Science & Technology

141 Items

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.

U.S. President Donald Trump

CNN Politics

Analysis & Opinions - Future of Diplomacy Project

Twitter Diplomacy: Preventing Twitter Wars from Escalating into Real Wars

| May 20, 2019

Just two weeks ago, a tweet cost the global stock markets roughly $1.36 trillion (or Australia’s annual GDP). With 280 characters on Twitter, the U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to raise tariffs on select Chinese imports, instilling lower market confidence, triggering significant volatility, and exacerbating existing political uncertainties. To explore what is really at stake in Twitter diplomacy, it is important to explore why Twitter diplomacy matters, why world leaders use it, what it means for diplomatic relations, and how governments can manage the associated risks.

Hassan Ahmadian

IIP

Broadcast Appearance

IIP Interview with Hassan Ahmadian on the Middle East

| Jan. 22, 2019

Interview with Hassan Ahmadian, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Iran Project, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, to discuss topics such as the role of the U.S. in Syria and broadly in the MENA region; identity issues; and the role of Iran and the future of the nuclear deal.

Belfer Center Director Ash Carter speaks on technological change for good during a HUBweek 2018 "We the Future" event at Harvard Innovation Lab in October.

Benn Craig/Belfer Center

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

Managing Technology's Risks to Society

| Fall/Winter 2018-2019

Making technological change positive for all is the critical challenge of our time. We ourselves—not only the logic of discovery and market forces—must manage it. To create a future where technology serves humanity as a whole, we need a new approach. Therefore, the Belfer Center has launched a new endeavor, the Technology and Public Purpose (TAPP) Project.

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.