Reports & Papers

64 Items

A scene at the national Veterans Day celebration on November 11, 2018, in Washington, D.C.

VA Photo/James Lucas

Paper

Improving Veterans’ Digital Experience Across Presidential Administrations

    Authors:
  • David Leftwich
  • Kelly O'Connor
  • Alex Loehr
| August 2020

The success story of the digital efforts at VA surviving the uncertainties of a cross-party Presidential transition, and thriving despite subsequent substantial VA leadership turnover, presents an interesting case study. What should we take away from this story of growth and transition at VA? How did Marina Nitze, Charles Worthington, and their teams navigate a time of great uncertainty—a time when many initiatives stall or die in a new administration? And what lessons might apply in future Presidential transitions?

Donald Trump and Anthony Fauci

AP/Alex Brandon

Paper - Centre for International Governance Innovation

US Intelligence, the Coronavirus and the Age of Globalized Challenges

| Aug. 24, 2020

This essay makes three arguments. First, the US government will need to establish a coronavirus commission, similar to the 9/11 commission, to determine why, since April 2020, the United States has suffered more coronavirus fatalities than any other country in the world. Second, the COVID-19 pandemic represents a watershed for what will be a major national security theme this century: biological threats, both from naturally occurring pathogens and from synthesized biology. Third, intelligence about globalized challenges, such as pandemics, needs to be dramatically reconceptualized, stripping away outmoded levels of secrecy.

A projectoxford.ai demonstration of emotion recognition software.

Jon Nicholls

Paper - Partnership on AI

The Ethics of AI and Emotional Intelligence

| July 30, 2020

Governments are thinking hard about AI strategy, policy, and ethics. Now is the time for a broader public debate about the ethics of artificial intelligence and emotional intelligence, while those policies are being written, and while the use of AI for emotions and affect is not yet well entrenched in society. Applications are broad, across many sectors, but most are still in early stages of use.

Report - Atlantic Council

The Reverse Cascade: Enforcing Security on the Global IoT Supply Chain

| June 2020

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the increasing convergence of the physical and digital worlds and it affects us all. Hundreds of "things" are being connected to the Internet and each other, with more than fifty billion devices expected to be connected by 2030. Many IoT devices are manufactured abroad at low cost with little consideration for security. How can we secure these devices, especially those manufactured outside the United States?

Office workers using sticky notes on a wall

Adobe Stock

Paper

Human-Centered Policymaking

| April 2020

Human-centered design (HCD) is a complementary discipline that has its roots in industrial design, the discipline that crafts physical products like phones, guitars, and potato peelers. It leverages the qualitative research methods honed in the social sciences—such as ethnography, contextual inquiry, and targeted observations and interviews—to better understand people and interactions. HCD also considers environments, processes, systems, and tools outside of the digital realm. Practitioners often map out customer “journeys” to understand customer experiences across an entire system or ecosystem, not merely a single interface or piece of software. As in agile software development, practitioners of human-centered design iteratively develop solutions to the challenges they uncover, and they rigorously test their solutions with real “users.”

Travelers from China’s Wuhan and other cities go through body temperature scanners at Narita international airport in Narita, near Tokyo, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020.

AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko

Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Weaponizing Digital Health Intelligence

| January 2020

This paper argues that these potential vulnerabilities deserve rigorous, urgent, and thorough investigation. First, it draws from cybersecurity literature, and reviews general sources of vulnerability in digital systems. Next, with these sources of vulnerability in mind, it reviews the health intelligence systems used in the US as well as in a current Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). It then It then reviews the possible motives state actors have to attack health intelligence systems, drawing on recent examples of state-led efforts to manipulate, conceal, or undermine health information. It then speculates about what an attack on a health intelligence system might look like. It concludes by proposing a research and education agenda to thoroughly interrogate these issues and generate policy recommendations needed to address them.

Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Attacking Artificial Intelligence: AI’s Security Vulnerability and What Policymakers Can Do About It

| August 2019

The terrorist of the 21st century will not necessarily need bombs, uranium, or biological weapons. He will need only electrical tape and a good pair of walking shoes. Placing a few small pieces of tape inconspicuously on a stop sign at an intersection, he can magically transform the stop sign into a green light in the eyes of a self-driving car. Done at one sleepy intersection, this would cause an accident. Done at the largest intersections in leading metropolitan areas, it would bring the transportation system to its knees. It’s hard to argue with that type of return on a $1.50 investment in tape.

PRC flag with digital overlay

Adobe Stock

Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Governing Cyberspace: State Control vs. The Multistakeholder Model

| August 2019

This paper is part of a Track-II dialogue between the Belfer Center’s China Cyber Policy Initiative and the China Institute for International Strategic Studies (CIISS) to manage the risk of cyber conflict between the two countries through dialogue and concrete policy recommendations. The paper includes two parts: a cyber governance theory written by Chinese People’s Liberation Army Major General (ret.) Hao Yeli, a senior adviser to CIISS, and a response prepared by Belfer Center Co-Director Eric Rosenbach and Research Assistant Shu Min Chong.

In this image made on Friday, April 27, 2012, pages of rival Taiwan newspapers Apple Daily, top half, and The China Times, bottom, are seen depicting each other’s owners in a fight for ownership of a major chunk of Taiwan’s media outlets. (AP)

AP Photo

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Disinformation Threat Watch

While disinformation is a relatively new priority for Western democracies, countries such as Taiwan and South Korea have spent decades battling influence operations from internal and external actors. As democracies, they share structural strengths and challenges with the US, such as the free-flow of information and protections for civil liberties. Based on interviews with over fifty government officials, journalists, and civil society members, the Taiwan and South Korea case studies outline the many specific disinformation characteristics. By highlighting lessons learned from Taiwan and South Korea’s experiences, we hope to equip US policymakers with a wider portfolio of potential solutions.