Mark Dillen on Russia, social media, and information warfare.
A month after Trump was elected, Republicans in Congress changed the VOA’s governing structure, replacing its independent and bipartisan board of governors with a CEO appointed directly by the president. [...] Taken together, the moves indicate that Trump is poised to turn the government news service—which reaches a global audience of 236 million every week through its radio and TV broadcasts—into a mouthpiece for his personal brand.
Russia has repeatedly proposed cooperation on cybersecurity to the US, but has not received a positive response, according to Putin. "We hear these endless and groundless accusations of some kind of interference, talking about cybersecurity. [...] Putin told the Arctic forum he sees positive changes in cooperation between Russia and the United States on Syria
An interview with Anne Applebaum about disinformation, soft power, and Russia.
VOA began radio broadcasting in 1942, to combat Nazi propaganda. Per its charter, it is mandated to “serve as a consistently reliable and authoritative source of news.” Since WWII, it has been the front-edge of America’s informational interface with citizens around the world, particularly those battling dictatorships and tyranny. [...] VOA is the largest public diplomacy program of the United States government and broadcasts in more than 40 languages.
At the embassy level, ambassadors may be viewed as digital gatekeepers. Studies have shown that embassies headed by ambassadors who view digital platforms as an important resource are likely to be active online and to utilize digital tools in innovative ways. Conversely, embassies headed by ambassadors who view digital platforms as a risk are likely to be inactive online.
Ilan Manor on the historical relationship between diplomacy and technology, and how it can help a world in crisis.