And the Russians appear to have developed a sense of humour with some counter-trolling of their own:


    Still, troll troll is better than war war (just don't tell Southbeach).
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    Nov 22, 2015 11:07 PM GMT
    I get asked to write technical proposals for clients, which is a lot of work, and I don't get paid unless they bite. One quick way to tell the "not serious" ones is the tell-tale .gmail address.
    Really? You're a big serious manufacturer and you can't afford $35 for a domain name?

    Although, I do have one or two clients who do actually use gmail for their company email. One of them also lists a meeting room at a Holiday Inn Express as their corporate headquarters. icon_rolleyes.gif Yeah. Those guys pay in advance.