Concluding Chapter of Social Media and Democracy: The State of the Field and Prospects for Reform (Cambridge Press, forthcoming September 2020)
On April 2, 2020 Twitter announced the takedown of a collection of data sets attributed to state influence operations in several countries. One of those datasets was attributed to actors within Egypt – specifically, accounts linked to the El Fagr newspaper. El Fagr has previously been named in coordinated inauthentic activity takedowns on Facebook and Instagram, which took down a network related to their pro-Egyptian government activity in October 2019.
The run-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election illustrated how vulnerable our most venerated journalistic outlets are to a new kind of information warfare. Reporters are a targeted adversary of foreign and domestic actors who want to harm our democracy. And to cope with this threat, especially in an election year, news organizations need to prepare for another wave of false, misleading, and hacked information. Often, the information will be newsworthy.
Despite pressure from President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr, Apple continues to stand its ground and refuses to re-engineer iPhones so law enforcement can unlock the devices. Apple has maintained that it has done everything required by law and that creating a "backdoor" would undermine cybersecurity and privacy for iPhone users everywhere.
Apple is right to stand firm in its position that building a "backdoor" could put user data at risk.
The Program on Democracy and the Internet runs the work of the Kofi Annan Commission on Elections and Democracy in the Digital Age which will produce guidelines to support democracies, particularly those of the global south.
When China's government announced its ambitions for the country’s theoretical, technological, and applied artificial intelligence development to reach a “worldleading level” by 2030, governments and markets worldwide took notice. So did DigiChina. The New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan (AIDP), drafed by experts across China’s bureaucracy and issued by the State Council in July 2017, was one of this nascent project's first major translations.
China systematically extracts advanced technology from the West. It does so legally, by mining open source databases, investing in our most advanced companies, and compelling technology transfer as a condition for doing business in China, as well as illicitly, through cybertheft and industrial espionage.
The current regulatory and legislative infrastructure is poorly suited to address the new challenges to U.S. leadership and innovation in key technology sectors. This paper uses the semiconductor industry as a case study to advance a proposal for a strategic approach to technology policy capable of enabling long-term leadership. This proposal, rooted in structural changes to the federal technology policymaking process, would allow the United States to respond more effectively to strategic technology policymaking of China and other rising economic competitors.
In these early days of the regulatory renaissance for digital technologies, China, Europe, and the United States are competing over whose image will be most reflected in market-defining rules and norms. Despite new lows in the trans-Atlantic relationship in the era of Trump, Europe and the United States still have far more in common with each other about how technology should be developed, deployed, and regulated than they do with China.