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Zuckerberg: Facebook Was 'Slow In Identifying Russian Information Operations'
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Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg told U.S. lawmakers that the company is fighting an "arms race" against Russia-sponsored groups trying to use the social network to manipulate elections and public opinion.

The 33-year-old Internet mogul made the remarks during his testimony before a joint hearing of the U.S. Senate's Commerce and Judiciary committees on April 11, during which he was grilled on a range of issues -- from Facebook's handling of alleged Russian attempts to interfere in elections to consumer privacy and hate speech.

Zuckerberg took responsibility for failing to prevent Cambridge Analytica, a firm affiliated with U.S. President Donald Trump's presidential campaign, from gathering personal information from 87 million users to try to influence elections.

He also said Facebook did not do enough to tackle "fake news, foreign interference in elections, and hate speech, as well as developers and data privacy."

In his first-ever U.S. congressional appearance, Zuckerberg said “there are people in Russia whose job it is to try to exploit our systems and other Internet systems."

"So this is an arms race," he said, adding that it was important to invest in the ability of Facebook to stop foreign attempts to alter elections.

Zuckerberg said one of his "greatest regrets" was that Facebook was "slow in identifying the Russian information operations" during the U.S. presidential campaign in 2016.

"We expected them to do a number of more traditional cyberattacks, which we did identify...but we were slow in identifying the new information operations," he said.

Facebook plans to have more than 20,000 staff working in security and content review by the end of the year to help counter the threat, he said.

He said Facebook has deployed new artificial intelligence tools to identify fake accounts.

Zuckerberg also said Facebook was working with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating ties between Russia and President Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

With reporting by AP and Reuters
The Constitutional Court ruled that polygraph results will not be disqualifying, but can still be administered. (illustrative photo)

Moldova's Constitutional Court has ruled that polygraph tests may continue as part of job interviews for managers of a top anticorruption body but their results should not be the determining factor.

The April 10 decision followed a complaint by a candidate who last year failed a polygraph test while interviewing to head the National Integrity Authority (ANI), a government body that checks the asset declarations of politicians and public officials for inconsistencies and investigates possible conflicts of interest.

Teodor Carnat was refused the ANI job after he failed the test in October and challenged the ANI board's decision in court.

The Constitutional Court ruled that while polygraph results will not be disqualifying, candidates for the positions of ANI president and vice president still must take them.

"This shouldn't be an eliminatory test," Carnat told reporters after the court announced its decision. "In a democracy, a polygraph operator cannot decide who runs a country and who is qualified to occupy public posts."

Moldova's Justice Ministry acknowledged the court's ruling.

"The government will obey the court's decision," Eduard Serbenco, a senior Justice Ministry official, said. But he added that polygraph testing would remain mandatory for those applying for jobs in anticorruption bodies, future judges and prosecutors, and intelligence service employees.

International organizations say Moldova, one of Europe's poorest countries, is also one of its most corrupt. Transparency International says two-thirds of Moldovans regard corruption as one of the biggest threats to their country.

The disappearance of some $1 billion from Moldova's banking system between 2012 and 2014 was dubbed by Moldovans the "theft of the century" and cost the country roughly one-eighth of annual GDP. A number of people including former Prime Minister Vlad Filat have been jailed in connection with the case, which crippled the national currency and led to street protests and aid freezes.

Written by Eugen Tomiuc with reporting by Tamara Grejdean

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.

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