Russian interference in the U.S. elections via social media platforms amounts to "cyberwar," chess legend Garry Kasparov told CNBC Wednesday, adding that he has been warning about this for a while.
Over the past few weeks, details have emerged about the extent of Russia's meddling in the U.S. elections. Russian-backed operatives bought ads and posted fake news across sites such as Facebook and Google.
Kasparov, who is chair of the Human Rights Foundation, has been a strong critic of the Russian government and President Vladimir Putin over the past few years. And said he has been highlighting the activities of Russia in the cyber world.
"I'm tired of repeating 'I told you so'. For so many years I've been pointing out Putin's activities in Russia, in neighboring countries, in Europe, predicting that he would go elsewhere if he could see potential benefits," Kasparov told CNBC during a TV interview at the Web Summit technology conference in Lisbon, Portugal.
"The whole industry of fake news, supported by troll factories, that was the invention of KGB (the former Soviet Union's state security agency) in Russia to deal with Russian opposition to control the internet. Then they extended this practice to Russian speaking neighborhoods in the former Soviet Union. Then they tried it in Europe. Eventually they successfully tried it in the United States."
Facebook revealed last month that about 80,000 posts backed by Russia got onto the social network over a two year period reaching around 126 million Americans. Twitter found and closed down around 2,700 accounts linked to the Internet Research Agency, one of the groups linked to Russia. And Google said that Russian-backed operatives had uploaded 1,000 political videos on YouTube across 18 channels.