• How Unmoderated Platforms Became the Frontline for Russian Propaganda

    The Russian invasion of Ukraine has highlighted the evolving complexities of platform governance challenges in an increasingly decentralized information environment. Samantha Bradshaw, Renee DiResta, and Christopher Giles write that “A comprehensive strategy to combat disinformation campaigns must consider full spectrum operations that incorporate both overt and covert dynamics across a wide range of analog, digital, and alternative media,” adding that “An overfocus on covert networks on Facebook and Twitter misses the full expanse of the propaganda strategies that often reach more users through different communication media on popular local media and social media channels.”

  • U.S. Imposes Sanctions, Files Charges Over Russian Influence Campaign

    U.S. authorities have charged a Russian national with recruiting political groups in the United States to sow discord, spread pro-Moscow propaganda, and interfere with U.S. elections. Aleksandr Viktorovich Ionov, a Russian national, has been charged with “foreign malign influence campaign” and interference in the U.S. election. His effort, which was made on behalf of the FSB, one of Russia’s intelligence services, lasted from December 2014 until March 2022, and included contacts and coordination with American political groups which campaigned against globalization and helped promote Russia’s interests.

  • China Escalating Campaign of Intimidation, Harassment of Chinese Dissidents in U.S.

    Last week, the U.S. Justice Department announced the indictment of one former and one current DHS agents who were recruited to help the Chinese government’s campaign of harassment targeting U.S.-based critics. This was not the first Chinese operation of its kind inside the United States. But it marked the first time that China has recruited federal agents in support of their effort, reflecting what U.S. authorities regard as Beijing’s increasingly brazen intrusion into other countries.

  • Five Men Indicted for Helping China Silence PRC Critics Residing in the U.S.

    Five men, including one current and one former DHS employees, were indicted on 7 July for being part of a network helping the government of China harass and silence U.S. residents who were critical of the Chinese government and its policies. The two leaders of the network are from Long Island – one from Oyster Bay, the other from Jericho.

  • The Chinese Military’s Access to AI Chips

    The Chinese military has made rapid progress in artificial intelligence. This progress largely depends on continued access to high-end semiconductors designed by American companies and produced in Taiwan and South Korea. The aggressive moves by the Trump and Biden administrations to limit technology exports to the Chinese military notwithstanding, China continues to order large quantities of American-designed advanced semiconductors from manufacturers in Taiwan and South Korea.

  • Russian Disinformation Campaign Aims to Divide, Weaken Western Coalition

    A new report reviews ongoing Russian influence efforts aimed at undermining and dividing the Western defensive coalition supporting Ukraine, as well as influencing public opinion of Russia’s war against Ukraine favorably toward Russia.

  • Controversial Confucius Institutes, Under New Name, Returning to U.S. Schools

    Confucius Institutes, the controversial Beijing-backed language and cultural learning centers, are rebranding and reopening. Most of the 118 Institutes which operated in the U.S. were closed in June 2021 after being designated as a “foreign mission” by the State Department.

  • Fearing Iranian Attacks, Israel Urges Israeli Travelers in Turkey to Return Home

    The stealthy war between Israel and Iran is escalating. In late May, Israeli intelligence uncovered a secret Iranian plot to kill and kidnap Israeli tourists in Turkey, a favorite tourist destination for Israelis. The Turkish authorities were alerted, and the Iranian agents were captured. A few days later, a colonel in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard was killed in broad daylight in the middle of Teheran. The colonel’s unit was responsible for planning and carrying out attacks on Israelis abroad.

  • How the U.S. Has Struggled to Stop the Growth of a Shadowy Russian Private Army

    Vladimir Putin has increasingly relied on the Wagner Group, a private and unaccountable army with a history of human rights violations, to pursue Russia’s foreign policy objectives across the globe. For nearly a decade, U.S. officials watched with alarm as this shadowy network of Russian mercenaries connected to the Kremlin wreaked havoc in Africa, the Middle East and most recently Ukraine.

  • Mysterious Death of Iranian Aerospace Engineer Fuels Speculation

    The mystery surrounding the death of Iranian aerospace engineer Ayoob Entezari has fueled speculation that he was the latest victim of assassination in the Islamic republic. His death came days after the mysterious death of Ali Esmailzadeh, a senior officer in the Quds Force, the overseas arm of Iran’s powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), the elite branch of the country’s armed forces.

  • Who Cares about a Midterm Election? Comparing Russia, Iran, and China’s Electoral Interference from Past to Present

    Midterm elections present a complicated target environment for foreign manipulators because, unlike presidential elections, there is no single candidate who can significantly alter U.S. foreign policy. But interference opportunities remain, and adversaries have the potential to advance their strategic objectives through a campaign meant to create further turbulence within U.S. democracy.

  • China’s Growing Agricultural Problems Pose Risks for the U.S.

    China is facing a growing demand on its agricultural production. The Chinese government has taken several domestic initiatives to address the growing problem, but it has also gone abroad to address its needs through investments and acquisitions of farmland, animal husbandry, agricultural equipment, and intellectual property (IP), particularly of GM seeds These efforts present several risks to U.S. economic and national security.

  • How a Fellow of Germany’s Humboldt Foundation Joined China's Military Commission

    Germany’s Humboldt Research Fellowships are very popular with visiting Chinese scientists. Back in China, some of them go on to do research for the Chinese military. According to the Max Planck Society, “around one-third” of all scientific management positions in China today are held by people who were trained in Germany.

  • European Academics Helping China's Military

    European researchers have cooperated with China’s National University of Defense Technology (NUDT). The NUDT’s purpose is to “Strengthen the Armed Forces and the Nation.” An investigation by 10 European news outlets has found nearly 3,000 scientific publications by researchers affiliated with European universities and their counterparts at military-linked institutions in China — most notably the NUDT.

  • Another Russian Tycoon Dies Under Suspicious Circumstances

    A former top manager of LUKoil has died under strange circumstances, the latest in a series of mysterious deaths of Russian businessmen since Moscow launched its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.