Latest Reporting
Aegis Paper Series

2018 and Beyond

After brazenly interfering in the 2016 US election, Russia now “perceive[s] . . . its past efforts as successful and views the 2018 U.S. midterm elections as a potential target for Russian midterm operations.” That was the warning delivered by Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats on behalf of the US Intelligence Community to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) as part of the worldwide threat briefing that took place February 13, 2018.

Aegis Paper Series

Fixing Social Media’s Grand Bargain

To regulate social media in the twenty-first century, we should focus on its political economy: the nature of digital capitalism and how we pay for the digital public sphere we have. Our digital public sphere is premised on a grand bargain: free communications services in exchange for pervasive data collection and analysis. This allows companies to sell access to end users to the companies’ advertisers and other businesses.

Podcasts

The Lawfare Podcast: John Mearsheimer on 'The Great Delusion'

In recent decades, both Democratic and Republican administrations have tried to guide other countries toward liberal democracy. But international relations theorist John Mearsheimer’s latest book, “The Great Delusion: Liberal Dreams and International Realties,” argues that this strategy has made the U.S. a “highly militarized state fighting wars that undermine peace, harm human rights, and threaten liberal values at home.” Last week, at a book talk at the Hoover Institution’s Washington office, Jack Goldsmith sat down with Mearsheimer to discuss the book.

Aegis Paper Series

Platform Justice: Content Moderation at an Inflection Point

On Thursday, Sept. 6, Twitter permanently banned the right-wing provocateur Alex Jones and his conspiracy theorist website Infowars from its platform. This was something of the final blow to Jones’s online presence: Facebook, Apple and Youtube, among others, blocked Jones from using their services in early August. Cut off from Twitter as well, he is now severely limited in his ability to spread his conspiracy theories to a mainstream audience.

Aegis Paper Series

Tech Giants at the Crossroads: A Modest Proposal

Major technology and social-media companies— think Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, and Google— wield tremendous power. Given their reach, their financial heft, their importance to vast swaths of customers dependent on their goods, services, and platforms, and their ability to influence (if not altogether dictate) transnational public policy, these firms often look and act the part of proprietors, stewards, and even governors of digital public squares.

Aegis Paper Series

An Intelligence Reserve Corps to Counter Terrorist Use of the Internet

Never before in history have terrorists had such easy access to the minds and eyeballs of millions,” declared one journalistic account of the Islamic State’s propaganda machine and proficient use of Twitter, Facebook, bots, and other modern means of getting its message out. Such views that the group’s “mastery of modern digital tools” has transformed terrorism are commonplace and, though usually presented breathlessly, contain some basic truths. Successful terrorist groups are good communicators and they employ the technology of their times.

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