The overarching question imparting urgency to this exploration is: Can U.S.-Russian contention in cyberspace cause the two nuclear superpowers to stumble into war? In considering this question we were constantly reminded of recent comments by a prominent U.S. arms control expert: At least as dangerous as the risk of an actual cyberattack, he observed, is cyber operations’ “blurring of the line between peace and war.” Or, as Nye wrote, “in the cyber realm, the difference between a weapon and a non-weapon may come down to a single line of code, or simply the intent of a computer program’s user.”
Speaker: Ashley Serpa, Ernest May Fellow in History & Policy, International Security Program
The 2016 election renewed interest in the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (FARA). Both major parties have proposed amendments to modernize FARA and fill gaps in its enforcement in an effort to prevent foreign interference in American institutions.
In this seminar, the speaker will discuss FARA's history, from its inception as a tool to combat Nazi propaganda in the WWII-era to its use against suspected communists in the early Cold War. She will also discuss the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's investigation on foreign agents in the 1960s, which inspired the last successful FARA amendment, to help scholars and policymakers understand why so many proposed amendments failed, and FARA proved ineffective in the decades following.
Everyone is welcome to join us via Zoom! Please register before the event: