International Security & Defense

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

Belfer Center Joins Republican and Democratic Institutes to Launch Cybersecurity Playbook for Europe

May 22, 2018

The Defending Digital Democracy project (D3P) at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center joined the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) for the public launch of the “The Cybersecurity Campaign Playbook: European Edition” in Brussels on May 22, 2018.

A child waits for her mother to finish voting in a polling booth at the Nativity School on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

AP Photo/John Minchillo

Analysis & Opinions - Financial Times

America vs. the Hackers: a Cyber-Security Bootcamp

    Author:
  • Hannah Kuchler
| Apr. 26, 2018

It is a war game with a twist. Instead of army officers, election officials are in charge. Instead of battling against an enemy armed with missiles, defences are choreographed against hackers hidden behind foreign computers. With the US midterm elections fast approaching, more than 160 election officials from across the country have just months to learn how to defend democracy.

Opposition demonstrators gather in the Republic Square celebrating Armenian Prime Minister's Serzh Sargsyan's resignation in Yerevan, Armenia, Monday, April 23, 2018. (Davit Abrahamyan/PAN Photo via AP)

Davit Abrahamyan/PAN Photo via AP

Analysis & Opinions - Russia Matters

Armenia: Why Has Vladimir Putin Not Intervened So Far and Will He?

| Apr. 24, 2018

The resignation of Armenia’s Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan after more than a week of mass protests in Russia’s backyard begs the question: Why has Moscow not intervened so far? The fist-pumping demonstrators bring to mind “color revolutions” in the post-Soviet neighborhood that the Kremlin seems to abhor, like the ones in Georgia and Ukraine. But even genuine color revolutions (which Armenia has not yet seen—more on that below) are not enough by themselves to prompt Russia to stage either a covert or overt intervention. As I have argued before, for Moscow to intervene in one of its Soviet-era satellites at least two conditions need to be present: First, Vladimir Putin has to see an acute threat to Russia’s vital national interests, such as the potential expansion of antagonistic Western-led alliances too close to Russia’s borders; second, the chances for defending or advancing its interests through the use of force have to be relatively high.

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Speech - Project on Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Navigating the Crisis in Transatlantic Relations

| Apr. 24, 2018

Launch of the Project on Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship at the Belfer Center.

With panelists: Pedro Morenés Ambassador of Spain to the United States David O’Sullivan Ambassador of the European Union to the United States; Julianne Smith Senior Fellow and Director of the Transatlantic Security Program, Center for a New American Security; and Peter Wittig, Ambassador of Germany to the United States.

Moderated by: Nicholas Burns, Roy and Barbara Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations, and Faculty Chair of the Project on Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship and the Future of Diplomacy Project.

Opening Remarks by: Douglas Elmendorf, Dean and Don K. Price Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Photo of state and local election officials at D3P conference.

Benn Craig/Belfer Center

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

Election Officials from 38 States Learn to Fortify Elections Against Attacks

| Mar. 29, 2018

More than 120 election officials from 38 states gathered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, this week to participate in role-playing exercises that provided them with tips, tools, and training to fortify their election systems against cyber attacks and information operations. Organized by the Defending Digital Democracy Project (D3P) at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, the two-day event featured a tabletop exercise (TTX) scenario for officials that simulated attacks on election systems ranging from hacks and social media misinformation to  manipulation of voter information and trust. The state and local election officials learned how to better prepare, defend, and respond to a range of attacks on the integrity of American elections and how to empower their colleagues back home with this knowledge as they prepare for the 2018 and 2020 elections.   

Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, right, and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and former arrive for a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in Washington on Wednesday, March 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

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

Jeh Johnson Testimony on Russian Interference in the 2016 U.S. Elections

| Mar. 23, 2018

In 2016 the Russian government, at the direction of Vladimir Putin himself, orchestrated cyberattacks on our Nation for the purpose of influencing the election that year – plain and simple. The experience should be a wake-up call for our Nation, as it highlighted cyber vulnerabilities in our political process, and in our election infrastructure itself. Now, with the experience fresh in our minds and clear in our rear-view mirror, the key question for our leaders at the national and state level is this: what are we doing about it? The matter is all the more urgent given the public testimony of our Nation’s intelligence chiefs last month, before this very Committee, that the Russians effort continues into the ongoing 2018 midterm election season.

Eric Rosenbach Testifying March 21

C-SPAN

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

Defending Digital Democracy: The Four Corners of Election Security

| Mar. 21, 2018

Eric Rosenbach, Co-Director of Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and former Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Defense and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Global Security, testified to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on March 21, 2018, on Russian Interference in the 2016 U.S. Elections.

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

Building Cyber Defenses For U.S. Elections

| Spring 2018

Undaunted, a group of young civil servants is working directly with political operatives and state and local officials to fortify campaigns and elections against cyberattacks and information operations: Harvard Kennedy School students affiliated with the Belfer Center’s Defending Digital Democracy Project (D3P).