Cyber - Publications Page
The Virus and the Vote: Administering the 2020 Election in a Pandemic
The final report of the findings of the Healthy Elections Project, a joint effort between Stanford and MIT and led by Nathaniel Persily and Charles Stewart III.
The Ministry of Made-Up Pages: Yemen-Based Actors Impersonate Government Agencies to Spread Anti-Houthi Content (TAKEDOWN)
Concluding Chapter of Social Media and Democracy: The State of the Field and Prospects for Reform (Cambridge Press, forthcoming September 2020)
Cheburashka, Soros, Hillary’s Fly: Dispatches from the June 2020 Twitter Inauthentic Activity Takedown (TAKEDOWN)
Political Retweet Rings and Compromised Accounts: A Twitter Influence Operation Linked to the Youth Wing of Turkey’s Ruling Party (TAKEDOWN)
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.
“The World is Swimming in a Sea of Rumors”: Influence Operations Associated with El Fagr Newspaper (Egypt) (TAKEDOWN)
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.
Analysis of Twitter Takedown of State-Backed Operation Attributed to Saudi Arabian Digital Marketing Firm Smaat (TAKEDOWN)
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.
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.