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Europe Built a System to Fight Russian Meddling. It’s Struggling.

Matt Apuzzo, New York Times, July 6th 2019https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/06/world/europe/europe-russian-disinformation-propaganda-elections.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage BRUSSELS — The European Union launched an ambitious effort earlier this year to combat election interference: an early-warning system that would sound alarms about Russian propaganda. Despite high expectations, however, records show that the system has become a repository for a mishmash of information, produced no alerts …

Russia outgunning US in race for global influence

Bryan Bender, June 30th 2019, Politicohttps://www.politico.eu/article/russia-outgunning-us-in-race-for-global-influence-pentagon-study/ The U.S. is ill-equipped to counter the increasingly brazen political warfare Russia is waging to undermine democracies, the Pentagon and independent strategists warn in a detailed assessment that happens to echo much bipartisan criticism of U.S. President Donald Trump’s approach to Moscow. The more than 150-page white paper, prepared for …

Dispatch (July 1st) from the Alliance for Securing Democracy

Our Take Europe needs a continent-wide buy-in on a new strategic approach to tackling authoritarian interference, ASD argues in a comprehensive report that details European efforts to defend against such threats and identifies specific, actionable recommendations to strengthen deterrence and build resilience to this long-term challenge.  Europe should not be lulled into a false sense of security now that the …

Creator of DeepNude, App That Undresses Photos of Women, Takes It Offline

An app that algorithmically ‘undressed’ images of women was taken down by its creator, citing server overload and potential harms. Samantha Cole, June 27th 2019, Vice’s Motherboardhttps://www.vice.com/en_us/article/qv7agw/deepnude-app-that-undresses-photos-of-women-takes-it-offline The creator of DeepNude, an app that used a machine learning algorithm to “undress” images of clothed women announced Thursday that he’s killing the software, after viral backlash for …

Active Measures #43 – Salve Regina University’s Pell Center

Russia’s Latest Russian Accounts Pushed Fake Rubio Tweet Warning of British Spy Threat to U.S. Elections | Donnie O’Sullivan | CNN Media Grab: Oligarchs, Pro-Russian Forces use TV to Push Political Agenda | Oksana Grytsenko & Oleskiy Sorokin | Kyiv Post Nord Stream 2: A Pipeline Dividing Europe? | Alan Riley | CEPA Theresa May …

European Policy Blueprint For Countering Authoritarian Interference in Democracies

Kristine Berzina, Nad’a Kovalcikova, David Slvo, Etienne SoulaAlliance for Security Democracy, German Marshall Fund of the U.S.https://securingdemocracy.gmfus.org/the-asd-european-policy-blueprint-for-countering-authoritarian-interference-in-democracies/ In recent years, European democracy has been shaken by internal and external events. European nations and institutions are confronting numerous challenges like migration, nationalist extremism, and discontent with the political status quo. They also face challenges from a …

Bogus Brexit Murder Plot and Other Lies Planted Online

Reuters in the New York Times, June 22nd 2019https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2019/06/22/technology/22reuters-russia-disinformation.html?searchResultPosition=5 LONDON — In August 2018, Spanish authorities uncovered a plot by anti-Brexit campaigners to assassinate leading Brexiteer and now favorite to be Britain’s next prime minister, Boris Johnson. Or did they? That story and others like it were created by a network of social media accounts …

Online Game Helps Fight the Spread of Fake News

Reuters in the New York Times, June 24th 2019https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2019/06/24/technology/24reuters-media-fakenews-game.html?searchResultPosition=5 LONDON — An online game that allows people to deploy Twitter bots, photo-shop evidence and incite conspiracy theories has proven effective at raising their awareness of “fake news”, a study from the University of Cambridge has found. Results from the study of 15,000 users of the …

Seeing Isn’t Believing: The Fact Checker’s guide to manipulated video

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/politics/fact-checker/manipulated-video-guide/ The Internet is increasingly populated with false and misleading videos. These videos — spread by politicians, advocacy groups and everyday users — are viewed by millions. The Fact Checker set out to develop a universal language to label manipulated video and hold creators and sharers of this misinformation accountable. We have found three main …

Dispatch (June 25th) from the Alliance for Securing Democracy

Our Take Partisan politics stands in the way of implementing many commonsense measures to address foreign interference in U.S. democratic processes, ASD Deputy Director Dave Salvo argues in an op-ed for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Disinformation surrounding cyber threats could be particularly detrimental to the electoral process, ASD Head of Policy and Research Jessica Brandt noted to PBS NewsHour. Deepfake technologies are becoming …