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Essays

What Is At Stake In Yemen

by Fahad Nazervia Hoover Institution Press
Thursday, December 20, 2018

Contrary to the prevailing perception that the conflict in Yemen has been forgotten by the international community, the war has garnered a fair amount of attention. However, what is being overlooked is what is at stake in Yemen, how the conflict started, and why it has continued. Instead of focusing exclusively on the Saudi-led coalition’s involvement in the conflict, those seeking to understand the war and the ensuing humanitarian crisis should examine Yemen’s turbulent history, fragile state, the Houthi rebels’ record of militancy, and Iran’s designs to create yet another proxy force in an Arab country. 

Essays

China's Influence & American Interests: Promoting Constructive Vigilance

via Hoover Institution Press
Thursday, November 29, 2018

This report, written and endorsed by a group of this country’s leading China specialists and students of one-party systems is the result of more than a year of research and represents an attempt to document the extent of China’s expanding influence operations inside the United States. While there have been many excellent reports documenting specific examples of Chinese influence seeking, this effort attempts to come to grips with the issue as a whole and features an overview of the Chinese party-state United Front apparatus responsible for guiding overseas influence activities.

Essays

Flat Light

by Andrew Burt, Daniel E. Geer, Jr.via Aegis Paper Series
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The world of information security has always had reference points – or ground truths – that, like physical features in a landscape, served as navigational features for practitioners and policymakers alike. As time has passed and the state of information security has become more uncertain, these features have eroded. As reference points, they are now either unhelpful (at best) or disinformative (at worst). A deep state of disorientation is now upon us - in privacy, in security, and beyond. This paper explains how we arrived at this point, and suggests what to do next.

Essays

2018 And Beyond

by John P. Carlin, David A. Newmanvia Aegis Paper Series
Monday, November 12, 2018

Despite the assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 election and will continue this type of activity in the future, there has been little national action. This paper contends that the inaction partially stems from political and bureaucratic obstacles to preparing a US response to any future interference—including obstacles to overcoming public apathy, the concern that any measures taken might favor one political party, and federalism questions that arise whenever the federal government considers proposals affecting state election conduct. 

Journals

New Issue Of Hoover Digest Online

via Hoover Digest
Friday, November 2, 2018

The fall issue of Hoover Digest is now available online. The journal focuses on topics both classical—the economy, personal freedom, the role of government—and timely, such as cybersecurity, terrorism, and geopolitical shifts. 

Essays

Fixing Social Media’s Grand Bargain

by Jack M. Balkinvia Aegis Paper Series
Monday, October 15, 2018

To regulate social media, we should focus on its political economy: the nature of digital capitalism and how we pay for the digital public sphere. This political economy creates perverse incentives for social media companies—encouraging them to surveil, addict, and manipulate their end users and strike deals with third parties who will further manipulate them. Treating social media companies as public forums or public utilities is not the proper cure, but social media companies, whether they like it or not, do have public obligations. This essay focuses on one approach to dealing with the problems of social media: new fiduciary obligations that protect end user privacy and counteract social media companies’ bad incentives.

Essays

No Eclipse

by LTC Marcus Ferraravia Hoover Institution Press
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

An American crisis of confidence, augmented by effective Chinese propaganda, has driven the narrative of the end of the “American Century,” replaced with a Chinese one. An analysis of such metrics as demography, social stability, geography, the environment, economics, military strength and capability, and soft power belies the concept of American decline and shows that China is beset with substantial internal and international challenges that indicate continued United States dominance in world affairs.

Essays

Tech Firms Are Not Sovereigns

by Andrew Keane Woodsvia Aegis Paper Series
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

It is increasingly common to hear that the sovereigns that reign over the Internet are Internet firms—the companies that set user policies and wield enormous influence over the day-to-day functioning of the Internet. The user base of these firms can be larger than many countries. They have foreign policy teams and have even engaged in experiments with user-driven self-governance. In many ways, they look like states. But firms are not sovereigns.  Some public-facing Internet firms may find it expedient to resist some states, some of the time on some issues. But this does not mean that Internet firms are a serious and lasting threat to state sovereignty. Treating them as such is a distraction from the real problem: determining how and with what limits states—sovereign nations—ought to be able to achieve their aims online.

Essays

Advanced Persistent Manipulators And Social Media Nationalism

by Clint Watts via Aegis Paper Series
Monday, September 17, 2018

Social media platforms provide an unprecedented opportunity for influencing populations. Citizens in Western democracies spend a significant amount of time on social media platforms and—as their virtual connections increase in number and intensity—they’ve begun to form social media nations affecting real-world national security.  Moving forward, social media, as an industry, will face a range of advanced persistent manipulators (APM) seeking to infiltrate, harness, and shape the perspectives of social media nations. The challenge of APMs will create an enduring threat to user trust and confidence in social media platforms.

Essays

Platform Justice

by Danielle Citron, Quinta Jurecicvia Aegis Paper Series
Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The role of dominant content platforms like Facebook and Twitter in facilitating Russian election interference in the 2016 US presidential election has precipitated a backlash against “big tech,” and now the pendulum is swinging toward greater regulation of platforms for what their users say and do. Read the Lawfare post here.

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