[This commentary relates to only one of several overlapping existential threats that social media/digital communications now present to global society. Others: assault on privacy, cyber hacking, undermining the journalism profession.]
Roose and others have also surfaced even more disconcerting evidence. Russia continues to wage this cyber conflict and the U.S. government still has no lead federal agency charged with securing America from cyber attacks on elections and other foreign influence campaigns.
Instead, counter-intuitively, the Trump administration this week added to its long list of policies favorable to Russia:
1. Trump decided to terminate sanctions on Russian aluminum company Rusal within 30 days.
In sum: “The picture that emerges is grim.”
Ms. DiResta, reflecting on evidence that Russia is continuing its “enthusiasm for modern information warfare”, cautions:
“The hard truth is that the problem of disinformation campaigns will never be fixed; it’s a constantly evolving arms race. But it can — and must — be managed …
“The landscape of disinformation is, frankly, a grim one. Russia has already signaled its intention to continue such operations. Terrorists strategically counter attempts to kick them off popular platforms. Domestic ideologues adopt the manipulative distribution tactics used by foreign propagandists.
“But there is some cause for hope … With discipline, rigor and broad collaboration, we can meet this challenge, establish standards, protocols and governance that will defend the integrity of our information.”
One proposal: A comprehensive U.S. “national cyberdoctrine.”
Perhaps momentum for true national defense in this new kind of “world war” will build soon after January 2nd.