Hackers, allegedly tied to the group Anonymous, published a second batch of documents related to the activities of the Integrity Initiative on 14 December 2018. According to them, not only was the Initiative acting in Europe and Canada, but in the UK itself, allegedly leading a campaign against Labour Party chief Jeremy Corbyn on Twitter.
"Well-coordinated efforts of the Anonymous from all over the world have forced the UK politicians to react to the unacceptable and in fact illegal activity of the British government that uses public money to carry out misinformation campaigns not only in the EU, US and Canada but in the UK as well", the release said.
The publication also contains new information about Integrity Initiative and UK Foreign Office activities related to the Scripal poisoning case and communication with the notorious White Helmets group. The group also published documents about the Institute for Statecraft — a company connected to the Integrity Initiative, its leadership, and activities both in UK and in the EU.
According to the leaked data, the initiative is funded by the Institute for Statecraft, a "company that very few knew about up until recently". The director of the institute was revealed to be Christopher Donnelly, a special adviser to the House of Commons Defence Committee. Donnelly instigated a parliamentary probe into the alleged Russian threat and lobbied for members of the Integrity Initiative and Institute for Statecraft staffers to be called as witnesses in the investigation, Anonymous wrote.
The hackers also revealed that Donnelly had in March 2014 suggested how Ukraine ought to have responded to Crimea's reunification with Russia. Specifically, he proposed mining the Sevastopol bay, setting up a "cordon sanitaire" of troops and mines on the coast north of the Black Sea peninsula, and rolling out a "big microwave anti-satellite weapon" that he claimed Ukraine might still have.
The hackers also pledged to continue to reveal the truth behind the Integrity Initiative's activities and hinted that more of its documents would be published in the future.
"We promise to give close scrutiny to the investigation that we believe should be conducted honestly, openly and absolutely transparently for the society. […] When we return with the next portion of revelations, names and facts depends on how seriously the UK and EU leaders take our intentions this time", the statement at the end of the release said.
This was the third leak of the Integrity Initiative project's documents, with the previous two taking place on 5 and 29 November 2018. They included lists of project experts and employees in different "clusters" spread out mostly across Europe.
The Anonymous group's statements said that the Initiative, despite claiming to combat "propaganda and disinformation", was actually waging an information campaign in the EU, meddling in the internal affairs of the bloc's member states. The hackers also stated that the project was targeting Russia in its information war.
The documents showed that since 2017, the Initiative had been receiving financial support via a grant from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The project received some $2.51 million, which nearly covered its annual expenses — $2.5 million.
The Integrity Initiative is a UK-based company that claims to fight disinformation campaigns and propaganda across the world. In its statement on 26 November, the project confirmed that at least some of the documents released by the hackers were authentic. At the same time, the initiative didn't exclude the possibility that some of the documents might have been "doctored".
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov slammed the Integrity Initiative's activities as aimed only at damaging "Russia's public image in foreign countries". Russian Senate Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Konstantin Kosachev urged a "thorough" investigation into the Integrity Initiative's activities and promised an appropriate response from Russia based on the results of the investigation.
UK Member of Parliament Chris Williamson demanded a public inquiry into the actions of the Integrity Initiative and why it was funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.