The FBI recently announced the launch of a new webpage that aims to help spread information about foreign influences and how they can be minimized. The Combating Foreign Influence page aims to raise public awareness on how other nation states are taking advantage of the online world to sway US events and politics in their favor.
Why Is the Combating Foreign Influence Page Necessary?
Foreign entities have always tried to influence events in other countries to produce outcomes that favor their own interests. It has happened since the early days of statehood and still occurs all over the world today. Despite this ever-present reality of international conflict, recent technological advances have opened up a range of new and more powerful techniques for countries to exert their themselves.
Countries use the internet to influence and attack each other in a range of ways. These include spreading online propaganda, targeting the government and businesses with cyber attacks, hacking into organizations or individual accounts, providing illegal campaign financing or criminally suppressing votes. All of these actions can stifle democracy and cause both political and economic harm to the US.
These advances in influence techniques need to be addressed by taking the appropriate security measures. These can range from simpler measures like creating effective policy and raising greater public awareness, to implementing better password management and encrypting all sensitive information.
What Are Some of the Biggest Threats?
The most recent example of foreign influence and the likely catalyst behind these FBI initiatives is the series of Russian attacks against the US that became evident around the time of the 2016 presidential election.
Read the rest of this post »