Science & Technology

91 Items

Jeff Schwager, president of Sartori Cheese poses for in front of their plant

AP/Morry Gash

Analysis & Opinions - Project Syndicate

Power and Interdependence in the Trump Era

| July 03, 2019

President Donald Trump's manipulation of America's privileged international system will strengthen other countries' incentives to extricate themselves from US networks of interdependence in the long run. In the meantime, there will be costly damage to the international institutions that limit conflict and create global public goods.

A voter fills out a ballot at a polling place.

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Analysis & Opinions - Los Angeles Times

The U.S. Isn’t Prepared to Fend Off Foreign Meddling in 2020. We Need a National Strategy

| July 02, 2019

To counter foreign influence, the old adage is true: Sunlight is the best disinfectant. Increased government transparency at all levels will allow for independent fact verification by citizens and journalists and help revive faith in institutions.

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.

- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

D3P Helps States Increase Security for 2020 Elections

Summer 2019

As threats to U.S. elections multiply, the Belfer Center’s Defending Digital Democracy Project (D3P) continues to help election officials fight back. Coordinated by D3P’s Mari Dugas, the Defending Digital Democracy team of staff and students has worked during the year with state and local election officials in their own states across the country to conduct election security tabletop exercises and has also expanded engagement with cybersecurity professionals.

Panorama of Pyongyang, North Korea.

Wikimedia CC/Sven Unbehauen

Analysis & Opinions - Project Syndicate

Deterrence in Cyberspace

| June 03, 2019

Understanding deterrence in cyberspace is often difficult, because  minds remain captured by an image of deterrence shaped by the Cold War: a threat of massive retaliation to a nuclear attack by nuclear means. A better analogy is crime: governments can only imperfectly prevent it.

Photo of Idaho election officials and D3P team members.

Courtesy of D3P

Observing the Midterms to Fortify Election Security

| Fall/Winter 2018-2019

As millions of Americans voted in the midterm elections on November 6, 25 students working with the Center’s Defending Digital Democracy Project (D3P) observed the elections unfolding in five states across the country. The team, comprised of students from Harvard Kennedy School, MIT, and Tufts, spent the last three months learning about election systems and processes in the United States. Armed with information from D3P’s “State and Local Election Playbook” and its Tabletop Exercise (TTX) training for 120 election officials from 38 different states in early 2018, this year’s student team was eager to engage with election officials and continue providing support to the men and women who are at the frontlines of protecting our democracy.

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

Election Officials Discuss Midterm Interference and Security Plans for 2020

| Dec. 18, 2018

“It was too quiet.”

That was the sentiment expressed by a number of the 45 election officials from 23 states who gathered earlier this month at Harvard for a Belfer Center Defending Digital Democracy (D3P) Midterm After-Action Conference to discuss problems around their November midterm elections.  Most said they experienced significant but mostly unintended misinformation – and some disinformation – along with a number of other challenges to their electoral processes, but not the extensive foreign cyber and other attacks that took place during the 2016 presidential election.

An attendee shoots a photo on a cell phone of Democratic U.S vice presidential candidate Senator Tim Kaine speaking as he appears with Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during a campaign rally in Miami, Florida, U.S. July 23, 2016.

REUTERS/Scott Audette

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

Can Democracy Survive in the Information Age?

| October 2018

Democracy is built on the crucial compact that citizens will have access to reliable information and can use that information to participate in government, civic, and corporate decision-making. The technologies of the Information Age were largely built on the assumption that they would strengthen this compact. However, as typified by Russia’s ongoing use of information operations against the United States and Europe, key information technologies have evolved quickly over the past five years and been weaponized against democracies.