Science & Technology

1092 Items

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.

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

A Framework for Cybersecurity

| December 2018

In this paper, we propose a way of thinking about cybersecurity that unifies the various forms of attack. The framework is two-dimensional, looking at both the goal of the attack and the mechanism for launching the attack. The first dimension looks at the goal of the attack by using the common “CIA” triad to categorize the target—that is, whether the attack affects a system’s confidentiality, integrity, or availability (CIA). The second dimension is unique to our knowledge and differentiates attacks based on how the attacks obtain a thread of control.

Photo of Mark Zuckerberg preparing to resume testimony about user data on Facebook.

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

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

America Needs to Align Technology with a Public Purpose

| Nov. 25, 2018

The arc of innovative progress has reached an inflection point, writes Ash Carter in The Atlantic. "Recent technological change that has brought immeasurable improvements to billions around the globe now threatens to overwhelm us. Making this disruption positive for all is the chief challenge of our time. We ourselves—not only market forces—should bend the arc of change toward human good. To do so, we must reinvigorate an ethos of public purpose that has become dangerously decoupled from many of today’s leading tech endeavors."

Iranian Currency Exchange

Tasnim News

Analysis & Opinions

Iran Sanctions: How Deep Will They Bite?

| Nov. 12, 2018

In Iran, officials blame the sanctions for the economic crisis, while in the United States, officials blame the Iranian government. There is no denying that Iran’s economy has serious problems that have nothing to do with sanctions, but there is no doubt that the current crisis is the result of the sanctions. The same economy was able to expand by 18 percent in the two years that sanctions were partially lifted as a result of the 2015 nuclear deal. However, regime-change advocates in the United States who hope that sanctions will precipitate economic collapse will be disappointed. Economies do not collapse—they shrink. How far Iran’s economy will shrink and how Iran’s leaders and its people respond to the contraction are the real questions. Will the economy bottom out in 2019 or continue to slide for several more years? 

In this June 22, 2017 photo, a man holds a smartphone in his hand.

AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi

Analysis & Opinions - CNN

We Need Stronger Cybersecurity Laws for the Internet of Things

| Nov. 10, 2018

The Internet of Things fuses products with communications technology to make daily life more effortless. But like nearly all innovation, there are risks involved. And for products borne out of the Internet of Things, this means the risk of having personal information stolen or devices being overtaken and controlled remotely.

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

2018 State of Digital Transformation

| October 2018

On June 12-13, 2018, digital HKS welcomed public sector digital services teams from around the world to share stories of success, talk about lessons learned, and discuss the challenges they face in transforming government. The teams convened all agreed on North Star goals of building platform services and putting users at the center; what remains much more difficult is identifying how teams in very different political and technology contexts should think about how to reach that end-state. In this report, digital HKS shares best practices we gleaned from this group, to start a broader conversation for digital services groups around the world about what comes next.