HYBRID EVENT: Countering Threats from Russia and China.
On the 22th of November 2022, The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Global Innovation Hub hosted a hybrid event on “Countering Threats from Russia and China: The Role of Cyber Warfare in National Security Strategy.” This event aimed to raise awareness of think tanks, politicians, and civil society on cyberwarfare, and encourage more discussion on defense strategies in the face of disinformation.
Our guest speakers was Ms. Monika Richter, fellow of the American Foreign Policy Council, and Professor Wen-Cheng Fu, Professor and Head of the Journalism department of the National Defence University in Taiwan.
“Russia’s disinformation campaign against the EU and our democratic processes has been underway for more than 8 years now. The Kremlin aims to undermine the support for the EU to promote populist, and Eurosceptic party candidates both in the far left and the far right of the political spectrum” said Ms. Monika Richter, “They are playing the long game… to broadly subvert the efficacy of democratic institutions to fuel widespread fragmentation and mistrust; and ultimately to paralyze our ability to act in our own self-interest and to defend our values and institutions.
She highlights that “One of our greatest blindspots is that we don’t think holistically about the threat landscape, instead we tend to isolate the different elements like disinformation, cybersecurity, or foreign policy and look for individual solutions…. our limitations is that we are caught in a trap in pursuing tactical responses to what is in fact a deep and potentially existentialist strategic threat. One that will not go away even if we manage to mitigate many of the vulnerabilities in the digital information architecture”
In a closer examination of how Russia has conducted these cyber warfare Prof. Wen-Cheng Fu conducted 3 case studies. The first on Russia’s Cognitive warfare strategy on Twitter, the second on WeChat and Weibo’s Great internal and external propaganda, and finally, foreign intervention of cognitive warfare on PTT (Reddit).
Prof. Wen-Cheng Fu recommended the following for a fact checking digital transformation:
- high-impact controversy detection and early warning system;
- build a global fact-checking database to provide open and transparent access to facts;
- analysis of multinational and multilingual language culture and message comprehension;
- And finally, a global cognitive attack strategy disclosure and defense.
“There has never been a time when the media has had so much power as they do today. They affect nations, the world, and even human lives” – Fairbank Center, Harvard University.