CounterPropaganda · Disinformation · Fake News · Information operations · Information Warfare

Disinformation and ‘fake news’: Final Report published – DCMS Committee – UK Parliament / Cyber Update

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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The DCMS report is excellent – very thorough and very incisive. It should be a template for other democracies to deal with foreign and inappropriate domestic meddling in elections and politics. No less importantly it deals with many serious privacy issues as yet not addressed in legislation.

Also a number of interesting reports on malign influence campaigns, and automated fake news generation. After the DNC, France, and Germany, Australia’s parliament also hacked by a nation state actor.

Disinformation and ‘fake news’: Final Report published – News from Parliament – UK Parliament

DCMS Committee Disinformation fake new. Damian Collins MP, Chair of the DCMS Committee said:

    “Our inquiry over the last year has identified three big threats to our society. The challenge for the year ahead is to start to fix them; we cannot delay any longer.

“Democracy is at risk from the malicious and relentless targeting of citizens with disinformation and personalised ‘dark adverts’ from unidentifiable sources, delivered through the major social media platforms we use everyday. Much of this is directed from agencies working in foreign countries, including Russia.

“The big tech companies are failing in the duty of care they owe to their users to act against harmful content, and to respect their data privacy rights.

“Companies like Facebook exercise massive market power which enables them to make money by bullying the smaller technology companies and developers who rely on this platform to reach their customers.

“These are issues that the major tech companies are well aware of, yet continually fail to address. The guiding principle of the ‘move fast and break things’ culture often seems to be that it is better to apologise than ask permission.

“We need a radical shift in the balance of power between the platforms and the people. The age of inadequate self regulation must come to an end. The rights of the citizen need to be established in statute, by requiring the tech companies to adhere to a code of conduct written into law by Parliament, and overseen by an independent regulator.

“We also have to accept that our electoral regulations are hopelessly out of date for the internet age. We need reform so that the same principles of transparency of political communications apply online, just as they do in the real world. More needs to be done to require major donors to clearly establish the source of their funds.

“Much of the evidence we have scrutinised during our inquiry has focused on the business practices of Facebook; before, during and after the Cambridge Analytica data breach scandal.

“We believe that in its evidence to the Committee Facebook has often deliberately sought to frustrate our work, by giving incomplete, disingenuous and at times misleading answers to our questions.

“Even if Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t believe he is accountable to the UK Parliament, he is to the billions of Facebook users across the world. Evidence uncovered by my Committee shows he still has questions to answer yet he’s continued to duck them, refusing to respond to our invitations directly or sending representatives who don’t have the right information. Mark Zuckerberg continually fails to show the levels of leadership and personal responsibility that should be expected from someone who sits at the top of one of the world’s biggest companies.

“We also repeat our call to the Government to make a statement about how many investigations are currently being carried out into Russian interference in UK politics. We want to find out what was the impact of disinformation and voter manipulation on past elections including the UK Referendum in 2016 and are calling on the Government to launch an independent investigation.”

UK: Disinformation and ‘fake news’: Final Report – To Inform is to Influence

This report SHOULD make a significant dent in Russian social media meddling. </end editorial> Disinformation and ‘fake news’: Final Report Contents Contents Summary 1 Introduction and background 2 Regulation and the role, definition and legal liability of tech companies Definitions Online harms and regulation The new Centre for Data Ethics and algorithms Legislation in Germany and France…

A digital gangster destroying democracy: the damning verdict on Facebook | Technology | The Guardian

Parliament’s report into fake news raises many questions, but will the government act?

Facebook labelled ‘digital gangsters’ by report on fake news | Technology | The Guardian

Company broke privacy and competition law and should be regulated urgently, say MPs

Facebook has behaved like a ‘digital gangster’, say MPs, as they accuse Mark Zuckerberg of lying

Facebook has behaved like a &ldquo;digital gangster&rdquo;, says the Culture Committee of MPs, as it accused the company&rsquo;s founder Mark Zuckerberg of lying.

Can Mark Zuckerberg’s ‘supreme court’ end Facebook’s era of absolute monarchy?

Suppose that, ten years from now, you make a post on a social network.

MPs give Big Tech a hammering over privacy and fake news – BBC News

A select committee is unsparing in its criticisms of Facebook and the regulatory world it operates in.

Facebook branded ‘digital gangster’ by MPs for deliberately breaking law by selling private data without permission

In a damning report, a Commons committee today said Facebook had proved ineffective in stopping harmful content and disinformation on the platform

Facebook violated data privacy laws say UK lawmakers in new report – CNN

UK lawmakers have accused Facebook of violating data privacy and competition laws in a report on social media disinformation that also says CEO Mark Zuckerberg showed “contempt” toward parliament by not appearing before them.

British Lawmakers Accuse Facebook Of ‘Intentionally’ Violating UK Privacy Laws | HuffPost

The UK Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee released its report on disinformation and social media on Monday.

Facebook is out of control and politicians have no idea what to do | Simon Jenkins | Opinion | The Guardian

A Commons report lays bare horrifying abuses. But the UK is no closer to regulating the far-too-powerful tech industry, says Guardian columnist Simon Jenkins

Here come the riled MPs (it’s private, huh), Facebook’s a digital ‘gangster’ (‘disingen-u-ous’). Zuckerberg he is a failure (on sharing data) • The Register

Tech titans like Facebook, itself described as a “digital gangster”, continually fail to address the risks their platforms pose to democracy – so the British government should regulate, MPs have said. The House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee has been conducting an inquiry into “fake news” – which it acknowledged is now an inappropriate moniker – for the best part of two years. The inquiry has involved 23 oral evidence sessions, received more than 170 pieces of written evidence and heard from 73 witnesses – none of whom, to the great frustration of the committee, was Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook was destroyed by British lawmakers for its disastrous year, but new laws should not be narrowly focused on the social network | Business Insider

British lawmakers published a damning report about Facebook, its many privacy problems, and its monopoly power as part of an inquiry into fake news. Politicians proposed new laws that would force tech companies to take legal responsibility for the content published on their platforms. But the lawmakers are narrowly focused on Facebook, and are in danger of creating sweeping new laws that impact the internet beyond just one big social network. New laws that combat fake online political ads and harmful content online deserve consideration, but should be separated from questions about Facebook’s monopoly power.

Mark Zuckerberg roasted by group of lawmakers, who accuse Facebook’s CEO of spectacular leadership failure | Business Insider

A devastating report from a UK parliamentary committee has taken direct aim at Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, accusing him of “contempt.”

U.K. Lawmakers Rebuke Facebook in Call for Social-Media Regulation – WSJ

A U.K. parliamentary committee rebuked Facebook in a new report that calls for regulation and intensified scrutiny of social-media companies.

Newsweek: Russian Trolls Promoted Anti-Vaccination Propaganda That May Have Caused Measles Outbreak, Researcher Claims – To Inform is to Influence

The significant jump in Measles cases in the United States since Russian trolls began their surge in 2013/2014 is significant.  While not directly attributable, it is fairly clear that Russian trolls contributed to the anti-vaxxers. From When Was the Last Measles Death in the United States? Note of caution:  I can’t even certify that the source, Vaxopedia, wasn’t…

An AI that writes convincing prose risks mass-producing fake news – MIT Technology Review

Fed with billions of words, this algorithm creates convincing articles and shows how AI could be used to fool people on a mass scale.

Kremlin Slams Facebook’s Decision To Block RT, Blames ‘Pressure On Media’

The Kremlin says Facebook’s move to block a page linked to Russia’s state-run RT television channel amounts to “pressure on the media.”

Facebook blocks Russia’s major propaganda project targeting U.S. – news world | UNIAN

Facebook has blocked one of the major Russian propaganda projects, “In The Now,” affiliated with Russia Today TV channel. In The Now’s reporting is calibrated based on youngers demographic and platforms and thus serves as an introduction to Russia’s disinformation narratives.

After DNC and France’s Macron, Australia becomes latest target of ‘state actor’ cyberattack – The Washington Post

The United States, Germany and France are among the countries hit by foreign cyber attacks since 2016.

Australia Blames Cyberattack on ‘Sophisticated State Actor’ | Time

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison accused a foreign government of carrying out a cyberattack that affected major political parties

Australia’s Prime Minister Blames ‘Sophisticated State Actor’ for Parliament Hack – The New York Times

Australia has been unable to determine which country was behind a hack of Parliament and the country’s political parties weeks before a national election.

Australia Says ‘Sophisticated State Actor’ Hacked Lawmakers, Parliament

Australia says a “sophisticated state actor” was responsible for a cyberattack on Australian lawmakers earlier this month, most likely carried out by a foreign country.

Australia political parties hacked by ‘sophisticated state actor’ | Australia News | Al Jazeera

Prime minister says hack that breached parliament systems earlier this month also hit major political parties.

New French Cyber Offense Doctrine – To Inform is to Influence

An unofficial translation is available here. Official Document: </end editorial> En garde! ‘Cyber-war has begun’ – and France will hack first, its defence sec declares Parly-vous cyber-security? No plan to surrender, military bug bounty coming By Gareth Corfield in Lille, France 22 Jan 2019 at 20:12 FIC2019 France’s defence secretary Florence Parly today declared: “Cyber war has begun.” And she…