Chasing Disaster: The Risks of Fast, Furious or Fake News

Chasing Disaster: The Risks of Fast, Furious or Fake News. YaleGlobal. Humphrey Hawksley. September 19, 2017

Disasters no longer seem like rare events with the internet and smartphones delivering instant, compelling stories for a global audience that is curious, observant and active on social media. Experiencing disaster, then being in the public eye, can be traumatic, and so Britain’s National Health Service has issued warnings about the risks of using social media after terrorist attacks or giving personal accounts to journalists. Most odious are false reports drafted to misdirect responsibility and create an atmosphere of mistrust. Both social media and journalism have been lifelines during the recent hurricanes and earthquake in the Americas, flooding in South Asia and the flight of thousands of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar after years of mistreatment. News reports are linked with increased aid and lessons in preparation, and Humphrey Hawksley urges fellow journalists and the public to keep three factors in mind when assessing disasters: sourcing, the reporter’s role and impact of disaster coverage. “News coverage of natural disasters and war have long been pivotal at tugging heart strings and forcing changes to government policy,” he concludes. “Journalism has always been laced with vested interests and advocacy. The danger today is the immediacy in which inaccuracy speeds around the world, fueling emotions and decisions. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Civic Engagement: How Can Digital Technology Encourage Greater Engagement in Civil Society?

Civic Engagement: How Can Digital Technology Encourage Greater Engagement in Civil Society? RAND Corporation. Talitha Dubow, Axelle Devaux, Catriona Manville. August 7, 2017.

This Perspective explores the potential impacts that digital technologies may have on the nature of civic engagement and political processes, providing an overview of the ways in which digital platforms and tools may contribute to strengthening a more inclusive civil society, and highlighting the significant risks posed by the use of these technologies. The authors argue that these risks must be properly understood and addressed if democratic society is to benefit from continuing innovation in this space. This Perspective is part of a series of four exploring the opportunities and challenges that digital technologies are creating within society ahead of the 2017 Thought Leadership programme at St George’s House, Windsor which has been designed and delivered by RAND Europe in conjunction with the Corsham Institute. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 11 pages, 133.31 KB].

Globally, People Point to ISIS and Climate Change as Leading Security Threats: Concern About Cyberattacks, World Economy Also Widespread

Globally, People Point to ISIS and Climate Change as Leading Security Threats: Concern About Cyberattacks, World Economy Also Widespread. Pew Research Center. Jacob Poushter and Dorothy Manevich. August 1, 2017.

People around the globe identify ISIS and climate change as the leading threats to national security, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. The survey asked about eight possible threats. While the level and focus of concern varies by region and country, ISIS and climate change clearly emerge as the most frequently cited security risks across the 38 countries polled. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 32 pages, 1.29 MB].

Sustaining Progress in International Negotiations on Cybersecurity

Sustaining Progress in International Negotiations on Cybersecurity. Center for Strategic & International Studies. James Andrew Lewis. July 25, 2017

Concern over the risk of cyber attack led Russia in 1998 to propose at the United Nations a treaty to limit the use of cyber attack and cyber weapons. The Russian proposal drew on the experience of arms control and disarmament, but it found little support and was opposed by the United States. During the same period, there were also various proposals from the academic community for some sort of formal international cybersecurity convention, but many of these proposals were impractical and they too garnered little support. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 7 pages, 268.20 KB].

Education: Digital Digital Technology’s Role in Enabling Skills Development for a Connected World

Education: Digital Digital Technology’s Role in Enabling Skills Development for a Connected World. RAND Corporation. Axelle Devaux et al. July 3, 2017.

This Perspective explores the ways in which the growth of digital technology is impacting education and skills. The authors state that technology is not only more prevalent in people’s lives, but its growing use will affect schools’ curriculum, new digital skills in jobs, and the changing use of services. However, they point out that education establishments are not keeping up with the technology growth, that new skills will have to be learnt outside of only digital skills, and that digital technology could lead to increased social exclusion for different sections of our society. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 8 pages, 106.91 KB].

Stateless Attribution: Toward International Accountability in Cyberspace

Stateless Attribution: Toward International Accountability in Cyberspace. RAND Corporation. John S. Davis II et al. June 2, 2017.

The public attribution of a malicious cyber incident consists of identifying the responsible party behind the activity. A cyber attribution finding is a necessary prerequisite for holding actors accountable for malicious activity. Recently, several cyber incidents with geopolitical implications and the attribution findings associated with those incidents have received high-profile press coverage. Many segments of the general public disputed and questioned the credibility of the declared attributions. This report reviews the state of cyber attribution and examines alternative options for producing standardized and transparent attribution that may overcome concerns about credibility. In particular, this exploratory work considers the value of an independent, global organization whose mission consists of investigating and publicly attributing major cyber attacks. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 64 pages, 648.96 KB].

IOT, Automation, Autonomy, and Megacities in 2025: A Dark Preview

IOT, Automation, Autonomy, and Megacities in 2025: A Dark Preview. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Michael Assante, Andrew Bochman. April 26, 2017

This paper extrapolates from present trends to describe plausible future crises playing out in multiple global cities within 10 years. While predicting the future is fraught with uncertainty, much of what occurs in the scenarios presented here is fully possible today and, absent a significant course change, probable in the timeframe discussed.

It is not hard to find tech evangelists touting that ubiquitous and highly interconnected digital technology will bring great advances in productivity and efficiency, as well as new capabilities we cannot foresee. This paper attempts to reveal what is possible when these technologies are applied to critical infrastructure applications en masse without adequate security in densely populated cities of the near future that are less resilient than other environments. Megacities need and will deploy these new technologies to keep up with insatiable demand for energy, communications, transportation, and other services, but it is important to recognize that they are also made more vulnerable by following this path. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 16 pages, 294.46 KB].