Cyber - Publications Page

Encina Hall Column

Publications

The Cyber Policy Center regularly shares research and recommendations through the publication of white papers, journal articles and more.

The Long Fuse: Misinformation and the 2020 Election

A final report of the findings of the Election Integrity Partnership, formed on July 26, 2020 — 100 days before the 2020 presidential election — as a coalition of research entities to focus on supporting real-time information exchange between the research community, election officials, government agencies, civil society organizations, and social media platforms.

Publications

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Policy Brief

Election 2020: Technology’s Role in Administering Democratic Elections

Marietje Schaake, Rob Reich
2020

THE 2020 ELECTION IN THE UNITED STATES will take place on November 3 in the midst of a global pandemic, economic downturn, social unrest, political polarization, and a sudden shift in the balance of power in the U.S Supreme Court. On top of these issues, the technological layer impacting the public debate, as well as the electoral process itself, may well determine the election outcome.

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Journal Article

Political partisanship influences behavioral responses to governors’ recommendations for COVID-19 prevention in the United States

Soojong Kim
PNAS Journal , 2020

Voluntary physical distancing is essential for preventing the spread of COVID-19. We assessed the role of political partisanship in individuals’ compliance with physical distancing recommendations of political leaders using data on mobility from a sample of mobile phones in 3,100 counties in the United States during March 2020, county-level partisan preferences, information about the political affiliation of state governors, and the timing of their communications about COVID-19 prevention.

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White Paper

Bolivarian Factions: Facebook takes down inauthentic assets (TAKEDOWN)

Elena Cryst, Esteban Ponce de León, Daniel Suárez Pérez, Shelby Perkins, David Thiel
2020
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White Paper

Reporting for Duty: How A Network of Pakistan-Based Accounts Leveraged Mass Reporting to Silence Critics (TAKEDOWN)

Shelby Grossman, Ross Ewald, Jennifer John, Asfandyar Mir, Kim Ngo, Natasha Patel, A. R.
2020
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White Paper

Reporting for Duty: How A Network of Pakistan-Based Accounts Leveraged Mass Reporting to Silence Critics (TAKEDOWN)

Shelby Grossman, Ross Ewald, Jennifer John, Asfandyar Mir, Kim Ngo, Natasha Patel, A. R.
2020
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White Paper

Mapping U.S.–China Technology Decoupling

Graham Webster, Graham Webster, Yan Luo, Samm Sacks, Naomi Wilson, Abigail Coplin
2020

Over the past two decades, U.S. and Chinese technological trajectories have been closely linked. Internet protocols, hardware design and manufacturing, software development and deployment, and services and standards have to varying degrees been crossborder phenomena, with China and the United States two of the world’s most consequential and integrated countries. The last few years, however, have seen a rise in mutual suspicion and moves—both direct and indirect—to unwind this extraordinary level of technological interdependence.

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White Paper

The Ministry of Made-Up Pages: Yemen-Based Actors Impersonate Government Agencies to Spread Anti-Houthi Content (TAKEDOWN)

Shelby Grossman, Ala’ Alrababa’h, Josh A. Goldstein, Natasha Patel, Shelby Perkins, Abuzar Royesh
2020
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Book

The Challenges and Opportunities for Social Media Research

Nathaniel Persily, Nathaniel Persily, Joshua Tucker
2020

Concluding Chapter of Social Media and Democracy: The State of the Field and Prospects for Reform (Cambridge Press, forthcoming September 2020)

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White Paper

Telling China’s Story: The Chinese Communist Party’s Campaign to Shape Global Narratives

Renee DiResta, Renee DiResta, Carly Miller, Vanessa Molter, John Pomfret, Glenn Tiffert
2020
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White Paper

The Data Delusion

Marietje Schaake, Marietje Schaake
2020

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The Data Delusion: Protecting Individual Data Isn't Enough When The Harm is Collective

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White Paper

Political Retweet Rings and Compromised Accounts: A Twitter Influence Operation Linked to the Youth Wing of Turkey’s Ruling Party (TAKEDOWN)

Shelby Grossman, Fazil Alp Akis, Ayça Alemdaroğlu, Josh A. Goldstein, Katie Jonsson, Isabella Garcia-Camargo, David Thiel, Alex Zaheer
2020
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White Paper

Sockpuppets Spin COVID Yarns: An Analysis of PRC-Attributed June 2020 Twitter takedown (TAKEDOWN)

Carly Miller, Vanessa Molter, Isabella Garcia-Camargo, Renee DiResta, David Thiel, Alex Zaheer
2020
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Journal Article

Pandemics & propaganda: how Chinese state media creates and propagates CCP coronavirus narratives

Vanessa Molter, Renee DiResta
Harvard Misinformation Review , 2020

To gain insight into how Chinese state media is communicating about the coronavirus pandemic to the outside world, we analyzed a collection of posts from their English-language presence on Facebook. We observed three recurring behaviors: sharing positive stories and promoting the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) pandemic response, rewriting recent history in a manner favorable to the CCP as the coronavirus pandemic evolved, and using targeted ads to spread preferred messages.

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White Paper

“The World is Swimming in a Sea of Rumors”: Influence Operations Associated with El Fagr Newspaper (Egypt) (TAKEDOWN)

Renee DiResta, Tara Kheradpir, Carly Miller
2020

DOWNLOAD REPORT

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.

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White Paper

How to Report Responsibly on Hacks and Disinformation

Andrew Grotto, Janine Zacharia
2020

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.

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Commentary

CNN Perspective with Andy Grotto: Why unlocking Apple iPhones for law enforcement isn't the answer

Andrew Grotto, Andrew Grotto
2020

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.

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