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Daily Archives: August 6, 2017

Alliance for Securing Democracy – Hamilton 68: A New Tool to Track Russian Disinformation on Twitter

“The Alliance for Securing Democracy, a bipartisan, transatlantic initiative housed at The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), will develop comprehensive strategies to defend against, deter, and raise the costs on Russian and other state actors’ efforts to undermine democracy and democratic institutions. The Alliance will work to publicly document and expose Vladimir Putin’s ongoing efforts to subvert democracy in the United States and Europe…”

  • Since Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. election, many have warned that Putin will be back in 2018 and 2020.  But the reality is that Russian influence operations never left. As former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper recently stated, the Kremlin is already beginning to “prep the battlefield” for the 2018 elections. But what does this mean? Russia’s activities continue on multiple fronts. One happening right under our nose and in plain sight is its continued information operations aimed at spreading propaganda and disinformation online. Indeed, Russia’s information operations in 2016 did not happen overnight — they were enabled by a foundation built over several years of operations in U.S. information space. Since the election, Russia’s efforts to shape what Americans think has continued.  Americans deserve to know what messages Russian disinformation networks are pushing.

    “In the Federalist Papers No. 68, Alexander Hamilton wrote of protecting America’s electoral process from foreign meddling. Today, we face foreign interference of a type Hamilton could scarcely have imagined.”

    The Hamilton 68 dashboard, launching today as part of the Alliance for Securing Democracy, provides a near real-time look at Russian propaganda and disinformation efforts online. The top of the page shows tweets from official Russian propaganda outlets in English, and a short post discussing the themes of the day. This is Russia’s overt messaging. But these disinformation networks also include bots and trolls that synchronize to promote Russian messaging themes, including attack campaigns and the spreading of disinformation. Some of these accounts are directly controlled by Russia, others are users who on their own initiative reliably repeat and amplify Russian themes. Our analysis is based on linked 600 Twitter accounts to Russian influence activities online, and the lower section of the dashboard features charts that display topics, hashtags, and links currently promoted by this network.    The content this network tweets reflects Russian messaging priorities, but that does not mean every name or link you see on the dashboard is pro-Russian. The network sometimes amplifies stories that Russia likes, or people with like-minded views but no formal connection to Russia. Importantly, the network also tweets about stories and people that Russia seeks to discredit or attack…”

Federal Inspectors General Beta Website offers searchable database of reports

“Oversight.gov is a publicly accessible, searchable website containing the latest public reports from contributing Federal Inspectors General who are members of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE). The site is operated and maintained by CIGIE. The reports and information are uploaded to this site by the IGs… Oversight.gov was created… Continue Reading

Supreme Court’s new electronic filing system will begin operation on November 13, 2017

“The Supreme Court’s new electronic filing system will begin operation on November 13, 2017. A quick link on the Court’s website homepage will provide access to the new system, developed in-house to provide prompt and easy access to case documents. Once the system is in place, virtually all new filings will be accessible without cost… Continue Reading

Paper – Environmental impacts of food consumption by dogs and cats

Okin GS (2017) Environmental impacts of food consumption by dogs and cats. PLoS ONE 12(8): e0181301. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0181301 “In the US, there are more than 163 million dogs and cats that consume, as a significant portion of their diet, animal products and therefore potentially constitute a considerable dietary footprint. Here, the energy and animal-derived product consumption… Continue Reading

Myth of one internet has morphed into reality of the ‘splinternet’

August 4, 2017, Terry Flew: “Both The Economist and WIRED are worried about the “splinternet”. The UK research organisation NESTA thinks it could “break up” the world wide web as we know it. What is this awkwardly named idea? It’s the concept that someone’s experience of the internet in Turkey, for example, is increasingly different… Continue Reading

LawSites – The 10 Technologies That Most Drive Law Firm Effectiveness

Robert Ambrogi: “A survey released yesterday on the business of law and legal technology finds that competition for legal services remains high, demand remains relatively flat, and law firms are feeling pressure to lower prices and enhance operational efficiency. But what caught my eye in the survey was the question, “Which technologies provide law firms… Continue Reading

United States Congressional District Shapefiles

Jeffrey B. Lewis: “This site provides digital boundary definitions for every U.S. Congressional District in use between 1789 and 2012. These were produced as part of NSF grant SBE-SES-0241647 between 2009 and 2013. The current release of these data is experimental. We have had done a good deal of work to validate all of the… Continue Reading

FTC – Stopping Unsolicited Mail, Phone Calls, and Email

“Tired of having your mailbox crammed with unsolicited mail, including preapproved credit card applications? Fed up with getting telemarketing calls just as you’re sitting down to dinner? Fuming that your email inbox is chock-full of unsolicited advertising? The good news is that you can cut down on the number of unsolicited mailings, calls, and emails… Continue Reading

Toolkit For State Legislators to Create Environmental Legislative Action

A Curated List of Environmental Laws That Both Protect The Environment and Support Economic and Job Growth – “Laws that protect the environment and the health of citizens, while simultaneously supporting economic and job growth, are being passed in state legislatures across the United States. These laws are more important than ever before and, increasingly,… Continue Reading