Science & Technology

121 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.

The U.S. Capitol Building in Washington is shrouded in fog early in the morning Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018 on Election Day in the U.S. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

AP Photo/J. David Ake

Magazine Article - Politico Magazine

How A Divided Congress Could Unite Around Tech

| Dec. 06, 2018

Beyond tougher oversight hearings, somber observers expect so little from our newly divided Congress that we all ought to be on the lookout for nonpartisan opportunities.

There is one important area where members could defy partisan gridlock to help Washington better meet a critical challenge of 21st century governance: assessing the public impact of today’s disruptive technologies.

I have firsthand experience with a model that worked. It’s one that could work again for members and their staffs, who understandably struggle to grapple with the sheer complexity of today’s highly disruptive and socially consequential technologies.

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."

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.

Image of China’s People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force drill with a ballistic missile launcher

(China Military / 81.cn)

Policy Brief - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Inadvertent Escalation and the Entanglement of Nuclear Command-and-Control Capabilities

    Author:
  • James Acton
| Oct. 29, 2018

The risks of nuclear escalation between the U.S. and China or Russia are greater than ever given the possibility of misinterpreted cyber espionage and military strikes against early warning systems. What can be done to reduce this risk?

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. 

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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.