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jerryking : disinformation   16

Opinion | Mike Pompeo: Last in His Class at West Point in Integrity
Nov. 18, 2019 | The New York Times | By Thomas L. Friedman

....Pompeo has just violated one of the cardinal rules of American military ethics and command: You look out for your soldiers, you don’t leave your wounded on the battlefield and you certainly don’t stand mute when you know a junior officer is being railroaded by a more senior commander, if not outright shot in her back.........Pompeo instead let his ambassador to Ukraine — who depended on him for protection — be stabbed in her back with a Twitter knife, wielded by the president, rather than tell Trump: “Sorry, Mr. President, if you fire her, I will resign. Because to do otherwise would be unjust and against my values and character — and because I would lose the loyalty of all my diplomats if I silently went along with such a travesty of justice against a distinguished 33-year veteran of the foreign service.”............“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, but lose his soul?” — Mark 8:36......As two now retired, longtime State Department diplomats, Aaron David Miller and Richard Sokolsky, wrote on CNN.com on Saturday, “At the very least, Pompeo enabled the smear campaign to go unchallenged, acquiesced in the Giuliani back-channel effort with Ukraine and failed to say a word in defense of Bill Taylor, George Kent or Marie Yovanovitch. These are breathtaking acts of craven political cowardice and beneath the dignity of any secretary of state.”

Mike Pompeo: Last in his class at West Point on ethics in leadership.........Reporters and columnists need to ask Pompeo every chance they get: “What moral code are you operating by that would justify such behavior?’’.....it’s now clear that Pompeo had not taken an oath to defend and protect the Constitution. He took an oath to defend and protect Donald J. Trump and Pompeo’s own future political career — above all else — and that’s exactly what he’s been doing. Shame on him.
character_traits  conspiracies  cowardice  diplomacy  disinformation  Donald_Trump  ethics  integrity  leadership  Michael_Pompeo  moral_codes  political_expediency  principles  scriptures  Tom_Friedman  Ukraine  U.S._State_Department  U.S.foreign_policy  values  West_Point 
november 2019 by jerryking
Six rules for managing our era’s oversupply of non-stop news, high-decibel outrage
May 11, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | editorials.

Rule No. 1: You don’t need to have an opinion about everything. Shocking but true. ....It’s perfectly fair to say, “I don’t know enough to have an opinion on that," or, “I will leave that to others to debate,” or even, “Both sides have some good points.” You might not please everyone, but see Rule No. 2.

* Rule No. 2: You can’t please everyone. Get over it.

* Rule No. 3: Embrace ambivalence....often misinterpreted as indifference, or derided as indecision. In fact, the ability to entertain contradictory but animating ideas goes to the heart of what it means to be a mature and civilized human being. It’s also central to preserving political freedom. The most dangerous person in a democracy is the blind partisan who outsources her opinions to politicians or an ideology, and who sees those who don’t agree as enemies to be righteously chased from town by a torch-wielding mob. The biggest threat to such black-and-white partisanship is the person who keeps her mind open, is not blindly loyal to any one team and sees people with different opinions not as monsters to be slain but as human beings to be understood, especially when you disagree with them, and they disagree with you.

* Rule No. 4: When you take a stand, be forceful. While the process of reaching a conclusion should involve a lot of “on the one hand” and “on the other,” at some point you have to make a choice.

In a criminal trial, the decision to convict an accused person can only be taken if the evidence is persuasive beyond a reasonable doubt – in other words, if the evidence is irrefutable and the conclusion is certain. But in politics, business and life, most decisions must be taken under conditions that cannot meet that exacting standard. Reasonable doubts are reasonable. Only the extreme partisan is without them.

* Rule No. 5: Set your bottom line. How far are you willing to let another person go before you feel obliged to offer a counter-opinion? Not every take you hear deserves the energy required to argue against it. Sometimes, you have to just let people say things you don’t agree with. You might learn something.

And remember, just as there is no obligation to have an opinion on every subject, there is also no rule that says you must express your opinion every time the chance presents itself. But when someone or something does cross a line, sometimes you can’t hold back. It may be as lofty as a matter of justice, or a simple as a question of common sense, but there comes a moment when your opinion will matter.

* Rule No. 6: Opinions are not the same thing as empathy. Empathy is what makes it possible for people who disagree to live together in peace and harmony – to agreeably disagree. And in a multicultural, multireligious, multiracial, multiparty democracy, people are going to disagree about all sorts of things, all the time.

The world has enough opinions. What it really needs is more empathy. Without it, life isn’t possible.
21st._century  agreeably_disagree  ambivalence  commoditization_of_information  disagreements  disinformation  dual-consciousness  empathy  hard_choices  incivility  incompatibilities  indecision  information_overload  news  opinions  open_mind  outrage  partial_truths  partisanship  partisan_loyalty  political_spin  propaganda  rules_of_the_game 
may 2019 by jerryking
Globe editorial: Does Ottawa have a plan to keep our elections safe from meddling? - The Globe and Mail
There is scant evidence that narrow-cast propaganda delivered via Facebook has a decisive effect at the ballot box. But that’s not the same as saying it can’t condition electoral, political and social environments. And that’s a real problem.

There is no easy way for users to sort through and identify millions of micro-targeted ads, messages and “news” items on Facebook. To rely on Silicon Valley’s public-spiritedness is to be in a very bad place. Plus, technology makes it simple for would-be propagandists to set up shop under a new, anonymous guise. Pick your metaphor for trying to stop them: Sisyphus’s stone or Whack-a-Mole.

And social networks create hothouse conditions for the spread of pernicious disinformation. The now-shuttered political consultancy Cambridge Analytica needed only 270,000 Facebook users to gain access to 50-million profiles......Here at home, the intelligence community has issued repeated warnings over the past year that malign foreign actors could attempt to influence our elections. Elections Canada has announced it is shoring up cybersecurity and preparing a public awareness campaign.

But given the latest Facebook revelations, Ottawa needs a more comprehensive plan to safeguard the 2019 federal vote. Now would be a good time to tell Canadians about it.
cyber_security  disinformation  elections  Elections_Canada  Facebook  narrow-framing  political_influence  propaganda  rogue_actors 
august 2018 by jerryking
Facebook’s Security Chief to Depart for Stanford University
Aug. 1, 2018 | The New York Times| By Sheera Frenkel and Kate Conger.

Alex Stamos, Facebook's Security Chief, will exit this month to join Stanford University in September as an adjunct professor and become part of a faculty working group called Information Warfare where he will examine the role of security and technology in society.....In an internal Facebook post from January Stamos wrote that the company’s security team was being reorganized and would no longer operate as a stand-alone entity. Instead, he wrote, Facebook’s security workers would be more closely aligned with the product and engineering teams and focus either on protecting the company’s corporate infrastructure or its users......Stamos had been working with the Stanford cyberpolicy program for several years and had piloted a “hack lab” class this past spring.....At Stanford, he plans to study the upcoming midterms and the role of technology, as well as election security more broadly and the topic of disinformation. He said he would also look at subjects as basic as passwords and try to reimagine how they could be made more secure.........Mr. Stamos also said Information Warfare was a new working group at Stanford with about 14 faculty members across academic disciplines. The group, which will begin meeting this fall, plans to research information warfare tactics and to develop countermeasures. Mr. Stamos said he planned to teach a class for law and policy students on how hackers attack, with the goal of familiarizing future policymakers with common hacking techniques......Stamos wants to address issues including online child safety and the naming of a country or group responsible for a cyberattack.
cyberattacks  cyber_security  Colleges_&_Universities  disinformation  Facebook  information_warfare  security_&_intelligence  Sheryl_Sandberg  Stanford  political_influence  C-suite  countermeasures  hackers 
august 2018 by jerryking
Why is America so bad at information wars?
JULY 18, 2018 | Financial Times | Gillian Tett.

In his new book Messing With the Enemy, Clint Watts, a former FBI agent, describes this exchange as the first “international-terrorist-versus-counter-terrorist Twitter battle”......One way to make sense of today’s extraordinary cyber battles with the Russians is to look at how jihadi groups developed such campaigns years earlier — not least because this oft-ignored parallel shows how the US government has done a poor job fighting its enemies in cyberspace. “America sucks at information warfare,” Watts laments. “Absolutely sucks.”.....US officials attempted to fight back against Isis’s social media campaigns. Watts reveals that in 2013 while at the FBI — and later as a security consultant — he engaged in a long Twitter duel with American-born terrorist Omar Hammami. Other US intelligence groups tried to develop psychological-operations campaigns to fight the extremists. Some of the experimental techniques used to profile social media users were later deployed in the ad-tech industry by companies such as Cambridge Analytica.

However, the US military was simply too bureaucratic, slow moving and rule-laden to match its enemies. And the country that seemed to learn the most from the social media extremists was Russia: Watts describes how he inadvertently witnessed Russian-backed groups populating American social media from the autumn of 2015 onwards, copying some of the tactics of the Islamists....Watts’s proposed remedy is just as startling: he believes that US government agencies are now so ill-equipped to fight in these type of social media wars that it is time for non-government groups to take the lead instead.....many leading figures in Silicon Valley furtively express similar views. Indeed, some appear to be quietly funding civilian “volunteers” to do exactly what Watts suggests: namely, hunt for ways to counter Russian attacks by infiltrating enemy cyber groups.

Who knows whether this type of grass-roots action will work, or how widespread it might be — everything is deeply murky in the arena of cyberspace and information wars.
Gillian_Tett  information_warfare  U.S.  security_&_intelligence  Twitter  al-Shabab  books  cyber_warfare  Russians  hackers  Russia  disinformation  persuasion  trolls  politics  delegitimization  destabilization  deception  infiltration 
july 2018 by jerryking
How Vladimir Putin mastered the cyber disinformation war
February 18, 2018 | FT | by Andrei Soldatov.

outsourcing cyber disinformation campaigns has become a tactic used by Russia to create plausible deniability and lower the costs and risks of controversial overseas operations. Today, Kremlin-backed cyber campaigns have an unorthodox chain of command. It is one in which non-state actors — primarily businessmen with personal ties to important figures in the Kremlin — call the shots, not, as in western cyber operations, the electronic and signals intelligence gathering wings of the army and government agencies.
Vladimir_Putin  Robert_Mueller  indictments  Russia  disinformation  persuasion  trolls  politics  delegitimization  destabilization  deception  cyber_warfare  information_warfare  Kremlin 
february 2018 by jerryking
Putin Sees a Happy New Year - The New York Times
By MICHAEL KHODARKOVSKYDEC. 26, 2016

Today, Mr. Putin focuses the shrinking resources of a beleaguered Russian economy on the twin agendas of restoring Russia’s position among the world’s powers and undermining Western institutions. For him it is a zero sum game. Moscow can easily deploy thousands of hackers and trolls to achieve maximum disruption while Western democracies awaken too slowly to the dangers. And the dangers are grave. From state-sponsored mass doping in sports to corrosive business practices, from silencing political dissent at home to supporting brutal regimes abroad, Russia’s policies are rooted in deceit, graft and violence — a combination that presents an existential challenge to democracies.....This is not routine cyber intelligence, which many nations practice. Russia’s cyber activity seeks to confuse, destabilize and ultimately bring to power foreign governments pliant to Russia’s aims. That is an attack on the values and institutions of democratic societies, and, if successful, it achieves the same result as a military invasion to install a new government.
Russia  Vladimir_Putin  cyber_warfare  disinformation  destabilization  security_&_intelligence  propaganda  deception  zero-sum_games  offensive_tactics 
december 2016 by jerryking
Putin Is Waging Information Warfare. Here’s How to Fight Back. - The New York Times
By MARK GALEOTTIDEC. 14, 2016

the United States and its allies should pursue a strategy of deterrence by denial. Mr. Putin shouldn’t fear retaliation for his information warfare — he should fear that he will fail.

There are several ways to go about this. First, United States institutions need better cybersecurity defenses. Political parties and major newspapers are now targets just as much as the power grid and the Pentagon are. The government has to help provide security when it can — but people have a duty to be more vigilant and recognize that their cybersecurity is about protecting the country, not just their own email accounts. ....Finally, Mr. Putin’s own vanity could be turned into a weapon against him. Every time he overreaches, the American government should point it out. Every time he fails, we need to say so loudly and clearly. We should tell jokes about him. He can rewrite the record in Russia, but the West does not have to contribute to his mythmaking — and we should stop building him up by portraying him as a virtual supervillain.
cyberattacks  Vladimir_Putin  cyber_security  cyber_warfare  retaliation  security_&_intelligence  punitive  phishing  deterrence  economic_warfare  blacklists  retribution  disinformation  campaigns  destabilization  Russia  information_warfare  delegitimization  deception  overreach  power_grid 
december 2016 by jerryking
Fascination and Fear: Covering the Black Panthers - The New York Times
By GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO
OCT. 15, 2016“At the same time the newspaper was dubious and skeptical of them, it also gave them a tremendous amount of coverage,” said Jane Rhodes, a professor of African-American studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the author of “Framing the Black Panthers: The Spectacular Rise of a Black Power Icon.”

“The media, like most of white America, was deeply frightened by their aggressive and assertive style of protest,” Professor Rhodes said. “And they were offended by it.”

When Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale founded the Black Panther Party, their first goal was to confront what they saw as an epidemic of police brutality. They took to the streets with rifles, standing guard over policemen on patrol. The California Assembly responded quickly, proposing a law to ban the open carrying of firearms.....Looking at contemporary news coverage, Professor Rhodes said progress has been made when it comes to covering race and activism. “I see organizations like The Times making a much more sustained effort at deeper coverage,” she said. But articles still tend to emphasize the conflict between the police and protesters, she said, without addressing the core principles guiding social movements such as Black Lives Matter: greater investment in public education, community control of law enforcement and economic justice.
Black_Panthers  African-Americans  '60s  fear  FBI  public_opinion  NYT  newspapers  disinformation  biases  books  iconic  Black_Power 
october 2016 by jerryking
For Putin, Disinformation Is Power - The New York Times
AUG. 5, 2016 | The New York Times | By ARKADY OSTROVSKY.

Vladimir V. Putin told Larry King on CNN that his previous job as a K.G.B. officer had been like that of a journalist. “They have the same purpose of gathering information, synthesizing it and presenting it for the consumption of decision makers,”...During the Cold War, the Kremlin interfered in American politics for decades. The K.G.B.’s so-called active measures — subversion, media manipulations, forgery and the financing of some “peace” organizations — lay at the heart of Soviet intelligence.
disinformation  Vladimir_Putin  history  anti-Americanism  subversion  Donald_Trump  security_&_intelligence  Kremlin  WikiLeaks  propaganda  cyber_warfare  Cold_War  triumphalism  narratives  Dmitri_Medvedev  KGB  information_warfare  destabilization  deception 
august 2016 by jerryking
U.S. Scurries to Shore Up Spying on Russia - WSJ
By ADAM ENTOUS, JULIAN E. BARNES and SIOBHAN GORMAN CONNECT
Updated March 24, 2014

There were no Americans on the ground in Crimea to check reports of Russian military movements, U.S. officials say. The U.S. also didn't have drones overhead to gather real-time intelligence, officials say. That increased the U.S.'s reliance on satellite imagery and information gleaned from an analysis of social media, which was muddled by Russian disinformation. State Department officials declined to discuss any technical-intelligence activities.

If Mr. Putin decided to launch a takeover, many U.S. intelligence analysts thought he would use troops participating in the military exercises. Officials now say they underestimated the quality of Russian forces inside Crimea....U.S. military officials also made urgent calls to their counterparts in Russia. Not surprisingly, Russian military officials offered little information. Some of them claimed to be surprised. "It was classic maskirovka," says a senior U.S. official, using the Russian word for camouflage. Spies use the word to describe Moscow's tradition of sophisticated deception tactics.
espionage  surveillance  sigint  Russia  Crimea  imagery  satellites  security_&_intelligence  warning_signs  Vladimir_Putin  disinformation  camouflage  deception  intelligence_analysts 
november 2014 by jerryking

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