Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Disinformation and Fake News Giving Propaganda A Good Name

On March 2, 2017 the Brookings Institute ran an article “Disinformation campaigns target tech-enabled citizen journalists” (see: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/techtank/2017/03/02/disinformation-campaigns-target-tech-enabled-citizen-journalists/?utm_campaign=Brookings%20Brief&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=43768809 which is also the photo source).

The article starts out talking about how today’s technology is ubiquitous and plentiful. Consequently almost anyone with a smartphone can become a crusading reporter and expose wrongdoing. This can be especially problematic in countries where governments want to control their citizen’s perception of events.

The article talks about a “troll factory’ where disinformation artists are paid to alter the perceptions of citizens by pumping “Out fake information in efforts to obfuscate Russian war crimes in Ukraine and Syria and retaliate against Western investigators.

Several disinformation techniques are noted and touched upon.

All of this points to the need for more emphasis on countering disinformation efforts. Given the nature of disinformation and the sheer number of participants, perhaps the approach should be a very unPSYOP one – that is employ technical measures. If the Internet of Things (IoT) could be harnessed by criminals to launch Denial of Service attacks (see: https://arstechnica.com/security/2016/10/double-dip-internet-of-things-botnet-attack-felt-across-the-internet/ for example), why couldn’t the same technique be employed as a disinformation jammer?

I’ll leave that one to your imagination and your comments.

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