The Emmanuel Macron campaign is describing a massive email leak in the final hours of the French presidential election as a deliberate attempt by the far-right “to sow doubt” and is referring to the attack as “a matter of democratic destabilization, as was seen in the United States during the last presidential campaign,” according to the New York Times. The statement was made just minutes before a legal campaign communications blackout went into effect across France.
Some experts have also suggested that the documents may be connected to Russia, and have highlighted the American far-right’s efforts to spread the word of the breach. Ben Nimmo, a senior fellow of the digital forensics research lab at the Atlantic Council, described events following the breach as “the anti-globalists trying to go global.” He said that the efforts of American activists had “helped to push this leak entirely into the camp of the alt-right.”
According to CBC News, the French election campaign commission, meeting in an emergency session on Saturday following the leak, concluded that “a significant amount of data” was leaked onto social media. They added to that their suspicions that a significant amount of fake news had been mixed in, and urged both the French media and citizens “not to relay” the leaked information “in order not to alter the sincerity of the vote.” The order is on top of a regular electoral news blackout in the hours prior to the election regarding any election or campaigning news.